Stingball Grenades

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Stingball grenades are used to stop huge prison riots. It looks like a hand-held grenade and has 180 rubber pellets inside that can travel up to 50 feet from the area where it was detonated. When discharged, it produces a loud sound, a bright flash of light and sends those pellets everywhere to stun the rioting inmates.

I had seen the power of this non-lethal weapon used for many years in prisons. One night, out in the prison yard, obscured from inmates, the Sergeant demonstrated different kinds of forces and non-lethal weapons used to stop prison riots to us, the medical staff. Even when we were far, the sound it produced was scary, the light was surprising and blinding as it was thrown in the darkness of the night. And the medical staff huddled together… Frozen! Stunned! Afraid!

Sin had brought a lot of complications into our lives. Because of it, we, too, have a fight that goes on. Everyday. It starts with our decision-making. When we fall into sins’ traps, obviously, that’s when we make the wrong decisions. The Holy Spirit is here to convince the world of its sin. It comes like that stingball. When It hits you, of course, it hurts. Because He wants to bring you and I to repentance. He lets us know about God’s righteousness to anyone who believes.

John 16:8 - “And when he comes, he will convince the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”

He also disciplines His children. Sometimes, even those who had previously surrendered to His Lordship still fall back to their old, ugly habits. But He comes in a big surprise like a stingball to stun or stop someone from being trapped again. The only thing that matters is how that person will accept the Holy Spirit’s conviction and discipline.

It is not enjoyable to feel the sting from God’s discipline. We can either accept it with resignation, or with self-pity thinking that we don’t deserve it, or even with anger and resentment toward God, or perhaps gratefully? The last one is the right response. When we learn to endure, it produces righteousness in the end. God does this because He loves us.

Hebrews 12:4-11: [NIV]

4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

And the beauty that comes from the sting of the Holy Spirit? It doesn’t kill anyone. Instead, it offers a gift of eternal life and righteousness!

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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].