Preparing for Sunday (week of September 18th)
Weekly Devotional for Sunday, September 18, 2016
Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV)
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.
Dear Church Family,
Last Sunday we began our new Sunday morning series entitled ‘STAND’ taken from Ephesians 6 on the Armor of God. In this weekly devotional you’ll find a review of last Sunday’s message, a preview of this coming Sunday’s message, Bible verses for you to read to prepare your hearts for Sunday and questions for your own personal growth and discovery. If there’s anyone that you’d like to share this information, feel free to do so! Just copy this link and send it to them and they can subscribe via email going forward, if they’d like.
REVIEW FROM LAST SUNDAY’S MESSAGE
Last week we discussed the difference between the wind and the tress in our life. I wonder how many of us looked at trees a little differently this last week? I sure did.
Do you remember the story? (If you would like to read the entire essay by G.K. Chesterton click here).
We spoke about the young boy who saw the trees moving and waving in the middle of a wind storm and how he got fearful. The little boy was frightened as he looked up at his mother and said, ‘Mommy, why don’t we take away all these trees so that the wind won’t blow?’
We discussed how we have made that mistake for years if not generations. We have made the mistake of identifying trees as the problem. We discussed the Wickedness in our World and identified them as the wind. The Apostle Paul describes this wickedness in Ephesians 6 as:
- The principalities.
- The powers.
- The rulers of darkness.
- The spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.
We also looked at the Reality of Our War: we are engaged in spiritual warfare. (To listen to last week’s message click here).
SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: The Belt of Truth
This Sunday we take a look at the specific pieces of armor that are listed in Ephesians 6. As we move forward it’s important for us to understand that in this spiritual battle that we have found ourselves, God has not left us unarmed. Aren’t you grateful that he has provided us with every piece of armor we will need?
He has provided us with spiritual weaponry that has the ability to counterattack and defeat any scheme that the devil would try to use against us. In our passage in Ephesians 6 Paul has described for us seven pieces of weaponry in the Armor of God that corresponds to the seven pieces of weaponry that the Roman soldier would have had in the 1st and 2nd centuries.
The seven pieces of armor for a Roman soldier included the following:
This was large and elaborate and a decorative piece.
This began at the top of the soldier’s neck and extended down to his waist and below his hips.
This was the central piece of weaponry.
When not in active combat, the shield and sword rested on the loin belt.
The shield used in battle was a long, door-shaped weapon intended to protect the soldier during a skirmish.
The sword was a two-edged and used for stabbing an enemy at close range.
These were more than just shoes. On the bottom were tails that gave the soldier a solid footing and crushed the enemy underfoot. The Roman soldier also wore greaves that protected his legs from cuts, bruises and wounds so he could keep marching regardless of the terrain where he was forced to fight.
The Roman soldier also carried a lance that was used for striking an enemy from a distance.
The first piece of armor we will identify is The Belt of Truth. As we will learn about more on Sunday, the Belt of Truth is the Bible. As I was studying this week one thought kept coming to my mind: why would the belt be the first piece of armor that the Apostle Paul would describe?
Many of the verses we will look at together on Sunday are verses from Psalms chapter 119. This is the longest chapter in the Bible and its subject is the Bible. Every verse sheds light on the Word of God and its impact on our lives. The following are the verses we will review together on Sunday:
Psalms 119:7, 106 (NCV)
When I learned that your laws are fair, I praised you with an honest heart.
Psalms 119:106 (NCV)
I will do what I have promised and obey your fair laws.
Psalms 119:62 (NCV)
In the middle of the night, I get up to thank you because your laws are right.
Psalms 119:42-43 (NCV)
42 I have an answer for people who insult me, because I trust what you say. 43 Never keep me from speaking your truth, because I depend on your fair laws.
Psalms 119:89-90 (NCV)
89 Lord, your word is everlasting; it continues forever in heaven. 90 Your loyalty will go on and on; you made the earth, and it still stands.
Psalms 119:105 (NKJV)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Colossians 3:15-16 (ESV)
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL GROWTH & DISCOVERY
- Why do you think that the belt is the first piece of armor described in this list of the Armor of God?
- What would happen to your sense of right and wrong if you stopped feeding on the Bible?
- As you examine your own spiritual walk, can you honestly say that you are spending enough time reading the Bible?
- Why do you think we call the Bible the ‘Word of God’?
- As you take an honest look at your own life, can you identify areas that are beginning to fall apart at the seams because you have neglected the Word of God?
- What practical changes can you make in your life to spend more time in the Bible?
Have any questions about this study?
Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, text them to (541) 530-4912 or use the contact form below.
I’d ask that you pray for our service that God would be magnified and His power would be evident in our Sunday services. I look forward to seeing you in church this Sunday!