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First Things First
by Janie Buck
Date: 04.22.2006

When my son was a little boy he loved to play soldier. He dressed up in his favorite camouflage suit and battled the bad guys. The first piece of armor he put on was a belt with a holster for his six-shooter pistol. He won many wars with that toy gun.

Christians are given armor to “kill the bad guys” too. Our problem is that our enemies are invisible, but very real and powerful. Our battle is not pretend little boy play. Our enemy hates God and us. Satan is our enemy and often unrecognized as the cause of much of our trouble.

Even when a Christian knows their conflict is caused by Satan, they may not know how to resist his harassment. So they keep fussing, arguing and saying mean and wounding words to the people they live or work with. This kind of response to people is a waste of time and is often the cause of broken friendships and even divorce.

Don’t argue with people, or try to get even when someone hurts you. Put on the first and most important piece of God’s armor. “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” (Eph. 6:14a).

What is the “belt of truth”? It is the Word of God, the Bible. Make a plan to read and study the Bible until its truth guides your actions and reactions. A good place to start is the New Testament. Then read Acts. It tells what happened after the Lord Jesus when back to heaven. He left the disciples orders on how they were to spread the Good News of what He had done for the world. Go on reading Paul’s letters for they have very practical advice on how to get along with people.

The truth will also guard your heart and mind against the empty philosophy of the world. You will learn to discern truth form error about what you read and hear. The truth of God is your greatest weapon for living the abundant life Jesus gives.

Memory Verse: "Don’t have any thing to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels" (2 Timothy 2:23)

Prayer: Father, forgive me for fussing and fighting verbal battles. I know it is wrong but don’t know how to stop. I take the first step by reading your Word and wrap it around my mind like a strong belt that holds my “six-shooter.” Speak to my heart and teach me how the Word is my greatest protection against sin.

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