BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT

What does it mean to be “poor in spirit?”

It is a relevant question in an age where spirituality is measured by the material blessings one has.

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:5, 

According to Jesus in Matthew 5:3 the poor in spirit are blessed, for they shall see God.

The person who is poor or possesses nothing is well off because the realm of God’s abode in the heavenly kingdom belongs to them.

Blessed, makarios in the Greek means to be well off and poor ptōchos is to be like a
beggar without means.

A beggar is one who solicites from some one of a superior status for relief.

Why is it that the poor are acknowledged as being blessed while the rich have a difficult time entering into God’s kingdom?

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Mark 10:25

If we examine the rich man and the beggar Lazarus parable, we can see that the rich man even though he had lots of provision he tossed only his crumbs at the beggar Lazarus.

The rich man could have easily helped Lazarus and met his needs but he did not.

When both died the rich man went to hell and Lazarus to paradise.

Like the rich man in this parable the rich of this world throw only their crumbs at the poor. Giving them just barely sustenance while they live in luxury.

To be rich does not always equate to generosity. In fact sometimes just the opposite.

https://www.businessinsider.com/lower-status-people-more-likely-to-share-wealth-than-higher-status-people-2018-6

To be poor in spirit is to be dependent on God, not on man. When one is poor or dependent on God for provision then one is really blessed.

It’s like having your Father be the owner of an enterprising business rather than being at the mercy of a manager for a pay check.

The poor person who loves Jesus will always see God’s hand of provision in their life. God promises to take care of all his children.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

To be poor in spirit is to be rich in faith. Blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.

Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? James 2:5

The widow’s mite is important to the Lord. Not only do blessings come to the sacrificial giver but because the poor are the most generous it seems that is how the gospel is advanced into all the world!

And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. Luke 21:1-4

Consider that when you think your widow’s mite is of no significance!

To be poor in spirit is to be blessed with seeing God manifest his presence in your life!

I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Psalm 140:12

Born of God

What does it mean to be born of God?

First of all let me tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean a natural physical descent in the same way as a natural birth.

To be born of God or gennaō ek theos in the Greek is to be born again or regenerated by God. (palingenesia in the Greek)

To regenerate is to regrow or replace something that was missing. To be formed again. To produce anew.

To be born again from a spiritual perspective is to be recreated.

The term palingenesia is actually a Greek Hellenistic word used to describe a process or recreating. To be born again. Restore to the original.

Jesus uses this same word to describe the regeneration of his Kingdom that is to come. The new earth which will be recreated. Restored to it’s original.

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28

Keeping this context in mind we can see what is meant by being born again or born of God.

It is actually a recreation process of the Holy Spirit.

In fact the word used for the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. To be born of God. gennaō ek theos.

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. Colossians 1:15

Jesus was born of God. His human form was created by the Holy Spirit.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18

Those born of God are recreated or restored to the original. palingenesia

Regenerated from the old man whose spirit was separated from God and dead in sin to the new man made alive in Christ. The new man created in righteous and holiness.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1 Corinthians 15:21-23

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24

To be born of God is to be recreated by the Holy Spirit. A spiritual re birth. Restored to the original. United with God’s Holy Spirit.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6

Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

It is this requirement that makes one a child of God.

All the intellectual ideology about God or all the theological principles of the Bible does not make one a child of God.

Nor does going to church, participating in catechism, saying hail Mary’s, or Bible reading. You MUST be born again.

You MUST be regenerated. You must be restored to the original spiritual creation.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

That being said what then can one do to acquire this regeneration process?

The Bible makes it clear that we must first of all believe that Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Then we must receive him as both Savior and Lord.

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11

That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

That means we receive his salvation gift and his Lordship.

for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

It is not enough to simply believe in God. Even Satan believes in God.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19

Many believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour but they do not receive him as Lord.

If you confess Jesus as Lord you shall be saved.

Why is this an important factor in the regeneration process?

Because to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord means to confess him as one’s head, having authority over, one’s master and ruler.

Lord kurios in the Greek. “Master,” or “Owner.”

You are not your own but are bought with a price the Bible clearly tells us.

know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

In other words you are redeemed. That is you are the possession of another who has purchased you with a price.

Redeem is to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.

Jesus Christ purchased you with his blood. He gave his life up for you in exchange for your life belonging to him.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1: 18,19

This means one repents of living a self serving life and surrenders to live a life determined by God in his word.

Repent Metanoeo To change ones mind. To have a a transformative change of heart.

God requires repentance as a part of salvation. Repentance is turning away from what is wrong to what is right.

