“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.
In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-20)
The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of PREPAREDNESS (6:1-10-20)…
One of the greatest needs for Christians is to prepare beforehand for the spiritual warfare in which they face. The Bible clearly speaks of the need to recognize our enemy, the devil, and properly prepare for his attacks upon us …
1Pe 5:8-9 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The Need For The Armour Of God (vs 10-13)
II. The Identity Of The Armour Of God (vs 14-17)
III. The Empowerment Of The Armour Of God (vs 18)
IV. The Ministry Enabled By The Armour Of God (vs 19-20)
Previously, we have looked at all 6 pieces of God’s armour: the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Shoes Of The Gospel Of Peace, Shield Of Faith, the Helmet Of Salvation, and the Sword of The Spirit. If we are equipped with all six pieces of armour what can we still be lacking? Prayer and a concern for others…
(Eph 6:18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Once we are equipped with the complete armour of God, our next step is to minister to the needs of others. Please notice this ministry has two aspects to it: prayer and watching over others…
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
Here, the words “praying” and “prayer” comes from a fusion of two Greek words that mean:
1. wishes or desires
2. towards or alongside
In other words, we are being told to send away our wishes and desires towards God. We are to verbally take them to the Lord using “supplications” (requests or petitions). As we take our requests to the Lord, we are to be led by the Holy Spirit.
When we are being led by the Spirit:
1. He will intercede on our behalf (Romans 8:26-28)
2. He will lead us to make requests that are pleasing to the Lord based upon His revealed will for us (Ephesians 5:15-20)
3. He will give us a spirit of submission to the Lord’s will concerning the requests we have made. (Psa 143:10)
2. Watching Over Others…
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Besides prayer, we are to also begin specifically looking for opportunities to help others in need. We are to be actively “watching” to recognize others in need.
The word “watching” is really interesting and helps us to understand the importance of this area of ministry for others… the word “watching” means “to keep awake” or “to lie awake” and can be understood in at least three different ways:
1. we are to be always vigilant, never “falling asleep at the switch” as we seek ways to help others.
2. we are to lie awake at night, out of concern for other’s needs.
3. we are to lie awake at night, reflecting on our day and those we have met, making sure we have not missed the opportunity to help those who have come our way.
This watching is to be done in association with “perseverance”, in other words with persistence and carefulness. Also, we are to watch with “supplication”, making a request to the Lord for guidance and the ability to recognize the opportunities open to us.
The basic principle is this, once we have properly protected ourselves through the putting on of God’s armour, we are to then work to serve the Lord by meeting others needs. The Christian life is not a selfish one, solely concerned about taking care of our needs only. A Christian is to care about being well equipped for the service of Christ for their own benefit, as well as for the benefit of others.
By being protected and strong spiritually the Christians is able to best serve Christ in serving the needs of others.
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, [even] unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:1-10)
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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