Welcome, or welcome back, to the 21-day Scripture reading challenge.
Ephesians 6:10–20 (NRSV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
Grace is about receiving. And yet, the Apostle Paul uses a whole bunch of ‘taking’, ‘standing, ‘putting on’ language in the above passage. So which is it? Do we receive or take? The answer is – both.
The Lord places gifts before us and Paul rightfully reminds us that these gifts such as truth, peace, faith, salvation, and prayer are offered to us. In some ways it’s like a buffet line. It is then up to us to fill our plate at the buffet. God does his part by setting the spread. We are called upon to do our by participating with God through the discipline of participating in the means of grace. Oh, and by the way…you are doing just that at this moment!
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you have given all that is necessary for this life and the life to come. May you grow the desire within us to fully participate in your means of grace so we may know you better and love you fully.