Hallowed Even Not Halloween

The word Halloween was first attested in mid 16th century and it represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), which is, the night before All Hallows Day or All Saints day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling “Hallowe’en” was frequently used, eliding the “v” and shortening the word.

The Most Hallowed Even of all was the evening in which the heavens was lighted with the glory of the Lord and an angelic choir that sang “Fear not, for we bring good tidings of great joy toward all men, for today a Savior is born, in the city of David, who is [Jesus] Christ the Lord; Glory to God and on earth, Peace, Good will toward men” (Luke 2:12, 14). The Most Hallowed Even is the one in which Jesus Christ was born into this world, which purportedly is December 25.

Sadly and mistakenly on October 31st, many in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and some other places will be celebrating Halloween with symbols of darkness, doom and death, when this day should be celebrated with the Symbol of light, liberty and life. Jesus Christ is The Symbol of light, liberty and life. He is the Light of the World (John 8:12). He is the Liberty for all; the one who came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18). He is Life (John 11:25). And all who believe in Jesus Christ, are moved over from death to life (Romans 6:23); they are sinners turned saints. October 31st should be a celebration of the day of life (Saints) and not of death (Sinners whose penalty is death). It should be Hallowed Even and not Halloween.

To those with a background in understanding mathematical notations and/or information technology, you may understand the humor which wittingly establishes that computers get confused between October 31 (Halloween) and December 25 (Hallowed Even), because the Octal (Oct) representation of 31 equals the Decimal (Dec) representation of 25. In other words, Oct 31 = Dec 25. God sure does have a great sense of humor and in all things (including computers), He is glorified.

Let us use the opportunity on Halloween to share with others about the Hallowed Even.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Service over Success

Toward the end of his life, it is said that, Albert Einstein removed the portraits of two renowned scientists – Isaac Newton and James Maxwell – from his wall and replaced them with portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer. Einstein explained that it was time to replace the image of success with the image of service. He is also believed to have said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” He encouraged others to live in service to others, in service to their spouses, their children, their community and to the world.

Anyone that is remembered in the annals of history had one common thread that epitomized them and that is “service”. They served God and they served people. Jesus Christ, the God of the universe, is the perfect role model (example) of a life that was lived for others; in service to God and to man. He Himself expressed that He had not come to be served but to serve. No one really gets remembered for their success stories, but still we strive hard and harder to get a name for ourselves and be successful.  It is time that we replace the image(s) of what we deem as success with an image of Jesus Christ, that we can gaze on, all the days of our lives and emulate His attitude of servitude. Only then will the life that we have lived be worthwhile.

I desire that the epitaph on my tombstone reads “Here lies a servant [of God and man]!“. What is your desire?

Matthew 20:26-28 (KJV)
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered (served) unto, but to minister (serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.

John 13:13-15 (KJV)
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Where are our eyes focused?

A fish is caught in a hook because it has its eyes focused on the lure and not the string that is attached to it.

Genesis 13 records the account of Abram and his nephew, Lot, separating to avoid strife between them, but what is interesting to note in that account is that both Abram and Lot had their eyes focused differently. Abram’s priority was to build and altar and call on the name of the Lord, first (Genesis 13:4). In other words, his eyes were focused on the Lord (Provider) and not the land (provisions). And when Abram asked Lot to take his pick of the land, the Bible states that Lot lifted up his eyes and looked in one direction and saw the lush lure of the land and chose it for himself (Genesis 13:10). In hindsight, we learn that all that glitters is not gold, for the  land that Lot had chosen was evil and punished by the Lord. The choicest of the land may not be the choicest of the Lord. We see later in this account that God asks Abram to lift up his eyes and look in ALL directions, promising Abram and his heir all that he saw (Genesis 13:14). When we fix our eyes on Jesus, He promises and provides for us and our heir in ALL aspects of life, blessing us to be a blessing to others.

There are strings attached with the lures of this world and if we don’t lift our eyes on to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we can can be caught in the hooks and lures that the world (an enemy of God) has to offer. Where are our eyes focused?

Psalm 121:1-2 (KJV)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

The Armor David Wore :: Powerful Prayer

Though King David is known to have been to be a great warrior and giant killer, he was an even greater warrior of a different kind. He was a prayer warrior. In fact, the Bible has in it various kinds of prayers that David prayed; some of which are the prayer of praises and adoration (1 Chronicles 29:10-13), the prayer of petition (Psalm 70), the prayer of deliverance (Psalm 25), the fasting prayer of intercession (2 Samuel 12:16), and the well known prayer of earnest repentance (Psalm 51).

Though it is not explicitly stated that David prayed before facing the giant Goliath, we can be certain that David faced Goliath not on his own strengths, skills and savvy, but in the name of the Lord, with whom he had an intimate relationship. Such a relationship is only possible when one spends time (and may I say in communication/prayer) with the Lord. David’s one desire was that he would dwell in the house of the Lord and gaze on the beauty of the Lord all the days of his life and to enquire (pray/talk with/seek) Him in His temple (Psalm 27:4). We share the deepest of our feelings and plans with those whom we love and spend time with. It is certainly not far fetched to recognize that David spent so much time with the Lord, talking with Him (in prayer), that God shared his deepest feelings and plans with David, so much so that God was able to testify that David was a man after God’s own heart.

