Summary: God calls us to be strong (do those things that contribute to being strong) and to put on the armour He provides for the battle.

May 20, 2018 Sermon - The Armour of God - Ephesians 6:10-18

At the beginning of world war II, France believed they had a solution to a potential German invasion.

They built what was called the Maginot line. The Maginot line was a defensive line built in the 1930’s that stretched for over 200 miles on the NE border of France.

You can see on the map, the strongest fortifications were along the German border.

It was state-of-the-art, built of thick concrete with living quarters, heavy guns, store houses and underground rail lines.

There were 45 main underground forts, 97 smaller underground forts, 352 large guns that could rise out of the ground.

They were connected by an underground railroad system and underground corridors.

French soldiers enjoyed state-of-the-art living conditions.

It was designed to hold off a German attack.

However, the Germans defeated the French by simply going around it through Belgium and through the Ardennes forest, which the French considered impenetrable.

The French were not prepared for the manner in which the Germans overcame this defensive line, simply by avoiding it.

In the end, the Maginot line was useless and France surrendered. France fell because they underestimated their enemy and relied on the wrong weapons.

They didn’t anticipate the attack their enemy used. They thought they were protected, but weren’t. Pause

God knows us in our weakness. He knows how easily we are tempted. He knows when we’re needy, when we’re afflicted, when we’re sick.

He knows that we can be let astray. He knows that we are sometimes emotionally weak, sometimes physically weak, sometimes mentally weak. Sometimes it’s the unexpected sorrows of life that simply take the wind out of us.

We need to understand God’s compassion toward us. God is full of lovingkindness and compassion toward you.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. Psalm 63:3

Just sit with that for a moment. Close your eyes and consider God’s love toward you. His deep understanding of your needs, your challenges, your weaknesses.

Now open your eyes.

Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians, which we’ve been studying now for many months, to people just. Like. you. Just. Like. Me.

And as the book wraps up, we are presented with a bold statement of encouragement. It is a call to courage in the face of fear. To joy in this world of sorrow. To strength even though we struggle with weakness.

Today’s message will be a teaching message, and we will look verse by verse at what the Word is saying to us.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power

This is all about being strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. But it’s not like a motivational poster. Just. Do it.

This ends end up being pretty empty because there’s no clue given how to do it.

But in our Scripture today we are commanded, actually, to be strong - in Jesus and in Jesus mighty power. We’re commanded by God, and then we’re given the HOW.

The fact that God commands us to be strong means that we actually can be strong. u have that ability as a follower of Jesus, as one who has given their life to Christ, because God dwells in you be the Holy Spirit.

We church, are the dwelling place of God and so we church can be strong in the Lord.

Strong in faith. Ever feel weak in your faith? Just say to God: “Lord, I’m feeling weak in faith.

“I pray that you would strengthen my faith”. I’ve found that God delights to answer that prayer when prayed sincerely.

And it specifically says “Be strong in the Lord”. That is both choosing to live with confidence in Jesus and in His power and it’s also about DOING those things that help you to be strong in the Lord.

What’s something that helps you to be strong in the Lord? Gathering with God’s people.

Maybe you come to one of the Bible studies or the Way of Jesus class or one of the Bridges classes that we run on the weekdays. That’s part of it. Bring with the people of God. You are here, so that’s a good thing.

In my experience, going to church is helpful. Getting involved more deeply in serving the congregation makes you stronger. Using your gifts to encourage others makes you strong.

What can you do personally that can help you to be strong in the Lord? Develop healthy daily rhythms in your day where you give God the time one-on-one with you to grow in your relationship with God.

What are some healthy daily rhythms you can develop to help you be strong in the Lord? Read the Word of God. Let God speak to you through the Bible so you get to know His heart, His will, His character.

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