Monday, January 04, 2021

Your PPE for 2021 (Believers take note)

Used by permission of Unsplash 

Provision of personal protective equipment for people who are dealing with coronavirus cases has been a big problem in many places. It is a shame that for lack of it, some dedicated medical staff and carers have been more at risk.
The three letters, PPE, have become the quick way to describe things like face masks, visors, gloves, overalls and so on – you hear it all the time! But if you were not ‘in the know’ you might wonder what PPE was! However, we use abbreviations (acronyms) like these all the time. For example, we refer to CT scans at hospital, we take precautions to avoid UV light, traffic police talk of RTAs, there are SVQs in education and training, we have MPs and MSPs, and one of these nights (a bit later on!) you might have a BBQ. I’m sure you can add a few more to the list, but can’t forget the NHS!
Important as it is to have PPE available, it is more important to use it and wear it at the right time. Neglecting it could affect people on both sides, for it protects the wearer from being infected, and also prevents infection being passed on to others.
Have you thought about how Christians need PPE all the time, not just sometimes? We have an unseen, dangerous enemy always trying to attack us, and good protection is necessary. We need to take up and use the WAOG provided. It is described in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 11 to 18 which you should read again. Yes, it is called the Whole Armour Of God!
In any battle there are two essential things which bring victory nearer. Without them defeat is sure. One is to know your enemy, and what his strategy is. The other is to know your armour and your weapons, and how to use them properly.
The Bible tells us about “our Adversary, the devil” (1 Peter 5.8). His strategy is subtle, his attacks are frequent. His temptations involve the world around us, calling us to accept its ways, also includes those base desires within us, calling us to give in, and our own ego producing selfishness and pride. Verse 11 in our chapter calls these “the wiles of the devil”, verse 16 calls them his “fiery darts”. Let us beware and be warned and be protected!
We need the armour, the PPE, the WAOG. Take it up!. Put it on! We need it all!
·       The girdle of truth – preserves us from lies, deceitful promises, double motives.
·       The breastplate of righteousness – reminds us about what is right, preserves us from doing wrong, even sinning in our hearts. 
·       The shoes of the gospel of peace – gives us stability to ‘walk the walk’ and make known God’s grace in the gospel, to ‘talk the talk’.
·       The shield of faith – keeps us trusting and looking up when danger threatens and seems too great.
·       The helmet of salvation – reminds us we are saved, and keeps our minds safe from dangerous ideas and distracting thoughts.
·       The sword of the spirit, the word of God – provides assurance for our every doubt and fear, strengthens us from above.
And we need to be “praying always” (v.18) - keep the lines of communication open with “the Captain of our Salvation” who is “bringing many sons to glory” (Heb 2.10). We are on our way to ultimate victory.

Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armour on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son,
Strong in the Lord of Hosts and in His might power;
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror!
Stand, then, in His great might, with all His strength endued;
And take to arm you for the fight the panoply of God.
To keep your armour bright attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain’s sight, and watching unto prayer.
From strength to strength go on; wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down, and win the well-fought day,-
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone, and stand complete at last.
(Charles Wesley, 1707 - 88)

Used by permission of Bert Cargill, Scotland. 



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