Archive for December, 2009

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The Christian Sword – The Guard

December 22, 2009

The most effective piece of armor to be used against any enemy is the warrior’s sword.  Unfortunately, for most Christians, I would daresay this is the one piece of armor that is rarely used, and if used, used effectively.  Truly, the sword for the Christian Warrior is to be that of  “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  But for most of us, we do not know what this means?

In the last posts, A Warrior’s Sword and A Warrior’s Sword-The Handle, we opened the discussion by opening Ephesians 6 and discussing the sword as part of the armor.  In spiritual warfare, the enemy is at our doorstep.  For those of us who are Christian Husbands or Christian Fathers, this war is a daily one.  Again, as we explore this passage, we have to remember that when Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians, especially the passage we are discussing, Ephesians 6:10-20, war was a bit more personal.  So we have discussed the sword and the handle, let’s move on to the guard.

Every sword had a portion of it right above the handle referred to as the guard.  There are a multitude of styles of the guard, but each of them served a major function for the warrior.  In personal, hand to hand combat, the warrior was incredibly exposed to injury from all angles and the guard of the sword was critical for protecting the warrior’s hands.  If your only weapon was the sword, an injury to your hand could be life threatening.

The same is true with God’s Word.  If we truly understand the meaning and importance of the handle, we will spend more time in the Word daily.  Just as the Word can prove to be an attack on evil, it is also our guard against the attacks of Satan.

We use what Christ teaches us through His Holy Word as a baseline for decision making.  For those who are lost or without Christ, the whole idea of right and wrong can be greatly affected by the world.  If you were to look over various generations, the views of what was “wrong” or “unthinkable” has changed with the passing of year.  On the contrary, those who spend time in the Word of God, this baseline of decision making has little “wiggle room.”  Decisions made cannot be simply reasoned away, but rather, have to balance with what we are told in Scripture.

Scripture is also our guard for when we are under spiritual attack.  I know personally, when worry and anxiety overcome me, I reflect upon Phil 4:4, “Be anxious for nothing.”  When I feel the need to speak my mind, I am reminded of the Scripture verses that speak to the danger of a loose tongue.  As a warrior, it is vital for me to keep my mind guarded against the schemes of Satan and the tricks of this world.

If I do not spend time training myself, I will be weak against what the world tells me is right.  The beauty of Scripture is the way it permeates through every aspect of our lives when we devote time to His Holy Word.  If we spend the appropriate amount of time learning how to use our weapon, the powerful nature of the Word is it will also serve as a guard against our enemy’s attacks.

If you would like more on the Christian Sword, check out the  series of post covering the uses of Scripture in the daily life of every Christian Warrior.

The Handle

The Guard

The Blade

Join us as we continue to discuss how today’s Christian Men can step up and become the Christian Warrior their family, friends, work, and community need them to be.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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A Warrior’s Sword- Part II “The Handle”

December 7, 2009

swordThe most effective piece of armor to be used against any enemy is the warrior’s sword.  Unfortunately, for most Christians, I would daresay this is the one piece of armor that is rarely used, and if used, used effectively.  Truly, the sword for the Christian Warrior is to be that of  “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  But for most of us, we do not know what this means?

In the last post, A Warrior’s Sword, we opened the discussion by opening Ephesians 6 and discussing the sword as part of the armor.  In spiritual warfare, the enemy is at our doorstep.  For those of us who are Christian Husbands or Christian Fathers, this war is a daily one.  Again, as we explore this passage, we have to remember that when Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians, especially the passage we are discussing, Ephesians 6:10-20, war was a bit more personal.  So let’s start with the first part of the sword, the handle.

The handle is perhaps one of the most important pieces and is the first step in taking hold of this weapon.  The handle is the responsibility on our part to pick up the Word of God and use it.  In essence, this requires each Christian to make time daily to spend in the Bible, training if you will. Here are some helpful hints on how to get started, taken from the American Bible Society:

1.  Select a passage
Some people find it helpful to follow a specific Bible reading plan to guide their reading.  Many Bibles have reading plans included at the back.  The American Bible Society provides a Daily Bible Reading plan that you might want to consider.

Other people want to read through the Bible on their own.  Still others move from one passage to another based on preference, lectionary readings, or Church School lessons.

Any of the above ways to select a passage is fine.  The important thing is not to spend too much—if any—of your reading time in selecting the passage!

2. Read the passage the first time
Read the passage the first time without stopping in order to gain an overall sense of the passage.  Listen to your initial reactions to the text…both positive and negative.

3. Read the passage a second time
As you read, pause from time-to-time and answer questions about the background (or context) of the passage.  You might choose to pause between verses or small groups of verses, between significant events or announcements in the passage, or between any natural break you see as you read.  Below are some types of questions about the context of a passage that you might find helpful as you read.

If you’re like me, you might struggle with this discipline.  Although I usually make valiant efforts at the beginning of a week or the beginning of a season, they usually wain over time due to my own lack of self discipline.  In looking at the training habits of warriors, one of the most vital portions of their training was training with their weapon, sometimes even done daily.  I thought it might be best if we translated some of these warrior activities into applications for grasping the handle of our Christian Sword.

Warrior Activity

Christian Warrior Application

Daily Exercises

Set aside time daily to spend in God’s Word.

Sparred against other warriors to improve their skill

Find an accountability partner to “spar” with.  Perhaps consider adopting the same Bible Reading plan and spend some time daily or even weekly to discuss what Christ has taught you through your training time.

Start small, grow gradually.

Perhaps one of the biggest chances for a warrior to get depressed is to set a lofty goal that cannot be reasonably attained.  If you’re not used to this type of a daily reading, start small by taking one book to complete a quarter or simply start by reading a verse a day.  Beware of trying to conquer the entire book of Leviticus the first week of your training!

Step up to advanced training.

Once you feel more comfortable with your regiment, try increasing your load with applications of Scripture or by looking for additional material to teach you more about the book you’re studying.

These are only a few suggestions, but they could transform this sleeping weapon into one ready for use.  Your challenge for this post: GRAB THE HANDLE!  The next posts will teach you how the other functions of the  Christian Sword.  Be sure to join us!

The Handle

The Guard

The Blade

Join us as we continue to discuss how today’s Christian Men can step up and become the Christian Warrior their family, friends, work, and community need them to be.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

Warrior Activity

Christian Warrior Application

Daily Exercises

Set aside time daily to spend in God’s Word.

Sparred against other warriors to improve their skill

Find an accountability partner to “spar” with.  Perhaps consider adopting the same Bible Reading plan and spend some time daily or even weekly to discuss what Christ has taught you through your training time.

Start small, grow gradually.

Perhaps one of the biggest chances for a warrior to get depressed is to set a lofty goal that cannot be reasonably attained.  If you’re not used to this type of a daily reading, start small by taking one book to complete a quarter or simply start by reading a verse a day.  Beware of trying to conquer the entire book of Leviticus the first week of your training!

Step up to advanced training.

Once you feel more comfortable with your regiment, try increasing your load with applications of Scripture or by looking for additional material to teach you more about the book you’re studying.

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