Monday, April 18, 2016

The Line of Respect

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

“Show proper respect to everyone.” 1 Peter 2:17 

Conflict can often play a positive role in marriage—especially when it helps maintain lines of respect. Suppose I (jcd) work at my office two hours later than usual on a particular night. I know that Shirley is preparing a candlelight dinner, yet I don’t call to let her know I’ll be late. As the evening wears on, Shirley wraps the cold food in foil and puts it in the refrigerator. When I finally get home, I don’t apologize. Instead, I sit down with the newspaper and abruptly tell Shirley to get my dinner ready. You can bet there would be fireworks in the Dobson household that night! Shirley would rightfully interpret my insensitive behavior as insulting and would move to defend the “line of respect” between us. Her strong feelings would be totally justified.

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. Suppose Shirley knows I need the car at 2:00 P.M. for some important purpose, but she deliberately keeps me waiting. Perhaps she sits in a restaurant with a friend, drinking coffee and talking. Meanwhile, I’m pacing the floor at home wondering where she is. It is very likely that she will hear about my dissatisfaction when she gets home. Even though the offense was minor, the line of respect has been violated.

Some things are worth defending. At the top of the list is the “line of respect” between husbands and wives.

Just between us...
  • When was the last time we had a fight that was good for our relationship?
  • Have I crossed your line of respect recently?
  • How will upholding the line of respect improve our marriage?
Dear Lord, we want to show respect for each other, but we confess that we’re too often self-centered and insensitive. Forgive us, Lord. Grant us Your grace as we defend the mutual rights that are the foundation of our affection. Amen.

Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved

The Strongest Love

Song of Songs 8:1–7 

From Romeo and Juliet to the movie Titanic, books, films and stories tell us that there is a love that is great enough to die for. Many women would say their greatest earthly desire is for true intimacy with a man—not a vague commitment or wishy-washy affection. Some might say they want a love worth dying for. Maybe you feel the same way. In fact, if you are honest, on many days you long more for the affirmation and passion of a husband or boyfriend than you ache for the love of God.

God is love—even your desire for love points to him as the source of all love. The love between a man and a woman is a beautiful reflection of God’s love, but you only desire that kind of love because God has placed that desire in you.

The Song of Songs presents a picture of love between a man and a woman that reflects the love of God. God doesn’t love you at a distance or remember you as an afterthought. Look at the words used to express his love: seal, strong, unyielding, blazing and unquenchable. He loves everything about you, the way you walk, talk, laugh and brush your hair. He loves you in more ways than you can ever know because he knows you through and through. He knows your thoughts, when you sit, when you rise and when you lie down (see Psalm 139).

God wants you to believe that he loves you! He doesn’t put conditions on his love. He only asks that you respond to his love: “Place me like a seal over your heart.” Imagine God saying to you, “I love you so much that I want to be with you intimately, at all times.” God loves you with the strongest love imaginable—a love that is as strong as death. In fact, he proved his love through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. This ultimate gift showed us that his love for us was, in fact, a love worth dying for.

  1. What keeps you from believing and fully accepting God’s love?
  2. How would your thoughts and actions be different this week if you fully believed that God loved you?
  3. Read Psalm 139. Memorize as much of it as you can. How does it change your view of yourself to realize how intimately God knows you and loves you?
Song of Songs 8:6
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.

Related Readings 

Psalm 136:1–26; Ephesians 3:14–19; 1 John 4:7–12

His Princess Every Day - Monday, April 18, 2016

Devotionals for Women - Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

I Will Never Leave You

My Princess,

I know you live in a world where many relationships come to a bitter end, my love. But I am not man; I am your Lord and Your Prince. I will never leave you or forsake you, my beloved bride. As long as you walk with me you will never walk alone. I am with you wherever you are and I will never abandon you. If ever you doubt I am here, just ask Me and I will reveal myself to you in a very special way. I will do whatever it takes to prove my faithfulness to you. You can trust your heart in my care; I will not let you down as long as you look up.

Your Prince who will always be yours 

Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. - Psalm 23:4 (NLT) 

Prayer to my Prince 

My faithful prince, 

Thank you for being my one true love. Thank you for being the one that walks in when others walk out of my life. What a comfort to know I am never alone because I am yours. Your faithfulness is the foundation of my very being. Open my spiritual eyes that I may see you, that I may feel your presence and never doubt you are with me. 

Your princess who wants to be close 

Even if my father and mother abandon me,
The Lord will hold me close. - Psalm 27:10 

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

The Daily Readings for Monday, April 18, 2016

Exodus 32:1-20
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." Aaron said to them, "Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a festival to the LORD." They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel. The LORD said to Moses, "Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'" The LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation." But Moses implored the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, 'I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'" And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people. Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain, carrying the two tablets of the covenant in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, written on the front and on the back. The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp." But he said, "It is not the sound made by victors, or the sound made by losers; it is the sound of revelers that I hear." As soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets from his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He took the calf that they had made, burned it with fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on the water, and made the Israelites drink it.