I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3″19

For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. 2 Chronicles 30:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Repentance is the fruit which proves one has being born again.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8

While confession of sin is important it does not save in and of itself. Many confess their sin but keep going back to it.

True repentance stops the sin. In other words one must turn to God in surrender rather than continuing to live a life of sin. Repentance is accompanied with godly sorrow.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10–11

Repentance requires sorrow for sin. Not a sorry I got caught but a sorrow to the point of laying down the sin at the cross and not picking it up again.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelations 3:9

When one reaches a complete surrender of self to God through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance toward him the Holy Spirit will bring regeneration.

Without repentance there is no true salvation.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4

Jesus said you shall know who belong to him by their fruit.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1John 4:7

Those born of God do not continue in sin.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Corinthians 6:9

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21-23

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John3:9

Those born of God overcome the world. Their faith in Jesus Christ is the victory that overcomes the world.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name. John 1:12

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

Now that does not mean there is not a battle and a real devil who tempts but what it does mean is that a true born of God person will not continue to live a lifestyle of sin.

 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

To be born of God is to be born of the Spirit and born of the word. These two agree in one. The word of God is the seed. The logos which is made alive by the Spirit.

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:4-12

If you are born of God or become born of God scriptures tell us to grow up in the Lord by feeding on his word the Bible. Then you will mature and become the person God has created you to be!

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:2

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17

So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10

Yes and Amen

God tells us in the Bible that all of his promises are “yes and amen”.

2 Corinthians 1:20

That means that God’s pledge or declaration of assurance that he will do a particular thing or that he will cause a particular thing to happen are affirmative. Agreeing with consent to happen. Shall happen because God’s word is trust worthy.

If this is so then why is it that many of us fall short of receiving the promises of God as clearly put forth in the Bible?

Jesus made it clear that God’s word or his promises are like a seed that one sows in a garden. In other words it is a process to receive the promises of God.

Now depending first of all on the condition of the soil the future success of the seed will be determined. Is the heart receiving the word thorny? Stoney? Good soil?

The seed not only has to be planted in good soil but once fallen into the ground it needs to germinate for a time.

Germination in itself has an intricate process. First of all the seed planted in the good soil must be absorbed by water in order for it to swell up.

Once this hydration of the seed happens oxygen released from the soil is utilized by the seed so that it becomes metabolic. That is the seed uses its stored food or energy for growth.

After that the seed must rupture its coat so that the radicle will come out of the primary root of the seed.

Jesus called this process, “the seed falls into the ground and dies.” John 12:24 

Once the seed is sprouted it requires light in order to continue to grow.

Now that is just the seed!

After that the root of the sprouted seed has to grow deep down in the soil. The roots branch off and are then able to absorb water and food from the soil.

More growth takes place and the sprout turns into a stem. The stem then receives sunlight which is turned into energy. This process produces even more growth.

The promises of God that we are entitled to because we are children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ do not come to us without a process. Just like a seed planted in good soil.

In our fast food society people don’t like to hear that. They would rather have a quick fix and a drive by solution.

It doesn’t however work that way. What the Lord is telling us through his word is that if we want to recieve his promises we must die to our self first. That old outter shell of the carnal man must fall off.

God’s promises are yes and amen to the surrendered Christian. The one willing to die to the ways of the world and put on Jesus Christ.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14

By filling up on the water of the word, the promises of God will cause our hearts to burst forth with hopeful anticipation.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26,27

Faith will then take root in our hearts as we keep feeding on the word of God and getting revelation light from his Spirit.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10: 17

We are sure to see the promises of God take place in our life. Here a little and there a little. Line upon line and precept upon precept. Isaiah 28:10

As we continue to abide in God’s word, his promises will blossom. Bringing forth the sweet fragrance of Jesus Christ for all to witness.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4

Then when the fruit is produced from God’s word everyone around us will taste and see that the Lord indeed is good.

For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4

When our hearts line up to the conditions of God’s word then we have good soil! The seed we plant in our heart will grow in its time. We can expect a bountiful harvest !

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25

As you mediate on God’s promises, pray over them and believe them. The promises of God will surely come to pass in the Lord’s time. His word is trustworthy. They are yes and Amen!

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8

Trust in the Lord

Trust in the Hebrew is bâţach. It means to have confidence in. To put your hope in. To be secure in.

The Bible tells us that those who put their trust in the Lord are defended and kept safe.

They are healthy and satisfied. They are shielded from danger. Delivered from the enemy’s wiles and they are blessed.

Proverbs 28:25
Proverbs 29:25
Proverbs 30:5
Psalm 2:12
Psalm 17:17

Many in the world do not have this kind of security. They put their trust instead in the universe.

