WHAT IS IT?

If I make something new for dinner, my husband may suspiciously ask, “What is it?” Although he is not a picky eater, he says he will not eat anything he cannot identify. I wonder if this is how the Israelites felt when they first saw manna on the ground. Did they want to eat something they could not identify?

God had led the Israelites out of Egypt and they were on a 40 year journey to the Promised Land. Their stomachs were growling and their spirits were grumbling. God heard. God responded graciously. The Lord said to Moses in Exodus 16:4 I will rain down bread from heaven for you.”

In the morning, the ground was covered with a variety of Frosted Flakes. Exodus 16:14-15 says, “Thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is it?’ Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.’” Exodus 16:31 tells us, “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.”

Manna” comes from the Hebrew word that sounds like “What is it?” To answer this question, we can say that manna was both physical and spiritual food for the Israelites. It was a type of bread that satisfied their physical hunger. However, it also had a spiritual purpose. The Lord concludes Exodus 16:4 saying, “In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow My instructions.” God gave specific instructions how they were to gather this bread. Whether or not they would obey His instructions would reveal their commitment to Him. Deuteronomy 8:3, “He humbled you (the Israelites), causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Jesus makes a transition from the Old Testament bread of heaven to the New Testament bread of heaven. Jesus says in John 6:32-33, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” In John 6:35, Jesus declares, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

In the Old Testament, manna was bread sent from heaven to save the Israelites from dying of starvation. They gathered fresh manna each day. Only on the sixth day could they prepare and keep it for the sabbath. In the New Testament, the Bread of Life(Jesus) was sent from heaven to save our souls from dying; we received salvation. We accept Him as our personal savior once and receive the gift of eternal life.

Bread is a basic dietary item – a staple for physical life. The Bread of Life is our spiritual sustenance – our assurance of eternal life. John 6:27 says, Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.

Manna was a prophetic shadow of Jesus. The Israelites asked, “What is it?” They were told manna was bread from heaven. Fast forward almost 1300 years. While Jesus was sharing His last Passover meal with the disciples, He gave a new meaning to bread. Jesus broke bread into pieces and told His disciples to eat it. I wonder if they asked, “What is it?” Jesus gave His answer in Luke 22:10,This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Today, “What is it?” is answered for us each time we take part in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and partake of the bread.

Before concluding, I would like to expand our question. “What is it you need?” Like manna, God’s mercies are new every morning. (see Lamentations 3:23) God provides fresh mercy every day. We are not stuck with stale bread or stale promises. May we pray as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:11, “Give us today our daily bread.” We need both the physical and spiritual bread the Lord provides. Taking some liberties, I translate Psalm 34:8 to say, “Taste and see that the Bread of Life is good.” Again I quote John 6:35 where Jesus promises, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” As the Bread of Life, the Lord will supply all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

 

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The Glue of Love

Tomorrow will be Valentine’s Day. As a child, I remember making valentines. I cut out hearts of red construction paper – probably some pink and white ones too. Mom gave me a few lace doilies I added to make my valentines fancy. Then I used lots of glue! Glue held my homemade creations together.

I think God uses a different kind of glue to hold everything together. His glue is called love. Today, we will explore scripture to learn about God’s glue.

First, let’s consider God being the glue.

I John 4:16 says, “God is love.” If we describe glue as love, then God is a kind of glue because He is love. In Hebrews 13:5, God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” We are attached to God by His love. I applied glue to the pieces of my valentines to hold several hearts together. God promises to stick to us like glue. He is a glue stick!

We learn in Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Healing broken hearts sounds like a function of God’s glue. I am sure some of the paper hearts I cut out were broken because I was not careful enough with the scissors. I glued them back together so I could make more valentines.

Next, let’s think about love as glue.

I John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.When I made valentines as a little girl, I did not know how to spell many words. It was easier for me to just glue hearts together as a symbol of love. I chose to express my affection by making valentines with my hands rather than by writing poetic words.

