|Theme:||Putting on the armor of God to stand against Satan - Proper 16 (21)|
|Object:||Baseball catcher's equipment|
|Scripture:||Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Ephesians 6:11|
A few days ago I was watching the World Series on television. No, it wasn't the Major League Baseball World Series. It was the Little League Softball World Series and all of the players were girls. Things have really changed since I played in Little League! One thing I noticed that hasn't changed much is the equipment the players use. The bats, balls, gloves, and shoes still look pretty much the same.
There is one player on the team that has some very special equipment. That's the catcher. The catcher is in a very dangerous spot right behind the batter and needs special equipment for protection. This morning I brought some of the catcher's equipment for you to see.
The catcher always wears a mask. The mask protects the catcher's face from foul tips or pitches that might get past the glove. The catcher wears a chest protector to protect the middle part of the body. Finally, the catcher wears shin guards to protect the knees and legs. No catcher would ever think of going into the game without this protective equipment.
The Bible teaches us that you and I need protection in the game of life. The Bible calls it the armor of God and it tells us that we need the armor of God to protect us from Satan's evil schemes. What kind of protection does the Bible say that we need?
The belt of truth - The Bible tells us that Satan is the "father of lies," but he can never win if we will hold on to the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord
The breastplate of righteousness - Satan can never harm us when we choose to do what God says is right
Feet fitted with the gospel of peace - Satan tries to create worry and confusion in our lives, but knowing Jesus brings peace
The shield of faith - Satan will try to plant seeds of doubt in our hearts and minds, but those seeds of doubt can never take root if we have faith in Jesus
The helmet of salvation - Jesus came from heaven to earth to save us from the evil one, if we accept salvation in Jesus' name, we will win the battle against Satan
The sword of the Spirit - the Bible, God's Holy Word, it is a powerful weapon against Satan
Just as no catcher would ever think of getting behind the plate without his protective equipment, no Christian should ever enter into the game of life without all of the protection that God has given us. Remember, Satan cannot harm us when we put on the "whole armor of God."
Dear Father, thank you for the protection that you have given us against the evils of this world. Help us to always remember to put on the whole armor of God. Amen.