Colossians 3:18-4:16
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality. Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Tychicus will tell you all the news about me; he is a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts; he is coming with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here. Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions-- if he comes to you, welcome him. And Jesus who is called Justus greets you. These are the only ones of the circumcision among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in everything that God wills. For I testify for him that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea.

Matthew 5:1-10
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 41
1   Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.
2   The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive, so that they may be happy in the land; he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
3   The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and ministers to them in their illness.
4   I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you."
5   My enemies are saying wicked things about me: "When will he die, and his name perish?"
6   Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; their heart collects false rumors; they go outside and spread them.
7   All my enemies whisper together about me and devise evil against me.
8   A deadly thing, they say, has fastened on him; he has taken to his bed and will never get up again.
9   Even my best friend, whom I trusted, who broke bread with me, has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
10   But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, and I shall repay them.
11   By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12   In my integrity you hold me fast, and shall set me before your face for ever.
13   Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, from age to age. Amen. Amen.

Psalm 52
1   You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness against the godly all day long?
2   You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, O worker of deception.
3   You love evil more than good and lying more than speaking the truth.
4   You love all words that hurt, O you deceitful tongue.
5   Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling, and root you out of the land of the living!
6   The righteous shall see and tremble, and they shall laugh at him, saying,
7   This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, but trusted in great wealth and relied upon wickedness.
8   But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9   I will give you thanks for what you have done and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 44
1   We have heard with our ears, O God, our forefathers have told us, the deeds you did in their days, in the days of old.
2   How with your hand you drove the peoples out and planted our forefathers in the land; how you destroyed nations and made your people flourish.
3   For they did not take the land by their sword, nor did their arm win the victory for them; but your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance, because you favored them.
4   You are my King and my God; you command victories for Jacob.
5   Through you we pushed back our adversaries; through your Name we trampled on those who rose up against us.
6   For I do not rely on my bow, and my sword does not give me the victory.
7   Surely, you gave us victory over our adversaries and put those who hate us to shame.
8   Every day we gloried in God, and we will praise your Name for ever.
9   Nevertheless, you have rejected and humbled us and do not go forth with our armies.
10   You have made us fall back before our adversary, and our enemies have plundered us.
11   You have made us like sheep to be eaten and have scattered us among the nations.
12   You are selling your people for a trifle and are making no profit on the sale of them.
13   You have made us the scorn of our neighbors, a mockery and derision to those around us.
14   You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughing-stock among the peoples.
15   My humiliation is daily before me, and shame has covered my face;
16   Because of the taunts of the mockers and blasphemers, because of the enemy and avenger.
17   All this has come upon us; yet we have not forgotten you, nor have we betrayed your covenant.
18   Our heart never turned back, nor did our footsteps stray from your path;
19   Though you thrust us down into a place of misery, and covered us over with deep darkness.
20   If we have forgotten the Name of our God, or stretched out our hands to some strange god,
21   Will not God find it out? for he knows the secrets of the heart.
22   Indeed, for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23   Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? Arise! do not reject us for ever.
24   Why have you hidden your face and forgotten our affliction and oppression?
25   We sink down into the dust; our body cleaves to the ground.
26   Rise up, and help us, and save us, for the sake of your steadfast love.

Daily Meditation for April 18, 2016

From Forward Day by Day

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

In many parts of our world, hierarchical systems are slowly but surely falling away, some of them dying ugly and drawn-out deaths. Rising from those ash heaps, here and there, are ways of living that look much more like the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed, where the voices of the least are valued and heard. From businesses to emerging church communities, many leaders are finding ways of governance that are collaborative rather than hierarchical, systems based on listening rather than telling.

Peacemakers seek win-win solutions to problems: opportunities for life to be lived all around any challenge we face. The children of God are finding ways to make peace, and it has to do with community, collaboration, and allowing the dying hierarchical institutional structures to have a dignified death. The opposite of this kind of peacemaking is to forcibly and persuasively dominate so that one side wins, continuing the system of hierarchy. That is the way of power, something that Jesus willingly laid down (see also: the cross).

Women of the Bible - Ruth

Her name means: "Friendship" 

Her character: Generous, loyal, and loving, she is strong and serene, able to take unusual risks, dealing actively with life circumstances.
Her sorrow: To have lost her husband, homeland, and family.
Her joy: To discover firsthand the generous, loyal, and loving nature of God, as he provided her with a husband, a son, and a home to call her own.
Key Scriptures: Ruth 2-4; Matthew 1:5 

Her Story
It was harvest time in Israel when Boaz first laid eyes on the young woman. The sun had painted the fields a tawny gold as workers swung their sickles in even rhythms through the standing grain. According to Israel's law and custom, the poor had the right to gather whatever the harvesters missed.