According to Paul, God’s glue is patient and never fails. I Corinthians 13:4 tells us, Love is patient.” When making valentines, I had to be patient and allow the glue dry. Otherwise, the glue would not have done its job. A few verses later, I Corinthians13:8 says, “Love never fails.” When my glue dried, it did not fail to hold the embellishments I attached to my valentines.

We read in I Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.I used a lot of glue on my homemade valentines. Glue covered a multitude of paper hearts. Only then was I sure they would stick together. The glue probably also covered a multitude of my creations’ imperfections just as God’s glue covers our many sins.

Now, let’s consider how we can apply God’s glue.

When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus answered in Mark 12:29-31, The most important one is this, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.’” In a recent sermon, our pastor pointed out that our loving God requires loving our neighbor. In other words, loving God and loving people stick together. Love is a powerful glue.

God’s love-glue is made of two components – loving God and loving others. Things don’t stick right in a person’s life if both expressions of love are not evident. When I made childlike valentines, I put glue between two different hearts to make one card. When we put loving God and loving people together, we apply the most powerful glue to our lives.   

Proverbs 17:17 tells us, “A friend loves at all times.” We are to let those around us know how much we care about them whether it be Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year. We should stay attached to our friends through all circumstances. We should stick together like glue.

Finally, let’s glue everything together.

Colossians 3:14 instructs us, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Whether we are thinking about godly virtues or valentines, love is the theme. Glue holds things together just as love holds things together.

I Corinthians 16:14 is a good reminder for all of us. Do everything in love.” Whether it be making valentines or going about daily activities, love should be part of the process.

Grab Your Paint Brush for 2019

Yesterday was the beginning of 2019. A new calendar year started with 12 months containing 365 days ready to be filled. I challenge you to think of the new year as a blank canvas that God offers to you. It is your privilege and responsibility to create a new scene. You are the artist.

God places the paint brush in your hand. You create. However, God does not remove His hand. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Imagine each stroke of your brush’s bristles representing a word you speak, a thought you think or an action you do during 2019.

You have a pallet of paints. The primary pigments are yellow, blue and red. The variations are unlimited. Red and yellow produce orange. Yellow and blue result in green. Red and blue become purple. Then there are light and dark shades of every combination.

You will dip your brush into diverse colors as the days and months progress. Some days will begin with a splash of bright yellow portraying the Son of God shining brightly upon you. Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” I love Sonshine! Then Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Your painting will most likely include many hues of blue. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands” This verse depicts a sense of serenity. However, blue can also portray a more boisterous scene. Mark 4:39 says, “He (Jesus) got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

Next, you may reach for red. Red can be a vivid, vibrant color displaying a vital promise. Red reminds me of the blood of Jesus. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Maybe your painting will portray some red flowers bursting into bloom that look like droplets of Jesus’ blood. Each flower might symbolize an outpouring of God’s grace.

Your masterpiece will reflect light and dark shadings. There will always be contrasts in one’s life as well as in a painting. Isaiah 45:7 says, “I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.There will be times when your paint brush is submerged in darker colors but lighter colors will also emerge. Isaiah 60:1-2 says, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you.”

How about some fruit trees in your 2019 scene? Galatians 5:22-23the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” What a beautiful tree you will paint with these colorful characteristics. Colossians 1:10 NLT says, “Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.”

Some days you will create clusters of clouds in the sky. Remember Psalm 104:3, “He makes the clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.” Clouds are also mentioned when Jesus ascended into heaven. Acts 1:11 says, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” The clouds you paint will give you a beautiful promise even though things may appear a bit cloudy at the moment.

Neither your painting’s landscape, nor your life’s landscape, will be level. Hills and mountains will arise. Psalm 121:1-2 declares, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” Then, valleys will dip low. Psalm 23:4 is a good reminder, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Both scriptures are valuable verses for your various encounters throughout the year.

