EPHESIANS 6:11 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Dec 12-19)

Posted by Nathan Warner on

The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

When we see evil, how should we respond? Should we turn aside and avoid a confrontation? Evil and sinful acts leave behind a trail of damaged victims, destroying the fabric of justice in society and perverting innocence if not confronted. So, should we as Christians stand up for people in danger or leave them to their own devices? In Ezekiel, God appointed "watchmen" (or prophets) in Israel to take a stand, call out evil, resist it, and warn the people of danger. They were to speak the word of God into the situations where it was needed and stand in the gaps created by evil people trying to break down the society's protections for the innocent to make them their prey. While God was speaking specifically to Ezekiel, here, it really speaks of all prophets, and the principle extends to Christians as we see in the New Testament.

In Ephesians, Paul tells Believers to take a stand in the world, equipped with the whole armor of God against the schemes of the devil. We see from the Second Commandment that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we love our neighbors, we should stand firm against the devil, resisting the schemes of the wicked.

But is this simply in the big things of life? No, we need to stand up in the little things - especially the little things, because a flood is composed of many tiny drops of water - nothing of concern in themselves, but when added one on top another, they became so strong a force that they can drown you. The devil is always trying to compromise us in small ways, which we may not see as threatening, but which in his long-con, add up to a tsunami that could sweep us away. The "little" sins, compromises, moral weakness, and indifference we add in our lives weave into the devil's larger web of harm in society. This is why we should not give way to evil in our personal lives, nor when we see harm being done to others (or planned). To do nothing when you see the devil laying snares for his prey is to be complicit with him, because your inaction is apathy, rather than love towards those who he is harming in the world. There is no neutrality in the spiritual realm. If we fail to stand up, we are not fulfilling our responsibility to love our neighbor. Jesus drove this home when He spoke of the final judgement, saying that the righteous had stood up for Him when He was vulnerable and defenseless, when He had been made a prey for wicked people in the world. This confused the righteous as they didn't remember helping Him. Jesus explained that every time the righteous had stood up for someone in a desperate or vulnerable situation, they had stood up for Him. This answered the age old question, "am I my brother's keeper?" Ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own decisions, but if we see the danger that they cannot see, we are to intercede on their behalf, not turn away in apathy. What they do after that is their decision.

May we watch out for ourselves and our brothers, standing up to the little "evils" in our lives and in the world, resisting the schemes of the devil. Even so, Amen.

Other verses to consider:

“And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, “If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.” Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, “O wicked man, you will surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.” Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, “Thus you have spoken, saying, ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?’” Say to them, “As I live!” declares the Lord God, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?”’” (Ezekiel 33:1-11)

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ And he said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’” (Genesis 4:9)

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17).

“Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me” (Ezekiel 3:17).

A prophet is a watchman – to prophecy is to speak God’s Word for the situation. Today, we have God’s Word, and we are to prophecy by speaking it into the situations that it speaks to. “Ephraim was a watchman with my God, a prophet; Yet the snare of a bird catcher is in all his ways, And there is only hostility in the house of his God” (Hosea 9:8).

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ And he said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’” (Genesis 4:9)

“Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?” (Psalm 94:16)

“For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And we know our iniquities: Transgressing and denying the Lord, And turning away from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words. Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter. Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice” (Isaiah 59:12-15).

“The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice. I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,” declares the Lord God” (Ezekiel 22:29-31).

“My heart throbs, my strength fails me; And the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me. My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off. Those who seek my life lay snares for me; And those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, And they devise treachery all day long” (Psalm 38:10-12).

“With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him. For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul” (Psalm 109:30-31).

“Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice? On top of the heights beside the way, Where the paths meet, she takes her stand; Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, At the entrance of the doors, she cries out: ‘To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men. O naive ones, understand prudence; And, O fools, understand wisdom. Listen, for I will speak noble things; And the opening of my lips will reveal right things. For my mouth will utter truth; And wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverted in them. They are all straightforward to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge. Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold.’ For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her. ‘I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate. Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly. I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield better than choicest silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, To endow those who love me with wealth, That I may fill their treasuries’” (Proverbs 8:1-21).

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:34-46).

Tags: apathy, armor of god, defend, devil, evil, helpless, innocent, justice, love, neutral, prophet, righteous, schemes, sin, stand up, standing, watchman, wicked, word of god, complicity, collusion


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