"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio

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My youngest grandson had a birthday party not too long back. It was a pirate party so all his mates came dressed in pirate gear - eye-patches, head scarves, etc. At the door we presented every pirate with a plastic blow-up sword, which looked good but caused no damage at all. They wielded their plastic blow-up swords with a distinct lack of dexterity. The nimble adroitness needed for sword fighting seemed severely limited by the floppy handles and fat blades filled with air, but at least they were safe. High adventure with ABSOLUTELY NO DANGER. Every parent wants this for their children. Every child went on to more dangerous pursuits.

That’s the kind of spiritual warfare we as Christians have preferred to wage at times - to go at it with our blow-up swords filled with hot air, waving them around with no skill and causing no harm to the enemy, rather than wielding the sword of God’s Word (Ephesians 6:17) with the skill of one who has studied it to show himself approved, a swordsman who needs not to be ashamed (see 2 Timothy 2:15).

Jesus shocks me with His purpose in Matthew 10:34 (NLT) when He says "Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came NOT TO BRING PEACE, BUT A SWORD."

If you’re a pacifist, you have to cut this verse out of your Bible because it doesn’t portray Jesus as MEEK AND MILD. He doesn’t fit the mould of pacifism - one concerned with the peace that the world brings, anymore than He does that of a warmonger - a person who advocates war.

Yes, Jesus’ offers peace with God that comes from knowing Him personally - peace on the inside that works it’s way outside to those around you. But the fact is that while sin remains on the earth, there will also be SPIRITUAL WARFARE - He wields a A SWORD and there is CONFLICT. Jesus claims VICTORY over sin and death and the evil one. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:7 (NLT) "We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the WEAPONS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS in the right hand for ATTACK and the left hand for DEFENSE."

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