December 20, 2011
The Gift of weaponry, the Breastplate of Righteousness
This Advent Daily Devotional is focusing on the gifts God gives us, as uncovered in the book of Ephesians.
There is a new song by Francesca Bastestelli called “Be Born in Me.” It has been the cry of the heart of our family this Advent. There is a line in the chorus that says “I’ll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end, Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem.”
What does it mean to “make my heart your Bethlehem?” Well, if we say that Bethlehem is the place where Jesus was born, we are saying to God “make my heart a place where Jesus is born, where he lives.”
If we dig into the story of Bethlehem, we learn that Bethlehem was also the City of David. The place where the young shepherd boy tended his flock, and where he later downed a giant named Goliath with a single stone. It is here where David was anointed by Samuel.
It was also here where Ruth gleaned wheat from nearby fields and met her husband Boaz. Ruth was David’s grandmother.
Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” It makes sense then, that Jesus was born here for he later fed thousands with a few loaves of bread. And he also said that He is “the true bread from heaven” and “the bread of life” (John, Chapter 6).
Does Jesus live in your heart? He came from the House of Bread to give us life, true bread, true sustenance. Jesus is all we really need. He satisfies our greatest hunger and strengthens us spiritually, just as bread does physically. What happens when you don’t eat for a few days? You become weak, right? What happens when you don’t feast on the Bread of Life daily? You become spiritually weak, and you give the enemy an opportunity to break into your spirit and your heart.
So how do you protect your heart? Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place (Ephesians 6:14, NIV).
Where do we get our righteousness? Only from affirming the grace-saving love of Jesus. By dying for us, Jesus’ sacrifice is our covering of righteousness, like when the Old Testament priests offered sacrifices for sin.
Paul is actually saying that accepting Jesus into our heart is one of the weapons of spiritual warfare that will keep us spiritually strong and well fed.
It’s also the reason that Satan hates you. Cover your heart, protect your heart, with the righteousness of Christ. Protect your heart… don’t let the enemy use your heart… don’t give the enemy your heart. He will use worldly “love” to get to you. He will use fleshly “love,” or more appropriately lust, to get to you. It’s one of his most successful schemes.
Your heart belongs to Christ. He bought it with His sacrifice.
Receive this great gift and may it protect your heart.
Father God, my prayer is that Jesus will be born in my heart. And may His sacrifice be my righteousness. And may it cover and protect me from the enemy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2011. Rich Ronald