To put one’s trust in the universe is to put trust in fate.

What is fate? By definition fate is events beyond a person’s control that is determined by a supernatural power.

In ancient Greek and Roman mythology fate was determined by the gods. When the gods destined one’s life it was predetermined by fate.

Fate or the universe in effect is luck which is failure or success brought on by fate (whim of the gods)rather than one’s own actions.

To trust in the universe or fate is really to trust in a supernatural power to order the events of one’s life.

What supernatural power are they trusting in?

The God of the Bible requires surrender to his Son Jesus Christ. YHWY requires accountability for actions. The outcomes of one’s life are determined by the choices one makes in life.

Isaiah 1:19, 20
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Joshua 24:14

As any logical person knows the universe is an abstract material element and not something able to determine one’s life outcomes.

The universe is matter and space as a whole that make up life as we know it. The universe is not able to determine the events of one’s life. That would be like trusting in the moon or a comet. These are material elements. There is no mind. No magic wand. No personality.

God on the other hand is a personality. He has a mind and supernatural power.

To trust in the one true God is to trust in a power that is higher than oneself. This requires allegiance. Not the whim and fancy of a fallen star disguised as a deity.

Why do you think that many people put their trust in the universe instead of God?

Because trusting in God means dependence on someone with the ability to have control over one’s life.

Trusting in random chance and the universe are less threatening to those who want to be in control of their own life.

The universe can be manipulated! Bamboozled! Conned into determining their outcomes.

What does trusting in the universe really mean?

Trusting in the universe means trusting in fate. Trusting in fate is trusting in luck, which determines good or bad outcomes.

When people say that they are trusting in the universe, in effect what they are saying is that they are trusting in fate which they hope will make them lucky.

The universe however is not the source of the outcomes because the universe is a material reality not a supernatural reality.

Whence then comes this supernatural reality? Fate is none other than a fallen one spoken of in the Bible.

Isaiah 14:12
2 Corinthians 4:4

A rebel who did not like to submit to the one true God. Therefore that rebel was cast out to dwell over the affairs of all the rebellious who dwell on the earth.

If one does not surrender to God who gave his Son Jesus Christ to save us all from the eternal consequences of having an non surrendered disobedient life then one’s fate is in no way going to be lucky.

In fact the Bible says that rebellion is like witchcraft. That is rebellion just like witchcraft seeks to dominate and control life events through the use of manipulation.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. 1 Samuel 15:23

Kind of like trusting in the universe or trusting in fate to get lucky.

Surrendering to Jesus Christ is trusting in the God who has definite good guaranteed outcomes.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

Those outcomes are determined by obedience to God’s word which produce an abundant life. A life that is satisfied, safe, blessed and eternally secure.

HOPE IN THE LORD!

Scriptures tell us that if we put our hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23

To hope is to desire. To want something to be true or to want something to happen. To expect with confidence. To put trust in.

But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Palms 71:14

When our hope is in the Lord our hope will not fail to produce what we are hoping for. This is because God is the source of our hope. He has the answer we are seeking for and he will bring the desired outcome.

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

The Lord is my portion or inheritance therefore will I hope in him. Lam. 3:26

The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3:16

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness. Proverbs 10:28

God is the God of hope. Roman’s 15:13

Thou art my hiding place and my shield:
I hope in thy word.
Psalm 119: 114

Hope (Greek elpis) expects with confidence. Hope seeks. Hope expects an answer. Hope waits patiently. Hope that sees is not hope. Hope waits with expectation. Hope trusts. Hope brings experience and experience with God results in faith being produced.

We are saved by hope but hope which is seen is not hope but if we hope for what we do not see then with patience we wait for it.
Romans 8:24,25

Hope is different than faith. Faith (Greek pistis) is to be completely convinced without doubting. To believe and trust with absolute conviction that something is true or to have absolute confidence in without wavering.

Without faith it is impossible to please God because he that comes to him MUST BELIEVE that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Without saving faith salvation can not occur. It takes the God kind of faith to experience salvation. Seeking God with hope happens when the heart is drawn by the Holy Spirit.

Faith comes when the seeking heart reaches out to God with a sincere contrite heart and finds him.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

The born again experience is a miraculous regeneration process of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is not intellectual assent. Scriptures tell us that the devils believe and tremble. James 2:19

Saving faith, is absolutely positively without a doubt, without wavering ever, trusts in and clings to God regardless of circumstances and regardless of trials, tribulations or persecutions.

Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for. To have assurance is to have confidence without doubt or uncertainty.

