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God’s Standing Orders for Spiritual Warfare

Copyright © 2014

by
A. David Armstrong III,
Commander U.S. Navy (ret)

Words from a Warrior

Photo of a U.S. Navy warshipHave you read the Captain’s standing orders?1

I offer the following thoughts learned through many years of military service, and through many years as a soldier in the army of my God. God in His infinite wisdom often uses that with which we are most familiar to instruct us. Since the principles of warfare are deeply ingrained in me after many years as a Navy officer, God has utilized that experience to give me insight into spiritual warfare. God also has made us [continue reading…]

Oh, for a Faith that Will Not Shrink

William Bathurst
(1796-1877)

O for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by many a foe,
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe,

That will not murmur nor complain
Beneath [continue reading…]

Brethren, We Have Met to Worship

George Atkins
(19th Century)

Brethren, we have met to worship
And adore the Lord our God;
Will you pray with all your power,
While we try to preach the word?
All is vain, unless the Spirit
Of the Holy One come down;
Brethren, pray, and holy manna [continue reading…]

Squishing on Carpet, Walking on Water

Watery Discombobulation!

Image of an orange bucket, on which is seen the motto, 'Let's Do This!'Despite what it says on the bucket —
Let's Not! (Oops — too late!)1Image of carpet-less floors and industrial drying fans“What did you say? I can't hear you over the fan noise!”2

If “April showers bring May flowers,” what do April leaks bring? Squishy carpets and domestic discombobulation, that’s what!

This is the “April” newsletter, but the deadline, um, leaked into May. This late edition got a bit waterlogged, so to speak! Apparently, just a few hours after we left for a granddaughter’s birthday and some ministry in Florida on April 10th, we had an upstairs pipe start leaking. Water has this God-given nature of wanting to flow downhill. In our case, “downhill” meant through the wall, and through our downstairs ceiling, into our entryway, living room, and dining room. The situation would have been worse, but our Christian neighbor, Donna C., caught the problem before it gave Noah’s Flood a run for its money.

Such fun to come home to! After our carpet was cut out and trashed, and the bathroom floorings and cabinets were removed, 11 noisy fans and 2 large de-humifiers ran for four days to dry the place out. Much of our living space consists now of bare concrete floors, and [continue reading…]

Praise Him! Praise Him!

Fanny Crosby
(1820-1915)

Praise Him! Praise Him—Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms [continue reading…]

The Day of Resurrection

John of Damascus
(8th Century A.D.)
translated by
John Neale
(1818-1866)

The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness,
The Passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
From earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over,
With hymns of victory.

Our hearts be [continue reading…]

Blowing a Fuse Over “Faith”

Oh, the Irony!

Image of a woman shocked by an exposed cable Does your “fuse” get blown, too? Not a little modern teaching on faith seeks to “electrify,” but winds up being simply “shocking.” Let us point you to something that's far more “grounded”! 1

Irony is something I’ve learned to savor, even if it is somewhat bittersweet at times. Consider this unexpected reaction from a reader…

Twice a week on our ministry’s Facebook page, we share a link to “things old and new” on our website. Usually on Thursdays we share a hymn or devotional poem; on Mondays we share a link to a Bible-teaching article (or, once a month, our current newsletter). The response has been encouraging and the “Likes” for the page have grown. (By the way, have you “liked” our page on Facebook yet?) So far, so good, but…

For the last five weeks or so, we’ve been sharing chapters from Percy Gutteridge’s classic, foundation-laying book Faith Is Substance. Most folks who’ve taken the time to read it have found it liberating and enlightening. But one commenter really “gave us an earful,” lumping us together with “freaks” who are pushing semi- [continue reading…]

All Praise to Him Who Reigns Above

(also known as
Blessèd Be the Name)

William Clark
(1854-1925)
chorus by
Ralph Hudson
(1843-1901)

All praise to him who reigns above
In majesty supreme,
Who gave Himself for man to die,
That He might man redeem!

Chorus:
Blessed be the name, blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord [continue reading…]

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Patrick
(Fifth Century a.d.)
English rendered by
Cecil Frances Alexander
(1818-1895)

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.… take unto you the whole armour of god…

Ephesians 6:11,13

But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God… by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left…

2 Corinthians 6:4-7

…let us put on the armour of light.… put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Romans 13:12,14


I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
By pow’r of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from [continue reading…]

What Happens When God Answers Prayer?

Fruit, More Fruit, Much Fruit in Guatemala

Grape cluster photo courtesy of Jassy Onyae on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/@jassyonyae).Fruit, more fruit, much fruit1

Have you noticed what happens when God answers prayer? Answered prayers generate the need for more prayer! This is part of God’s design for us to grow in our fruitfulness, responsibility, and Christlikeness. It moves us along the “fruitfulness spectrum” that Jesus laid out for us: First “fruit” (John 15:2b), then “more fruit” (John 15:2c), and finally “much fruit” (John 15:5,8). And notice how this “fruit” passage intersects with prayer — “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:7-8).

When what we pray in Jesus’ name receives an answer from the Father, we aren’t allowed to pause too long and [continue reading…]

Thou Shepherd of Israel, and Mine

Charles Wesley
(1707-1788)

Psalm 23

Thou Shepherd of Israel, and mine,
The joy and desire of my heart,
For closer communion I pine,
I long to reside where Thou art.

The pasture I languish to find,
Where all, who their Shepherd obey,
Are fed, on Thy bosom reclined,
And screened from the heat of the day.

Ah! show me that happiest place, [continue reading…]

The Love of God

Frederick Lehman
(1868-1953)
adapted from the work of
Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai
(11th Century a.d.)

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, [continue reading…]

O Sweet Will of God!

George D. Watson
(1845-1923)

O! sweet will of God, thou hast girded me round,
Like the deep moving currents that girdle the sea;
With omnipotent love is my poor nature bound,
And this bondage of love sets me perfectly free.

For years my will wrestled with vague discontent
That like a sad angel o’ershadowed my way;
God’s light in my soul oft with darkness was blent,
And my heart ever longed for an unclouded day.

My wild will was captured, [continue reading…]

The “Judicial Adventures” of Paul the Apostle

Copyright © 1994, 2019

by
Jim Kerwin

A Look at Roman Law in Acts

“Moving in a Roman World”

The student of the New Testament is con­stant­ly made aware that he is moving in a Roman world,”2 and awareness of the Roman en­vi­ron­ment is the first step toward un­der­stand­ing its significance and influence on the second volume of Luke’s magnum opus and on the life of Paul. By providing the serious Bible student a primer of [continue reading…]