Ruth toiled quickly and efficiently, he noticed, stuffing grain into a coarse sack slung across her shoulder. Strands of black hair escaped her head covering, softly framing olive-colored skin, still smooth despite the sun. She rested, but only for a moment, her eyes wary for any sign of trouble from the men working the fields. Gleaning was rough work and dangerous, especially for an attractive young foreigner, alone and unprotected.

Everyone in Bethlehem had been talking about Boaz's relative, Naomi, and her unexpected return. Ruth, he knew, had come with her. He had heard of their shared tragedy and the extraordinary loyalty the young woman had displayed toward her mother-in-law, even promising to renounce Moab's idols for Israel's God. A man could wish for such a friend as Ruth had been to Naomi.

Determined to repay her kindness in some way, Boaz called to her, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you." The young woman smiled her agreement.

Later he spoke to Ruth again, this time offering bread and roasted grain for her dinner. When she finished eating, Boaz instructed his men to pull out some stalks of grain and strew them in her path. It was good to see her leaving that night with a bulging harvest sack.

Day after day, he watched her, aware that the wheat and barley harvest would soon be drawing to a close. One evening, Boaz and the other men were winnowing barley on the threshing floor. After he had finished eating and drinking, he lay down under the stars at the far end of the grain pile. With so many men to guard the harvest, robbers wouldn't dare approach. But in the middle of the night he woke with a start, realizing that someone had dared. To his surprise, he discovered the intruder was neither a robber nor a man, but a woman who lay at his feet.

She, too, was awake. "I am your servant, Ruth," she whispered. "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer."

He could hardly believe her words. The young woman had taken a remarkable risk, appearing at night and lying down so close to him. Quickly, he covered her, saying, "The Lord bless you. This kindness is greater than that which you showed Naomi: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask." So Ruth lay at his feet until morning, rising before the early light could reveal her presence to others.

But Boaz knew there was one obstacle that could yet spoil things. Naomi had a closer relative than Boaz, a man who could play the role of kinsman-redeemer, marrying Ruth and restoring her dead husband's name. This man was entitled to purchase a field belonging to Naomi. If he purchased the field, by law he had to marry Ruth as well. That would destroy Boaz's hope of making Ruth his wife.

Boaz wasted no time putting the case before the man, who seemed interested enough in the land. But as soon as the man discovered that marriage was part of the bargain, he relinquished his rights to the land to Boaz.

So the two were married and the older man welcomed the young woman into his home. And God blessed them with a son, whom they named Obed.

Pulling Ruth close to him, Boaz watched one day as Naomi held her grandson to her breast. Surrounded by the other women of Bethlehem, she looked young again, more like the woman he remembered when her husband, Elimelech, had been alive. He watched as the women talked with Naomi regarding the child: "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."

Yes, Boaz thought, his Ruth was better to Naomi than seven sons. And he was grateful for the friendship between the two women. Had Ruth and Naomi gone their separate ways, his life would have been so much the poorer.

The good-hearted Boaz felt strong and young again. But even he couldn't have realized how greatly God had blessed him in the person of Ruth. For their son, Obed, became the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David. In addition to being King David's great-grandparents, both Boaz and Ruth are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus of Nazareth, who is, after all, our own great Kinsman-Redeemer, uniting us to himself, healing our sorrows, and giving us, as well, a future full of hope.

Her Promise

All that Ruth did was done for love of her mother-in-law, and for love of Naomi's God. She made a promise on the road to Bethlehem that she was determined to keep. Though it was a promise made by one woman to another, it is often quoted in wedding ceremonies as an eloquent expression of love and loyalty between spouses.

Ruth had no way of knowing that her way of blessing Naomi would eventually become a blessing in her own life. That's just the divine irony of our God, who delights so much in seeing us love and bless others that he turns that love and blessing back on us in double measure.

Girlfriends in God - April 18, 2016

When You Wonder if God is Concerned About You
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. (Exodus 3:7 NIV) 

Friend to Friend

Moses was on the far side of the wilderness when God spoke to him through the burning bush. He had failed in Egypt and bailed to Midian. Yep, failed and bailed. He ran away to the wilderness where he stayed for the next forty years.

And friend, sometimes it is only on the far side of the wilderness where God can get our attention. Sometimes it is when we feel alone, abandoned, and forgotten that our ears are pricked to hear. Isolation is often God’s place of invitation.

Now that you know the backstory, let’s join Moses at his wakeup call.

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am” (Exod. 3:1-4).

Let’s hit the pause button for a second. Here’s something interesting about this encounter. When God spoke, He didn’t speak through a fragrant rose bush, a blooming rhododendron, or a genteel hydrangea. God spoke through a prickly, gnarly, thorny, dried up old desert tumbleweedish shrub. Oh yes, when God chooses to speak through something or someone, any old bush will do. I don’t know about you, but that gives me great hope!