Hope comes with experience. Romans 5: 5

In other words by directly observing facts that is gained by knowledge hope will come. Then when hope that does not disappoint comes faith is the result.

Blind faith is not Biblical faith. When we put our hope in the Lord he does not disappoint. After having a need met once or twice experience reveals the outcome is sure. Then we have confidence.

This hope from experience brings confidence which results in faith being produced. You know that you know that you know. Why? Because you have never been disappointed! God always comes through! He never fails!

Hope in the Lord! He never disappoints those who seek him!

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalms 31:24

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

Be Diligent!

The Bible says that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

Diligent is one of those English words that have a deeper meaning than at face value.

To be diligent is to be busy working and engaged in an active labour.

It is to be in a constant effort to accomplish something. To be attentive and persistent in it.

Diligent in the Hebrew can be translated as châphaώ which means too seek or search for. To find something that is hidden.

Diligent can also be translated as mâhîyr. To be eager, diligent, and determined.

The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want. Proverbs 21:5

The Greek word for diligent is spoudaioteros or spoudazō

It means to be earnest or diligent. To endeavor to labor.

Hebrews 11:6 says to diligently seek the Lord.
The word used is ekzēteō which means to seek out, seek after, seek carefully.

This is significant because scriptures exhort us to seek after God with diligence.

When one is diligent in an effort to do something it is a spiritual principle for success.

Are you seeking God for something? Then seek him with diligence! You will be rewarded for it!

Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men. Proverbs 22:29

He is My Shield

The Bible says to take up the shield of faith in order to extinguish all the fiery (ignited, inflamed, angry, burning) spears, darts or missiles against you that are evil; hurtful, calamitous, diseased, derelict, corrupt, malicious, grievous and wicked.
Ephesians 6:16

A Sheild is a protective covering against the blows, risks, and weapons of an enemy.

The Roman shield was called the scutum. It was a large rectangular curved shield made of sheets of wood that were glued together and covered with canvas and leather.

Although it was lightweight the shield was large enough to cover the entire soldier. This made it difficult for an enemy to penetrate. Not only that but the shield had a metal round piece of material called an umbo in the center.

The umbo was used to deflect blows from the enemy by making a punching motion towards the blow.

Attacks were prevented from penetrating by pivoting the shield about the body to resist the oncoming blows from an enemy.

Genesis 15:1 “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

God says in his word that he is a shield and a buckler to those who put their trust in him.

In other words the Lord protects us from enemy attacks if we trust him to be our shield in times of trouble.

Faith in God thwarts all enemy attacks against us. When we put our trust in the Lord as our deliverer then he delivers us.

The Lord tells us in Genesis 15:1 I am thy shield. I am your protector and defense.

The Lord also tells us in his word that he is our shield. We are saved by his help. Deuteronomy 33:29

The Lord says that he is our shield that goes before us in battle. 1 Samuel 17:41

He is our shield of salvation. 2 Samuel 22:36

The Lord will compass us about like a shield. Psalm 5:12

The Lord will break the arrows of the blow by his shield. Psalm 76:3

His truth is our shield of defense. Psalm 91:4

He is our help and our shield. Psalm 119:9

The Lord is our hiding place. Our shield as we hope in his word. Psalm 119:14

Have faith in God. Trust him in times of trouble. He will surround you as a sheild of defense. No weapon formed against you will alight. The Lord is your protector. He is your sheild!

Psalm 144:1, 2

Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

THE BREASTPLATE

The Bible tells us to be strong IN THE LORD and stand in his mighty power . We are then told to put on the full armour of God in order to stand against the trickery of the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

Paul uses the analogy of the Roman armour because in his day the Romans had an advanced system of warfare.

The Romans perfected a light, full torso armour which provided protection for vital areas. With this armour they could advance towards the enemy being protected from any retaliatory weapons.

In the same way soldiers in the Lord’s army need to be dressed in spiritual military armour in order to battle the powers of darkness.

The breast plate of righteousness is one part of the armour of God.

The Roman soldier’s breastplate was called a cuirass. It was molded to fit over the chest with another part for the back.

The breast plate was protection for the vital organs. One being the heart.

The breastplate of righteousness is to be worn to protect the heart.

In Hebrew the Old Testament word for heart heartlêbâb, lêb, lêbâb,
is the intellect, emotions, and understanding.

In Greek the New Testament word for the heart is kardia which also refers to the mind. (thoughts, feelings)

The breastplate or protection for the mind is a breastplate of righteousness. In other words the Christian mind must be protected by the Lord’s righteousness.

What is righteousness?

In the Old Testament righteousness tsedâqâ is moral virtue and justice.