Each of us is beginning to create our own personal painting. Throughout the year, the scenes of our lives and paintings will depict diverse landscapes and seascapes. The hills and valleys will appear in different locations. Our waters will vary in depth. All will be different. God created each of us uniquely. Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God will help you from the start to the finish with your 2019 masterpiece. What will it look like on December 31?

 

 

A Cart Full of Blessings

Sometimes I grocery shop at a store that keeps it carts chained together. To retrieve a cart, I insert a quarter into a slot that releases a cart. When returning the cart and attaching it to the cart corral, a quarter is released.

Recently as I headed to the carts, a gentleman gave me his unchained cart. I offered him my quarter but he said it had been passed on to him and he wanted to do the same. I responded that I would follow his example. I thanked him for the cart and told him he was a blessing.

As I wheeled the cart up and down the grocery aisles, I thanked the Lord for the cart I had received. I also asked God to help me extend this cart to the right person. I prayed that God would bless my cart – and the next recipient.

When I concluded my shopping, I offered my cart to a lady. She thanked me and said she would pass it on to another person. I do not know what happened next.

Later, I reflected upon this encounter. God showed me something supernatural through this natural experience.

As I thought about the shopping cart corral, I realized that the locked carts could symbolize people in bondage. They were all locked up! A cart could only be set free when someone inserted a quarter in the little lock box. The Lord’s says in Jeremiah 40:4, “But now, behold, I am freeing you today from the chains which are on your hands.”

Our lives are of greater value than shopping carts. Jesus paid the price for our freedom.
I Corinthians 6:20 NLT says, “God bought you with a high price.” And Titus 2:14 NLT says,He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people.We are not required to stay chained up like carts.

Jesus paid the price of His life – much more than a quarter. If I had not been given a cart, I would have only paid twenty-five cents to receive one. And then, I would have gotten my quarter back when I returned the cart. Jesus does not take back His payment. According to John 8:36, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” He paid the price. The debt is canceled. Jesus will never return us to bondage.

At the beginning of the day, all the grocery carts were chained together. Because of one person’s generosity of a quarter, a chain reaction began. One person gave away one cart. By day’s end, numerous people had received a free cart.

God also gave. According to John 3:16, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He still offers this gift of eternal life to anyone who will receive it. People did not reject a free grocery cart. How much more valuable is the gift God is extending?

I had the privilege of being part of a chain reaction that offered a free grocery cart to other shoppers. As Christians, we have the privilege of participating in a chain reaction that offers freedom from sin to those chained to the bondage of sin.

My Reader, do you desire to be set free? Ask Jesus into your heart and He will set you free.
II Corinthians 3:17 says,Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

If you are already free, I encourage you to be a part of the chain reaction passing along this freedom to those who are still in chains. Follow the command of Jesus stated in Mark 16:15, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

 

 

 

 

Trust and Entrust

According to Wikipedia, trust is defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

Where do I put my trust? Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (I cross horses and chariots off my list of where to put my trust.) Psalm 118:8 says, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.(I won’t put all my trust in other people either.) Proverbs 3:5 says,Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (I can’t even trust myself!)

Having deleted these items from my list, I choose to trust the Lord. Nahum 1:7 informs me that “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” Jeremiah 17:7 declares, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.” Jesus says in John 14:1 NLT, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.”

Biblical studies point out that the meaning of trust involves more than faith. Trust has a broader perspective that includes reliance on the strength, ability and truth of God and nothing else.

I proclaim with David in Psalm 31:14, “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’”

In addition to trust, there is the concept of entrust. Wikipedia defines entrust as “to assign the responsibility for doing something to someone.”

Trusting God is something I choose to do. Then God entrusts me with the responsibility of doing things for Him.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus instructs, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” It amazes me that God will entrust me with the task of sharing His Word with others.  God cares about those who have not yet come to have a personal relationship with Him.  He trusts me to be faithful to tell them of His love.  God entrust me with the responsibility of telling them of His plan for salvation. Our pastor, Robert Reeves, recently said, “God is changing one person at a time by one person at a time.”    