Ephesians 6:11-18 teaches us about the items that make the Armor of God, and often many of us stop with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, but the Scripture continues to inform us that we must continuously (unceasingly) “Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watch thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;“. For us to be victorious in spiritual warfare, we must fight on our knees with ceaseless prayer from our hearts and lips. One thing the devil and his demons dread is to see a sinner on his knees praying for the Salvation of his/her soul or a saint on his/her knees in prayer and supplication in the Spirit for themselves and other saints.

When the disciples asked Jesus as to why they were unable to cast a demon out of a possessed boy, Jesus’ response was that such a kind can be cast out only by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:14-21). Without prayer (and fasting), some of the demonic strongholds cannot be broken. To hold the sword of the Spirit (word of God) and not be in prayer is akin to having a sheathed sword; it would not be optimal in spiritual battle (against demonic strongholds). The breaking of chains and the bringing down of giants is possible by prayer (communion with God).

Are/Am you/I a prayer warrior? In fact, to pray is to engage in battle.

Ephesians 6:18 (KJV)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The Armor David Wore :: Sword of the Spirit

The Bible records that David, the shepherd boy chose not to wear the armor of a soldier, that King Saul armed him with, when he averred to fight the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:38-39). But David did wear another kind of armor, an armor that was more effective than the physical armor that he chose not to wear, against an armored foe. It was a spiritual armor that He wore.

Though the Bible explicitly states that David did not have a sword in his hand and that he used the very sword of the giant Goliath to slay the giant. Yet we can see hidden in this account, that David carried a different kind of sword. A spiritual sword. The offensive weapon in the arsenal of weapons to be used in spiritual warfare, according to the Bible, is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). When Jesus faced the tempter devil, He fenced with the devil with the word of God, quoting each time, that “It is Written”. David was confident that the Lord who had written His promise of being the deliverance and Salvation of Israel would be true to His word, for His name is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11). It was written that the Lord would fight for his people and David wielded this word of Truth against the giant Goliath as He exclaimed, that it was in the name of the Lord (in the name of the Faithful and True), he had come to face Goliath. What was the name of this Lord? The great I AM; the El Elyon (God Most High), who was far greater than the colossal giant Goliath. Jesus Christ is the name of the Lord, above all names and every tongue will confess one day that He is Lord and every knee will bow to this name, no matter how gigantic one is.

Do you/I use the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, when we are confronted in our day to day lives; when we face our giants?
Use the sword of the Spirit to let the whole world know that there is a God who fights for his people.

Proverbs 18:10 (KJV)
10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

The Armor David Wore :: Helmet of Salvation

The Bible records that David, the shepherd boy chose not to wear the armor of a soldier, that King Saul armed him with, when he averred to fight the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:38-39). But David did wear another kind of armor, an armor that was more effective than the physical armor that he chose not to wear, against an armored foe. It was a spiritual armor that He wore.

The helmet is part of an armor that protects the head literally and figuratively the mind. The Bible says that He [God] will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [fixed] on Him [God] (Isaiah 26:3). The Psalmist (David) avers that the Lord is my light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1). Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are assured of Salvation and they can be in perfect peace without any fear. They are assured of eternal life and even death cannot drive fear into their hearts and mind. David recognized that he had no reason to fear the giant Goliath, because he knew that the Lord was his Salvation. He in fact states that boldly to the giant that it will be the Lord who would deliver the giant into his hands; in other words, it will be the Lord who will save him.  He had armed himself with the helmet of Salvation and there was nothing for him to fear.

Do you/I have perfect peace as did David? Are you/I armed with the helmet of Salvation that drives out fear?

Psalm 27:1 (KJV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

The Armor David Wore :: Shield of Faith

The Bible records that David, the shepherd boy chose not to wear the armor of a soldier, that King Saul armed him with, when he averred to fight the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:38-39). But David did wear another kind of armor, an armor that was more effective than the physical armor that he chose not to wear, against an armored foe. It was a spiritual armor that He wore.

According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is defined as the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. In other words, when one wears the goggles of faith, they can see the invisible. When David faced Goliath, Goliath with his natural eyes saw a ruddy young shepherd boy but when David saw Goliath, instead of seeing the giant, He saw the God far greater and bigger than the giant. With fervency and full confidence in the God who promised to be with His people when they went to war (Deuteronomy 20:4), David knew that it not him or his skills, but it would be God who is true to His word, who delivers the giant into his hands. The mocking arrows found no way to penetrate the shield of Faith that David held on strongly to.

When we arm ourselves with the shield of faith, we can the immortal, invisible, and only wise God (1 Timothy 1:17) and He will fight the battles we are engaged in, giving victory to us, and gaining the glory due Him.

Deuteronomy 20:3-4 (KJV)
3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;  
For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you

Psalm 91:4-6 (KJV)
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.