The Company of Mockers

I have always loved David’s progression in this passage, from wicked, to sinners, to mockers. It is a progression from passive to active in their wickedness. The wicked are those whose mind is turning from good to evil. They are thinking about wicked things and working things out. The sinners are those who’ve taken up the mantle of wickedness and sinned against God. They have tired of the cramped Laws and openly rebelled against their Lord. But the last group, the company of mockers, is the worst of the lot. Not only are they wicked, and are sinners, but they they mock the God of heaven. They have denied God, for they know the penalty for their actions should God actually exist. This is why (some) atheists actively hate God and Christians, even they don’t “beleive” in His existence. They must continually deny what their own spirit tells them, forcing them soul down into dark places so that their “reasonable” mind can drown out the evidence that surrounds them.

But atheists are not the biggest problem for Christians, not by long a long shot. For Christians, our biggest problem is ourselves. As David writes, there are plenty of opportunities to walk in counsel of the wicked (“try this, do that! No one will find out!”) or to stand with sinners (“Sin isn’t so bad once you get used to it. Don’t you have a God who forgives sin? What’s one more sin?”) or to sit with the mockers (“You call yourself a Christian? Then why don’t you . . .?”) As Christians, we certainly feel the pressure from the world to be more like them, to fit in and conform so that we don’t stand out.

But what is the strength of the Christian? The written word of God. In this we meditate, day and night. In the Word we find a ready defense against temptation, just as our Master did. A Christian who is equipped with the Word will never find it failing, but it will always provide an answer when your faith is challenged.

I’m sorry to say, but the greatest threat to the Christian isn’t the world, but the ease of which Satan’s arguments can slip past our defenses when we don’t know the word of God. If we don’t study the book, we will be wide open to attack. Be diligent to study the word of God so that you will not be unprepared in the day of temptation.

Dear Lord, help me strong in the face of certain attack by the evil one. I know you have laid out for me everything I will need to know in You book. Help me each and every day to open Your word and apply what I’ve read to my life, so that my gaps will close and I will stand in the day of temptation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Don’t Leave Home Without It

A couple weeks ago, my phone was acting up. Battery wouldn’t charge and I just couldn’t get it to work. I need my phone for work especially as the hospital uses it to call me when I am on call like this morning. I didn’t take my cell phone to work with me that morning, thinking I would would come back and take it to the store to get it replaced. As I was walking to work that morning, I realized it was the farthest I had been from my cell phone in a long time. It’s been such a habit of taking my phone with me wherever I go that it’s second nature. I wish I had the same feeling about the armor of God.

I need this armor more than I need my cell phone. The helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith, the belt of truth. I am having flashbacks of Bibleman right now. If you don’t know who that is, don’t worry about it too much. He was a fictional superhero who armor sequence, like a Christian Batman, was all about putting on the armor of God.

Every day, we need this protective armor to secure us against the wiles of the devil. It is invaluable, and you can’t just leave it behind. It must be around you, on you and in your hand. It will protect you unlike your cell phone. Your cell phone will respond to your need, while the armor will help guide your feet, your thoughts, and your faith.

Even now as I compose this, I am holding my cell phone. Perhaps that phone can be a reminder that I need the armor of God everywhere I go. I hope today brings you exactly what you need. May God bless you.

Dear God, I am humbled before your majesty this morning. It is no small thing to be granted Your Own Armor to defend me from the wiles of the devil. And unlike Saul’s armor, yours is a perfect fit. Thank you for thinking so much of me as to deserve your personal protection. Please help me to remember it today to bring it with me wherever I go. In Jesus’ holy Name, Amen.


What does a Christian look like? Certainly, a Christian can look like anyone, right? Because anyone can be a Christian. But let me put forth another idea. You can better tell a Christian by their actions than their appearance. I would say people judge you more based on what you do than how you look. So that ”how can you tell if a person is a Christian?” is based on how they act, not how to dress.

Note the verse above. Three things that come from God are being chosen, holiness, and being dearly loved. Because of those three things, things which we have no power to do ourselves, we acquire and practice the following character traits. These traits help define our character, and we do not achieve them all at once. It takes time and practice to go develop compassion. It takes effort to develop kindness and gentleness. We have to work to suppress pride to humility. Patience, well, you learn through experience. All of these things are within our power to do. But we also have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us be more Christlike. A good person might have one or more of these qualities, but all of them? No. A Christian needs the peaceful contented presence of the Holy Spirit to be able to hold all of these at the same time, to practice to a greater or lesser degree each in turn.

How can you tell a Christian? It’s not by the words they say or how they dress. Watch what they do. Watch what you do. Are you a Christian?


