For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind — 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

Why do so many Christians live in fear? Or better yet, why do Christians concentrate so hard on the evil around us, to the exclusion of God? If all you can see is the Devil and his works, I suppose you might live in fear. But that’s utterly contrary to the way a Christian is meant to live! Instead of Satan behind every bush, we should be seeing God in all His creation, rejoicing in His creation and its beauty. But no, too many Christians have forgotten 1 John 4:4: Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Remember Jesus walking on the water? Peter stepped out of the boat at Jesus’ command, putting his fears and doubts aside. And as long as his focus was on Christ, there wasn’t a problem. However, as soon as his gaze wandered aside, he began to sink. He stopped focusing and Christ and began looking at the storm around him and that was his undoing. As Christians today, we have the same problem, the minute we stop focusing on Christ, we’re toast, that’s when the enemy can come in and do damage. Satan has no power over us, for “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world”. God is for us, who can be against us? It’s time to stop living in fear and to start focusing on Christ. If He’s the center of your life, you have nothing to worry about. There’s one important thing to remember about this world, in the end, it’s all gonna burn. It’s time to distinguish the temporal from the eternal and start living for the eternal.

“But Jim”, I can hear some of you saying, “isn’t that an awfully simplistic way of looking at things?” Well, yes, it is. I don’t believe God intended for salvation to be intellectually challenging. He intended it to be simple enough that anybody could understand it and be saved. It’s mankind that has complicated the message of Christ, not God. Now, I’ll be first to admit that living as a Christian can sometimes be complicated, but most of those complications we bring on ourselves. The actual plan of salvation is astoundingly simple: believe in your heart that Jesus Christ was the only son of the Living God and was sacrificed on the cross for our sins and confess the same with your mouth. Everything else follows from that, if you believe, you’ll want to do those things that please God. And if you’re doing the things that please God, frankly, you’ll be too busy to do the things that don’t please Him and certainly too busy to worry about the Devil!

The Shield of Faith

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one
Ephesians 5:16 (NIV)

When we think of a shield as part of a set of armor, we tend to think about knights and the shield on the arm protecting the bearer from injury in single combat. But that’s not the type of shield Paul had in mind. Roman shields tended to be fairly large, carried by the infantryman and basically useless in single combat. What the Roman army did was line up and “lock” their shields together, each man’s shield protecting not just himself, but his mates on the right and left. As long as they were able to maintain this shield lock, the odds of getting wounded or killed were pretty low, but let just one man panic and break lock and it provided an opening for the enemy to come in. This is one of the reasons the penalties for desertion were so severe, particular if it happened in combat. The deserter not only endangered his life, he endangered the life of all those around him, by leaving an opening for the enemy.

As Christians, our shield is our faith in God. But that shield is largely ineffective by itself. It must be locked in with the shields of other believers to truly protect us. We must share our faith with other Christians, shielding one another from the fiery darts of the evil one. A solitary Christian with great faith can do great things, but a group of Christians with solid faith, who are “locked” together and in agreement, can do even greater things.

God Is Not Your Fairy Godmother!

I was just watching “Shrek 2” and it struck me how similar the Fairy Godmother’s advertising campaign is to many people’s conception of God. “Help is just a tear drop away” is how her campaign goes, with the premise that when you shed a tear, she’ll come along and make everything perfect and you’ll live “happily ever after.” An awful lot of people seem to think that God makes the same promise to Christians, but if you look in the Scriptures, that’s complete nonsense!

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Christian Carnival 62

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, to the 62nd Christian Carnival! We have gathered here posts for your amazement, amusement and edification from the far corners of the Blogosphere! Watch as difficult theological concepts are wrestled with! Gasp in amazement at the awesome power of God’s Love! Marvel at the wondrous new blogs! Weep over the fate of the powerless. And now, without further ado, The Christian Carnival:

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