Read: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 2:3

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me

“Come back with your shield – or on it” was reported to be the parting cry of Spartan mothers to their sons. They wanted their sons to live, but they wanted them to live with honor. Either win the battle or die trying. When you come to the end of your life will you be able to say, like Paul, that “I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)?

Paul challenged Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12) You cannot “war a good warfare” without “holding faith” (1 Timothy 1:18-19) Like a shield, faith is something you have to hold on to tightly and not let go, especially in battle.

When the enemy attacks, the “fiery darts” are flying and the sword is slashing away at you, the only thing you can do is hold tighter to your shield of faith holding off the blows that come until that opportunity comes to go on the offensive with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.

We will not need faith when we get to Heaven, but we certainly need it now. The soldier returning from Afghanistan can put his armor away because he is safe. We will be safe when we get to Heaven, but as we face the battles of this life we need to hold on to our faith!

Meditation for the Day: How can you hold on to your faith? How can you use faith as a defense against the attacks of the devil?

Assignment: Look back in your life for three occasions where the devil attacked you in some unexpected way and you had to use your faith to defend against that attack.

For Fun: Make or find something to be a shield. Carry it around for a little while like a soldier would. Have someone swing a “sword” at you and see how flexible and ready you need to be.