In addition to entrusting me with His people, He also entrusts me with gifts that will enable me to fulfill His command. Ephesians 4:11 NLT says, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.”

I Corinthians 12:8-11 is a list of spiritual gifts God gives to help us. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

Romans 12:6-8 says, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

I trust God to equip me to do what He has entrusted to me. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”

I will not be afraid to reach out to those He has entrusted to me because of II Timothy 1:7 NLT. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

God says in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” I can be strong because I trust God. I can also trust the Lord to be with me no matter what I encounter. Psalm 37:5 NLT says, “Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.” I can trust the words of Philippians 4:13 NLT, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Today I have been thinking about whom I trust. I have also thought about what is entailed with being entrusted with a specific responsibility. I come to the conclusion of Psalm 13:5, “I trust in Your (God’s) unfailing love.”

What Do You Think?



What do you think? (someone may be asking for your opinion)
What’s on your mind? (someone may want to know what is concerning you)

These may sound like simple questions requiring simple answers. However, I challenge you to think deeply before you answer.

Let us think about numerous scriptures regarding our thoughts and God’s thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. . . . ‘So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.’”
If we want our thoughts to be aligned with the Lord’s thoughts, we may want to make a few changes in our thought life.

Why are our thoughts contradictory to the Lord’s thoughts?
I Corinthians 2:14&16 answers, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We must not tell the Lord what to do since we have only limited knowledge. May our thoughts agree spiritually with the Lord – not just be opinions originating in human understanding.

There is hope for us.
II Corinthians 5:17 NLT, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
This includes a new thought pattern.

The conclusion of I Corinthians 2:16 says, “But we have the mind of Christ.
What a wonderful promise for us when we become new creations in Christ!

Romans 12:2 NLT warns, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Psalm 139 makes a good comparison of God’s thoughts and our thoughts.
In verse 2 David says to the Lord, “You perceive my thoughts from afar.
God knows all our thoughts whether or not we express them.
In verse 17, David declares, “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast are the sum of them!
Do you grasp the magnitude and majesty of God’s thoughts?
In verse 23, David cries out, “Search me, o God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
If we allow God to scrutinize our thoughts, we must be ready to make the adjustments He suggests.

How do we change the way we think?
In
II Corinthians 10:5, Paul says, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
We need to cast down the imaginations in our human thoughts and capture them for Christ. Our imaginations are composed of images we create from the “what ifs” that invade our minds.

Paul warns in II Corinthians 10:7 that too often “You are looking at things as they are outwardly.
Remember
Romans 8:6 NLT, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
We must allow the Holy Spirit to control our minds, wills, and emotions.
Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Paul gives good suggestions in Philippians 4:6-7.
Verse 6 says, “Be anxious for nothing.
Not worrying about anything is a new way of thinking!
Verse 7 begins, “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension
That means we still can’t understand it!
Verse 7 ends, “(God’s peace) will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s peace protects our minds from negative thoughts and imaginations.

Philippians 4:8, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Yes, this is my goal.

I began by asking, “What do you think?”
Now I ask you, “What does God think?”

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
God wants to share His thoughts if we will think about Him and ask for Him to reveal His thoughts.

I also asked, “What is on your mind?”
I conclude by asking, “What is on God’s mind?”

Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Then He will tell you what’s on His mind.

Psalm 139:17, “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
God’s thoughts  are the thoughts I want to think! His thoughts are what I want to be on my mind!

In Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado says, “Think about what you think about.” His advice is confirmed by Proverbs 4:23 NCV, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.

 

 

Rainbows and Bows


A rainbow is beautiful. Stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet bend to form a bow, or arc, of refracted light. A rainbow is born when sunlight and water droplets unite. After a rainstorm, water drops remain in the atmosphere. The sun shines on these droplets causing them to act as prisms reflecting and refracting the light within the water. A rainbow is most brilliant when seen against the backdrop of a dark sky immediately after a storm.

