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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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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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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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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Is Divorce the Unpardonable Sin? | alyssajhoward.com

Is Divorce the Unpardonable Sin?

Divorce has long been a difficult topic in the church. In our culture today, nearly everyone has been affected by it one way or another. We all know someone, whether it be a family member or close friend, who has experienced the pain of a broken marriage. Or maybe you have experienced divorce first-hand. If so, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how messy and hurtful it can be.

 

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I Am the Lord Your God Who Has Done Amazing Things

I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

When the Lord would address His people, He would often remind them of all He had done for them. The phrase, “I am the Lord your God who…” is repeated countless times in the Old Testament. The Israelites didn’t simply know Him as “God.” They knew Him as the God who had rescued them, who had been merciful to them, who had provided for them in the desert, and who had conquered their enemies. Continue Reading

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants | alyssajhoward.com

When You Feel like a Grasshopper in a World Filled with Giants

No one enjoys feeling weak or vulnerable, yet it is inevitable to feel this way at some point. We all feel small sometimes… especially when it seems like the cards are stacked against us. When it came time for the Israelites to finally enter the Promised Land, God commanded Moses to send 12 spies into the land to survey the scene. After forty days, the men brought their reports back to the Israelites. Needless to say, there were mixed reviews.The land was exactly as God had promised. It truly flowed with milk and honey, and it was everything the Israelites could ever need or want. There was just one problem… they would have to fight for it. Continue Reading

Why Christianity Will Never Make Sense to the World

Christianity has become so controversial in our day and age. We are often seen as judgmental and hateful by the rest of the world. I find it interesting that our culture preaches tolerance when it comes to every walk of life except for Christianity… but then again, didn’t the Bible tell us it would be this way? Continue Reading

Unshakable: How Secure is Your Foundation? | alyssajhoward.com

Unshakable: How Secure is Your Foundation?

Many of us like to believe that we’re unshakable. We like to think that we are strong enough to handle anything life throws our way. The truth is, however, we all have our breaking points. We all experience problems that seem to be bigger than life itself. It’s times like these when we begin to realize that we’re not as unshakable as we once thought. Continue Reading