The New Testament defines righteous dikaiosunē as equity or justification.

To be justified dikaioō is to render innocent, to free.

The heart or mind must be covered in righteous, (rendered innocent )to be protected from enemy onslaughts.

This is done by putting on the breast plate of righteousness. Being conscious of our justification provided by Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to keep or guard nâtsar our heart. lêb

That is to put a watch over our mind like a prison guard or gate keeper. To watch over.

With the breast plate of righteousness our minds are guarded from enemy attacks.

When the devil came to Jesus to tempt him with lies Jesus referred to the word of God as his defense. “It is written.

Out of the heart or mind are the issues or source of our life. Proverbs 4:23

As we put on the breastplate of righteousness we can see ourselves clothed in Jesus Christ’s righteous. Our minds filled with God’s word will keep us from the trickery of the devil.

Negative thinking contrary to the Bible are arrows of the evil one. The purpose of the evil one is to kill, steal, an destroy.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. john 10:10

Scientific Studies confirm the Bible. A mind not guarded can result in negative effects.

Studies on negative thinking.

https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/alz.12116

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200607195008.htm

Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 5:8

Our Light Affliction

What is not commonly delivered to the Christian message today is the very Biblical truth of suffering or affliction. When the message of suffering is presented it is relayed as a common ailment which Christians must endure because they belong to Jesus Christ. Just because we belong to Jesus is the admonition.

However according to the Bible our suffering or affliction have a clearly defined out come. In other words suffering has a purpose which results, if endured patiently, in a victorious end.

2 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that our light affliction (burden, persecution, anguish, trouble, tribulation) which is temporary or for a fixed determined time, is WORKING FOR US.

That is our temporary affliction is accomplishing a purpose.

What is that purpose? Our afflictions are working for us a far more exceeding (super eminence beyond measure) weight of glory.

So our light affliction is working for us a beyond measurable weight (abundant authority, dignified honor) of glory .

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

This means that our suffering or affliction is working out for us something good in the end but also scriptures tell us that our suffering and afflictions will work for the benefit of others too.

Examples of this are when Joseph was in prison. What was an affliction and suffering in some respects was also a training experience for Joseph. In the end it worked out that Joseph gained favour and was elevated to a position of leadership. He represented God’s Kingdom in Pharoah’s kingdom.

Our afflictions in life are in reality training ground for our purpose in the Kingdom of God. Even our mistakes teach us valuable lessons.

Joseph was a bit of a braggart. His gift of favor was envied by his brethren. They wanted to get rid of him but in the end God worked it out for his good. Joseph’s life ended up bringing glory to God. (Acts 7:10, Genesis 37,38,39)

Paul suffered much affliction and persecution. However his experiences brought not only an increase in the gospel but much of the New Testament to Christians for the last 2000 years.

Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. Philippians 1:12

Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2: 10

Peter made some mistakes. Even denying the Lord. However his life experience resulted in the furtherance of the gospel and writing parts of the New Testament as well.

It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. Psalm 119: 71

The Bible is filled with stories about afflictions resulting in victory. Paul tells us to endure the hardships we face in life like a soldier in the army.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3

A solder doesn’t concern himself with worldly affairs. A soldier fights in battle. A soldier knows he is appointed to endure hardships for the sake of his country.

How much more Jesus Christ’s soldiers in the Kingdom of God ?

Paul tells us that we are to rejoice in our sufferings not for the sufferings in and of themselves but because we know that our afflictions are working out a purpose in the Kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:24, 2 Corinthians 6:4)

David tells us that the righteous suffer many afflictions but the Lord delivers the righteous out of them all. ( Psalms 34:19)

As we are appointed (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 2 Timothy 1 :8) to suffer afflictions in this life we are also appointed to be delivered!

Are you experiencing trouble? Affliction? Persecution? Suffering?

Then rejoice for God is going to work it all out for your good! He is training you, teaching you valuable lessons, getting you ready for your purpose in this life!

Be patient in affliction scriptures tell us. Don’t be moved by them!

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 1 Thessalonians 3:3

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Endure like a soldier! Have faith in God!
Fix your eyes on Jesus!

Your deliverance is coming!

Seek And You Will Find!

In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.

Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.

Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.

Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.

The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?

Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.

Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.

According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.

And he must needs go through Samaria.”

Jesus had an appointment.

The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.

After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”

Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.

Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.

Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.

Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.

Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.

Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”

Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.

Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.

When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.

Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.

One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.

Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.

The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.

When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.

Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”

Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.

When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!

There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.

The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.

Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!

Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.

Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16

When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51

Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8

Notice the pattern?

Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.

Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?

Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.

Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.

Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8

Seek. Ask. Do. Get your miracle.