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Crown the Sword: Ch. 12-My Affirmation

…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9b-10 (NIV)

Hello friends! First, let me thank you for the opportunity to walk with you through the book, Crown the Sword. This journey has been a fantastic time to grow together. I pray these twelve weeks have allowed you to discover ways to draw closer to God through Scripture. May it spur your Bible intake to new levels and encourage you to study books of the Bible with a small group of like-minded Christians weekly.

I pray the affirmation you find in Chapter 12 will be an invitation to have a candlelight time with God and define your commitment with Him. Dedicate some time to focus on your Bible reliance and revisit the main topics presented in each chapter of Crown the Sword. Think about your take-aways.

What are three things you want to do differently when engaging in His Word? How will you hold yourself accountable?

One quote in this chapter that really stood out to me was “Your growth hinges upon your willingness, devotion, and commitment, which become your personal affirmations.” I had to stop and ask myself, “How dedicated are you to God?”. Often times I feel I have very good intentions, but my follow through is not always up to par. Then I think, “Where would I be today if the Father’s intentions had not been backed by the willingness, devotion, and commitment of Jesus?”. Goodness, that is humbling for me.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

Each week I took some time to summarize my thoughts over each chapter and chose one word which represented the information. Let me share those words with you starting with the introduction chapter of the book: invited, partaker, surrendered, listening, devoted, absorbing, dependent, seeking, attentive, consuming, conforming, transforming, dedicated. These words are helping me reflect upon my own personal affirmation and what I am willing, devoted, and committed to do in the days ahead. I look forward to my candlelight time with the LORD and setting some goals for the next 12 months.

Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.

Colossians 3:23-24 (Amplified)

May your sincere Crowning of the Sword lead you to a lifestyle completely alive in Christ Jesus. I pray this book has touched you in such a way that you will always be found seeking God and consuming His Word. Be empowered to tell others about your experience. God’s Voice will always be alive and active no matter the generation. I pray this message reaches a thousand generations and increases the desire of hearts for God and His Word. 

I cannot think of a better way to end this study than direct words from His sweet voice…

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.  Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:1-17 (NIV)

Until we meet again…

How to Weed-out the enemy!

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)

Annual weeds, biennial weeds, and perennial weeds—They ALL frustrate me! Those annoying garden enemies drain my happiness and take up my time. Our beautiful flowers, shrubs, vegetable plants, and herbs lack encouragement and attention because I am focused on the invading schemes of the weeds! No doubt-they get more attention than they deserve but, I refuse to let them prevail.

How often have you allowed the enemy’s plots to derail your faith and focus? The lies, fears, and flat-out conspiracies can engulf life quickly. It takes a purposeful plan of intentional living to annihilate the devil’s ploys much like deliberately eradicating those pesky weeds in the yard.

So, how can we eradicate the “weeds” of the enemy without losing focus on the Lord? It is not easy to keep our thoughts on God when the “earthly things” begin to choke out our heavenly vision.

  1. Identify the enemy – Weeds will not go away on their own. Those selfish suckers want to take over, soak up all the moisture, and ingest every surrounding nutrient. If you do not identify them and deal with the issue, they will continue to flourish. Sound familiar? Ignoring the strategies of the enemy will not make them dissipate. Call the adversary out by name! Deal with it! Claim God’s power over the enemy.
  2. Practice maintenance – Safeguarding a yard from wretched weeds takes routine prevention. Pre-emergent plans have to begin months prior to the arrival of the antagonists. Lawn experts have to “get ahead of the game” to ensure some control over the war. In order to keep the enemy at bay, we have to do the same. It takes daily preservation through prayer, studying and infusing Scripture, and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead.
  3. Nurture goodness – Dealing with the weeds can rob your joy. It is easy to forget to “stop and smell the roses”. Make time to praise the Lord and thank Him for His goodness, protection, grace, love, faithfulness, joy, hope, mercy, devotion, steadfastness, presence, eternal promises, provisions, etc. Extend His attributes to those around you without bias or partiality. Build up others and feed into them. Help their roots spread and eventually choke out the enemy.
  4. Use the right tools – There are numerous tools on the market with promising results. The best ones are those that “get to the root”. The Lord has given us two helpmates-His Word and the Holy Spirit. God wants us skilled in using His sword and relying upon the Holy Spirit. We have to get to the root of our problems and issues by using His tools. So, declare the enemy powerless and saturate his plans with death-defining means through implementing the right God-given devices.

Weed-out the enemy. Remember, there are better things requiring your attention and focus. Satan has no place in your garden of life. Let God grow you to your full potential.  

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as you reward.

(Colossians 3:23-24)

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