I am reminded of the monsters going from business to business demanding protection money, so that something bad doesn’t happen to the shop owner or his family. Usually, this payment was protection from the “protectors” who threw in a “or else” statement at the end of their offer. The price of protection was usually high enough to make it a significant part of doing business in certain parts of town.

While the God of Heaven offers protection, it’s not like this. His protection comes at a cost, but it is devotion and obedience to His Word, whatever that costs. His protection is positive, but also comes with an “or else” at the end, followed by a description of calamity and destruction at the hands of others. God offers real protection from the storms of life. But remember that God takes the long view. He sees exactly in the tempering you need to fulfill His purpose.

Yeah, I know His protection won’t feel very protective sometimes. Sometimes you will wish you could pay protection from the mob bosses and it might be easier. But God is not working to protect you from harm. He is working to protect you from Hell. You see it is your eternal soul, made in the image of God that He is working to salvage from sin and restore to righteousness. He loves you and works from that eternal perspective.

There is no weapon formed against you that will hurt your soul. There is no accusation in any earthly court that applies to eternity. God is the last judge that matters. And God will see to it that your eternity is secure.

That said, is there no hope for this life? Should all our hope be focused on eternity that we cannot see until our eyes close in death? Lest you think faith in Jesus is a death cult, remember that the Lord delights to give you what your heart desires. He loves giving good gifts to His children and He protects you in His purposes. If you are working according to His will, He sees that you succeed. He is as much God of this life as the next. God loves you, and He wants you to experience real joy (not merely happiness). He will bless you with family or friends or spouse or children or any number of good relationships as long as you seek to do His will.

Case in point. 26 years ago I met the woman who would be my wife. But t was not by accident. I was to work a week of camp as a counselor at a Christian Camp as part of my internship to become a minister. I really did not want to go, because I’m not a big fan of camp. But, it was something I was required to do, so I did it. If the Lord was calling me to ministry, He was calling me to do this week of camp. I left my comfort zone, and though I had been earnestly praying for her, didn’t expect to meet her for the first time working the same camp as a counselor. We’ve now been married 24 years and have four amazing children. Why? Because the Lord delights to give us joy, but especially as we work out His will.

I want to encourage you today to seek His will in your life. Make His Word and work a daily part of your walk. Who knows. You might find the love of your life.

God bless!


We are soft and squishy. The artisans of war and conflict have known this for centuries. We tend to bleed easily. And so it became necessary to cover ourselves, first with clothing, leather and so forth, and then with more sturdy materials, like tin, bronze and iron. Today there is steel, Kevlar and carbon-fiber meshes. But the game and the purpose is still the same, to protect the softness and vulnerability that is our flesh.

So how does this translate into the spiritual realm? Does this mean that our souls are also soft and squishy, and that they too can be pierced? The armor we are called to wear was forged by no man. It is the armor of God. God is both smith and bearer of this armor, and He offers it to us for our protection, for we are His children, and His soldiers. We bear His armor. We march for Him.

But this armor, if you notice, is not for marching. It is for standing. This armor becomes for us an edifice, a fortress of refuge that protects us from the darts of the devil. This armor is composed not of steel and leather, but of faith, truth, and the gospel. Our very fragile soul is protected by the truth that has saved us. So that the true weapons of the enemy are falsehood and deceit. Hmmm.

Something to think about on this Sunday morning. God bless you today!

(By the way, illustration is not mine, I am borrowing it for illustration. If this is your artwork, please comment)

Armored for October

As we prepare for the festival the last Sunday of the month, it is high time we get ready with our costume. My kids start to get excited around the first of June talking about costumes for Halloween. One always wants to be a princess, and another a Jedi. So they start planning and trying on different pieces until the costume is just right. The costume just isn’t complete until all the pieces are applied. A princess needs a gown, a wand, and a tiara, along with gloves, shoes, makeup and hairstyle. A Jedi needs a robe, a lightsaber, the right shoes, and a determined attitude. It started to make me wonder what kind of costume a Christian should wear. What would be a distinctive costume for a Christian?

So much of what makes us different are concepts and ideas. We can’t exactly “wear” our theology or ethics on our sleeves. But after looking at those short lists above, maybe you were reminded of something. There is a list in the Bible similar to the costumes above, with sword, helmet, breastplate, sandals, shield and belt. These are the garb and armaments of a Roman soldier of Paul’s time, and we find this list in his letter to the Church of Ephesus. It is a letter written while Paul is in prison, guarded by a soldier at all times. But he takes occasion to immortalize the costume of the soldier into a Christian’s suit of armor.

When we look at Ephesians 6:14-18, we see “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (ESV)

I want to encourage you to take up the “costume” of the Christian, so that you can stand up to the powers of darkness that threaten every one of us.