Preparing for Sunday (week of October 2nd)
Weekly Devotional Email
For Sunday, October 2, 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,
This week is a difficult week in our community. A year ago this Saturday, Umpqua Community College and the city of Roseburg were part of the national news scene as tragedy struck the very heart of our community. In some respects, it’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year. The memories are still vivid. And yet, on the other hand, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year when senseless violence struck our community. There are many outlets this weekend for all those affected by the tragic events of last October. There is the Umpqua Strong 9k & 5k Run/Walk Saturday morning where proceeds of the event will fund a UCC Student Scholarship in honor of each victim and in recognition of those that survived. There will be a concert by the Christian band, Sanctus Real, on Saturday afternoon at Legion Field at 2:30 PM. There will also be a Candlelight Service at 7:30 PM at Stewart Park that will allow our community to come together and unite. For more details on any of these events click here.
Months ago God laid upon my heart that this study on the Armor of God was needed for our church family. Little did I know that God would arrange it so the weekend of the 1-year mark of the tragedy would coincide with us looking closely at the Shoes of Peace. Could you imagine what our community would look like if we were to walk in the peace of God? Could you imagine what our relationships would look like if we were to walk in the peace of God? Could you imagine what our families what look like if we were to walk in the peace of God?
A few of weeks ago we began our new Sunday morning series entitled ‘STAND’ taken from Ephesians 6 on the Armor of God. In this post 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, ‘THE BELT OF TRUTH’
This study is not only about a warning, it’s about winning.
Although the tenor of this passage is about the Apostle Paul giving us a warning spiritual warfare, it’s vitally important and equally encouraging to recognize that it’s also about winning! The pieces of armor described in our text are specifically designed to help us defeat the schemes of the devil. That’s what they are designed for! It’s up to us to utilize them as God intended. In Ephesians 6 he gives us seven pieces of armor, the Helmet of Salvation, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Belt of Truth, the Shield of Faith, the Sword of the Spirit, the Shoes of Peace and the Lance (Power of Prayer).
The Breastplate of Righteousness
We took a closer look at being clothed in the Righteousness of God. Aren’t you glad that we don’t have to dress ourselves in our own righteousness? Our righteousness could never measure up to the righteousness of God. In fact, our righteousness is compared to filthy rags. The very best we can offer…is compared to filthy rags. II Corinthians 5:21 tells us, though, that God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. God has provided a way for his to be clothed in His righteousness.
When we claim His righteousness for our lives, we are then protected. In Romans 8:1, God reminds us that There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Whenever Satan would have us question our worth, or question our righteousness, our question our standing we can defend ourselves with the Breastplate of Righteousness. Because it’s not in and of ourselves that we are righteous…we are made righteous through Jesus Christ! The breastplate of righteousness is not about us living a sinless perfect life. It’s about God’s grace in granting us His righteousness when we enter a relationship with Him. I’m so grateful for that! Because, as I said on Sunday, I are not sinless and I are not perfect. The Breastplate of Righteousness is about putting on His righteousness (to listen to last week’s message click here).
SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: The Shoes of Peace
What kind of peace do you wish you could experience?
I was studying for this message on the Shoes of Peace and I came across an old Peanuts Cartoon. It’s a conversation between Lucy and Charlie Brown and this is the way it goes:
Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “I hate everything. I hate everybody. I hate the whole wide world!”
Charlie Brown says, “But I thought you had inner peace.”
Lucy replies, “I do have inner peace. But I still have outer obnoxiousness”
You ever meet someone with inner peace but outer obnoxiousness? Maybe that’s how you feel today? What kind of peace do you wish you could experience?
God describes a type of peace that passes all understanding. In other words, when experience this type of peace you wouldn’t even be able to put it into words accurately. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to experience that type of peace. Biblical peace can be defined as resting in a relationship with God. As we’ll look at Sunday, this type of peace can be attained on a daily basis.
It’s interesting that the picture and image described in Ephesians 6 is the Shoes of Peace. When you think about how we use shoes today, it may not be as significant to us. When you consider, though, the Roman soldier’s shoes, it becomes very evident why this metaphor was used. In the first place, they were made out of bronze or brass – usually brass – and the shoes were primarily composed of two parts:
The greave was a tube-like piece of bronze or brass that began at the top of the knee and extended down past the lower leg, finally resting on the upper portion of the foot. It was made from a warped sheet of beautifully tooled metal that had been specifically formed to fit around the calf of the Roman soldier’s leg. This tube-like piece of metal caused the Roman soldier’s shoes to look like boots that were made of brass.
During certain missions, Roman soldiers would have to carry out difficult mission that would require them to walk through difficult terrain, rocky places or maybe difficult barriers. With the greaves right around their legs they would be protected when walking through the roughest of places without getting one scrape or bruise.
The shoe itself was made of two pieces of metal.
On the top and bottom, the foot was covered with fine pieces of brass. The sides of the shoe were held together by multiple pieces of durable leather. On the bottom, these shoes were equipped with extremely dangerous spikes that were one or more inches long.
We’ll take closer look Sunday at these elements and how they practically relate to our own daily peace we can live in.
As we study the Shoes of Peace we’ll look at a few verses that have to do with our relationship with God and also, more specifically, with our walk with God. After all, we’re talking about shoes, right? And shoes are designed for walking, right? Here are some of the verses we will look at:
Colossians 1:21-22 (ESV)
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight
Colossians 3:15-16a (NIV)
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom
Romans 6:4 (NKJV)
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 13:13 (KJV)
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying
II Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 5:2 (KJV)
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:8 (KJV)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Colossians 1:10 (KJV)
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 4:5 (KJV)
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
II John 6 (KJV)
This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL GROWTH & DISCOVERY
- Do you have peace with God?
- Do you have the peace of God?
- What happens when you wear loose fitting shoes? How does that apply to the peace of God in your life?
- Why do you think God describes our relationship with Him as a walk? Why doesn’t he describe it as a jog, or a run, or a jump?
- Who in your life right now could benefit most from having peace with God? How can you help them find this peace?
Have any questions about this study?
Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or text them to (541) 530-4912.
Today I prayed for you to experience the peace of God. I’m excited to continue our study together this Sunday at 10:40am.
PLUS – this Sunday we are hosting the NW Schools of Missions! It starts at 9:30 AM with a combined Bible School for all adults and teens. We’ll meet downstairs in the Fellowship Hall and hear from Bobby Morse from the North Burma Christian Mission. On Sunday night at 5:00 PM we will be having a Soup Supper and hear from Ted Bjorem from Australia. See you then!
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