Armor of God: The Sword of the Spirit

Every warrior knows that in order to succeed in battle, one must be prepared both offensively and defensively. Without one or the other, we are doomed to failure. At first glance, the armor of God is all about defense. We do, however, have one offensive weapon – the sword of the Spirit.

The Word of God is our sword – our only offensive weapon against the enemy.

 

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Living in the Past: Leaving the Chains Behind

Baggage. Regrets. Broken relationships. We all have them. We all have things in our lives we’d rather not discuss – things we wish had gone differently. We’ve all experienced hurt feelings and have hurt others just the same.

But most of us also know that living in the past is no way to live. It keeps us from moving forward.

 

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Armor of God: The Helmet of Salvation

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul presented a metaphor that would shape the way Christians view spiritual battle – the act of putting on spiritual armor. Ephesians 6:17 tells us to put on the helmet of salvation. The helmet is often the final piece of armor a soldier puts on before marching out into battle. Yet without it, the rest of the armor seems somewhat pointless. If your head is unprotected, it will only be a matter of time before the enemy takes you down.

 

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Armor of God: The Shield of Faith | alyssajhoward.com

Armor of God: The Shield of Faith

When it comes to armor, the shield is an extremely vital piece – something I definitely wouldn’t want to go into battle without. Sure, I may be wearing body armor, but it’s my shield that allows me to protect the most vulnerable parts of me. I can maneuver it to guard me from all angles. And while my body armor can prevent me from being injured in an attack, my shield can keep me from getting hit in the first place.

 

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The Church is Full of Hypocrites (and I am one of them) | alyssajhoward.com

The Church is Full of Hypocrites (and I am one of them)

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian.” This was a phrase I heard a lot growing up. I was taught that it’s about the choices you make – how you live your life.

The church is full of hypocrites – people who claim God as their Savior but never their Lord. We want to be rescued. We want to be saved. But don’t tell us what to do or how to live our lives.

The church is full of hypocrites. And I am one of them.

 

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How to Experience True Financial Security: A Lesson in Relying on God

Save for retirement. Be financially secure. Work hard now so you can play later. I’ve been bombarded by these messages lately. There’s technically nothing wrong with them. In fact, it’s smart to save and have a long-term plan. So as I sit here and plan for my family’s future, I have to ask myself one question – where does God fit into all of this?

 

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Armor of God: Shoes of Peace

What do shoes and peace have in common? Not much on the surface. Yet Paul tells Christians in Ephesians 6 to wear “shoes of peace” as part of our spiritual armor. (Ephesian 6:15)

When it comes to armor in general, the term “peace” doesn’t usually spring to mind. After all, armor is generally worn during times of war – not times of peace. So why would Paul tell us to wear peace when facing the enemy in warfare?

 

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Armor of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness

The breastplate is an extremely important piece of armor. It protects our heart and other vital organs. So when Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to put on the breastplate of righteousness, he was indicating the importance of righteousness in our lives.

Righteousness can’t be earned. Our own attempts to be righteous will always fail. In Christ, righteousness is granted to us as believers because of our faith.

 

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Judge Others the Way You Want to be Judged | alyssajhoward.com

Judge Others the Way You Want to be Judged

“Don’t judge me!” This is a common phrase in the world today. No one wants someone telling them how to live their lives. Most people are aware of the fact that the Bible teaches us not to judge others. Jesus clearly taught this throughout His ministry, yet Christianity has a reputation for being a judgmental religion.

 

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Lukewarm Christianity: 8 Ways We Can Avoid It | alyssajhoward.com

Lukewarm Christianity: 8 Ways We Can Avoid It

Lukewarm Christianity. It was a phrase I heard often growing up in the church. It’s described in the book of Revelation where God speaks to the church of Laodicea:

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”Revelation 3:15-17 (NLT)

 

He goes on to tell them that true wealth, health and happiness come from Him alone – rather than things of this world.

 

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Armor of God: The Belt of Truth | alyssajhoward.com

Armor of God: The Belt of Truth

Paul tells believers in Ephesians 6 to wear the belt of truth. In our culture, however, truth is relative. Your truth and my truth can completely contradict one another. Not only is this type of thinking considered okay, it is actually encouraged. Our culture even has a polite, socially acceptable word for it – tolerance.

 

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Living a Life of Purity in an Impure World

Purity is almost a laughable trait in today’s world, yet the Bible commands us as believers to live a life of purity and holiness as we strive to serve God. How does one remain pure when the world’s standards are so contrary to Scripture? It almost seems impossible, but there is hope when we allow God to transform our hearts and minds.

 

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Armor of God: An Introduction | alyssajhoward.com

Armor of God: An Introduction

Growing up in the church, I have been taught numerous times about the armor of God. In the book of Ephesians, Paul warns believers to be prepared for battle. He lays out a detailed list of armor that we as Christians should “put on” as we prepare for war. As a kid, I understood the mental image, but I never fully understood what this armor meant until I was older and faced the battle in a very real way.

 

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