Your Life Matters

With all the hate and rhetoric swirling around our country today, particularly that which is directed at our Brothers and Sisters in Blue, I felt the time was right to take as step back and reinforce the intrinsic value of every human life. In sort, “ALL LIVES MATTER” to God and those who strive to live to please Him in this life. This unyielding truth applies to all who have ever lived, whether they have been born or not, but that aspect is a topic for another time.

These are, indeed, perilous and distressing times, both physically and spiritually, and we must take care to ensure that we are fully protected in both realms. Just as there are evil people seeking to do harm to unsuspecting, innocent people, our spiritual enemy, Satan, is looking for the opportunity to take us down as well by exploiting our spiritual weaknesses (1 Peter 5:8).

To provide protection against physical and spiritual threats/dangers, we must ‘Armor Up’ and be extra vigilant as we go about our daily affairs. Just as we prepare for duty by putting on our essential and protective gear prior to hitting the road, we must also put on the full ‘Armor of God’. Paul tells us of this armor in Ephesians 6:13-18, where he writes, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints“ – (NKJV).

There are several obvious parallels between these verses and how we prepare for duty. First, we must put on the Belt of Truth just as we put on a Duty Belt from which hangs the flashlight that sheds light on the situation and provides us the ability to discern the truth of what we are seeing; exposing potential dangers and threats: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Psalm 119:105 (KJV). Next, we need the Breastplate of righteousness, which protects our heart from sin in the same manner that our Second Chance Vests protect our physical hearts from harm. This is truly essential in that we must be righteous in spirit if we are to effectively and impartially perform our duties without the distractions of sin in our lives that may cause us to act in a prejudicial manner in our professional lives or fall into addictive behavior(s) in our personal lives.

The Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God), along with continual prayer, are the primary weapons by which we fight our spiritual battles, much as our lethal (and less-than-lethal) weapons are the tools we use to effectively disable offenders and defend ourselves and others. Lastly, we can stand behind the Shield of Faith as it mitigates the effects of the diverse attacks that Satan and the world hurl our way. Likewise, we stand behind The Shield pinned to our chests in the realization that it is a symbol of authority that elicits various responses from those we encounter. We have faith that this symbol will be recognized and respected as representative of our commitment to serve our communities to the utmost of our abilities rather than as a symbol of abuse and repression, making us the target of hatred, scorn, and reprisals.

Again, I cannot repeat this enough, ALL lives matter to God!! They matter so much that He continues to withhold His righteous judgment against this world in order to give those who will do so the opportunity to repent and turn to Him for their salvation: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV). Keep your head on a swivel, both physically and spiritually, and be safe out there!!!

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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