Did you notice when God began to speak? “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look.” When God saw that He had Moses’ attention, He began to speak. I wonder how many times I’ve missed God’s gentle whisper and tender tug because I wasn’t paying attention. How many times has God tried to speak to me, but I was too busy being busy to notice? Moses turned aside. God spoke.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them (Exod. 3:3-9, emphasis added).

This was sounding good to Moses! (And it sounds good to me!)

God sees!

God hears!

God is concerned!

God will rescue!

This is an amazing story, and we’re going to stop right here.

No matter what you’re going through today. Even if you HAVE failed and bailed, even if you are somewhere on the backside of the wilderness, God sees you. God hears you. God is concerned. And God will rescue.

Perhaps He is waiting for you to turn aside. To see the burning bushes in your own backyard.

Make no mistake about it. He has not left you. Never has. Never will. He speaks to us and waits for us to turn aside and listen. 

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, thank You for never giving up on me, even when I give up on myself. Thank You for seeing me, for hearing me, for being concerned about me, and for rescuing me. Thank You for proving that by sending Your Son, Jesus, just for me.
In His Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

  • How have you observed that God sees you?
  • How have you observed that God hears you?
  • How have you observed that God is concerned about you?
  • How have you observed that God has rescued you?
Write God a prayer of praise for all the times He has come to your aid.

If you know that you know (that’s not a typo) that God cares for you, click over to my Facebook page and say, “I know God cares for me.” 

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was taken from my new book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. On the outside, many of us are well-put-together churchgoers with trendy shoes, beautiful families, and wide, white smiles. On the inside, we’re little girls hesitating at the edge of the playground, wishing we could join in, but feeling something’s not quite right. We don’t know how to truly take hold of the “life to the full” that Jesus offers us. So we settle for a life that’s . . . less.

But a mediocre, mundane faith is not your destiny! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to leave behind feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy that hold you hostage and take hold of the mountain-moving faith God intends. Let’s uncover untapped sources of confidence and courage, and see how to move from simply knowing the truth to actually living it out boldly in a life marked by true freedom and expectancy. It’s time to get UNSTUCK! Click on the book cover to discover free bonuses when you order before May 1, 2016.

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070


Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist… Ephesians 6:14a 

The Roman soldier’s wide leather belt held the various garments and pieces of armor securely in place. Loose armor was not only uncomfortable, but also unsafe. The belt also held the scabbards for swords and daggers. It was foundational to keeping everything balanced and in place.

Truth secures everything in our spiritual life. We can’t know what is truly right or wrong apart from truth. In this spiritual warfare we wage, we “put on” Christ, Who Himself is the “truth” (John 14:6). This is our positional application of the belt. Putting on Christ Himself who is the truth enables us to talk, walk and “fight” proclaiming Christ, the truth.

On another application level, buckling the belt of truth around your waist is more than just seeking truth to find out facts. The servant-soldier of Christ who puts on the armor of God must be willing to overcome his own prejudices to find out the truth. He must struggle against his pride, which clings to his preconceived ideas and makes him unwilling to re-examine them and change his opinions.

Second, to wear the belt of truth means binding one’s whole nature together with inner integrity. The belt of truth refers to the knowledge of one’s own inherent wickedness, weaknesses and propensity to sin (Matthew 15:19; 7:4). King David said, Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.(Psalm 51:6). This is why a servant of Christ must review the basics of having a humble spirit, mourning to God, seeking His meekness and hungering for righteousness.

Truth directly opposes Satan, the father of lies. His first challenge to Eve was to even question God’s truthfulness. When we know and walk in God’s truth, it sets us free (John 8:32).

Wuillie Marcelino Ruiz, an attorney and an evangelical Christian, was wrongly accused of and sentenced to twenty years at the maximum-security Castro prison in Lima, Peru for the crime of “terrorist collaboration” by a special faceless court. Growing up in a close-knit family, his mother’s death during the first year of his imprisonment was a cruel blow for him.

During a visit by an Open Doors team, Wuillie said, “Not everything inside the prison is sadness. Many of our fellow inmates are receiving Jesus Christ as the deliverer of their souls... God is touching the hearts of the authorities in Peru; here in the prison we are not treated so harshly anymore. As the scriptures tell us, we are not confined because the truth makes us free.”

Jesus is the Truth. Truth is on your side. Truth will win over the enemy’s lies. Fill your heart with truth and stand by it. Put on the belt of truth! 

RESPONSE: Today I put on the belt of truth so I can stand strong against Satan’s lies.

PRAYER: Lord, help me fill my heart with truth today for it will set me free. May innocent Christian prisoners know that freedom also.

Salt and Light - April 18, 2016

Verse of the Day - April 18, 2016

Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Read all of Romans 10