The Hebrew word for rainbow is the same word for bow describing a war weapon. I sense a spiritual connection between a rainbow in the sky and a bow as a weapon of war. Let me present a picturesque possibility.

God created. Mankind sinned. Spiritual darkness invaded the earth. God fought a war against the waywardness and wickedness of mankind. A storm brewed in the heavens. The clouds became God’s chariot and He rode upon the wings of the wind. His weapon was a spiritual bow. Arrows of lightning flashed and thunder resounded. While flooding the earth with water, God cleansed it of all unrighteousness. God won the war. The Son of God then displayed an array of brilliant beauty. Rays of color – red, orange, yellow etc. Rays of character – mercy, grace, love etc. God placed a rainbow in the sky – a sign of victory and a symbol of promise.

The Significance of the Rainbow

Genesis 9:13 is the first scriptural reference to a rainbow. The New International Version says, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” The New American Standard Version uses the words, “I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.”

God judged sin by sending a great flood. Afterwards, He promised Noah that He would never judge the world again in this way. The rainbow became an everlasting sign of God’s forgiveness and covenant of mercy.

In Genesis 9:15-17 God says, “and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ And God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.’”

In Daily Fire Devotional: 365 Days in God’s Word, Reinhard Bonnke describes the rainbow as a weapon spanning the whole horizon. He says, “What mighty arrows it (the bow) must shoot when God goes into battle against the devil!…The rainbow is not a mere phenomenon of natural beauty, but a divine reminder of God’s archery.”

God’s bow, or rainbow, is a permanent display of His goodness. It reminds us of what God has done in the past. It is a promise of what He will do in the future. And, it reveals His faithfulness to us today.

Natural vs Supernatural Bows

Let’s make a comparison between the weapons used in military battles versus those in spiritual battles. Bows can represent any type of ammunition used in worldly wars. Significant advancements have been made in weaponry since men fought with bows and arrows centuries ago.

In biblical times, bows and arrows were considered symbols of strength. However, they are not effective when fighting spiritual battles. Psalm 44:6-7 declares, “For I will not trust in my bow, nor will my sword save me. But You (God) have saved us from our adversaries, and You have put to shame those who hate us.”

In I Samuel 17:45, David says to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty.” David again reveals how he fights battles in Psalm 20:7, “Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.

Paul describes a believer’s weapon in II Corinthians 6:7, “We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.”

Specific Spiritual Bows

As believers, we fight spiritual battles in a unique way. II Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We fight to destroy arguments that come against the knowledge of God.” According to II Corinthians 10:5-6, we fight by taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ.

Paul says in Ephesians 6:11-13, ““Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” He then describes our armor in Ephesians 6:14-17 as a belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, a shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.

We do not fight spiritual battles with physical bows. Instead, we fight with God’s bow – His Word. The arrows are specific scriptural promises that can hit the target’s bullseye. Let me share a few verses that will help us achieve victory.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
And every tongue that accuses you in judgment
you will condemn.

Isaiah 54:17 NASV

He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be
free from all blame on the day when our
Lord Jesus
Christ returns.
I Corinthians 1:8-9 NLT

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

Rainbows: First and Last

We referred to rainbows in the first book of the Bible (Genesis). However, they are also mentioned in the last book of the Bible (Revelation) with a couple of references in the middle (Ezekiel). A rainbow is more than a trick of light and water. It is a symbol of God’s promises. It also is a description of God’s divine glory. Ezekiel 1:28 says, “Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

Revelation 4:3 says, “And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.” Revelation 10:1 says, “Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.

A visible rainbow is awe-inspiring. As we gaze upon it, may we see the rainbow as a God ordained symbol of His mercy and faithfulness. Let us rejoice in rainbows!