Preparing for Sunday October 23rd (The Sword of the Spirit)
Weekly Devotional Email
For Sunday, October 23, 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,
We only two weeks left in our study on the Armor of God! It’s gone by very quickly and yet at the same time I feel like God has really used this study in my own life to further strengthen my own spiritual armor. By way of review we have looked at so far: The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith, and the Helmet of Salvation. This week we look at the Sword of the Spirit and then next week we will look at the Power of Prayer.
REVIEW FROM LAST SUNDAY’S MESSAGE, ‘THE HELMET OF SALVATION’
Our salvation will be noticeable.
The Apostle Paul paints quite the picture for us. When a person is confident of his salvation – and when he is walking in the powerful reality of all that salvation means for him that person life will be noticeable! As we are reminded in Romans 12:2, ‘We are not to be conformed to this world.’ God doesn’t want even one area of our mind to think like the world – the way it used to think before coming to Christ. Instead, God intends for every cell in your mind to be dominated by your new birth. He intends for your mind to think like a mind that is influenced by the Holy Spirit. We are transformed by how we think. Then our thoughts will set the course for our actions.
Salvation is the most gorgeous, most intricate, most elaborate and most ornate gift from God.
Salvation is defined as ‘saved’ or ‘delivered.’ It’s taken from a word that means to be saved, to be delivered from danger, and to be brought into a safe place. It is the word we use to describe God’s act of saving us from an eternity without Him. We were born sinners. Every one of us.
We were born sinners. And in our sinful nature we cannot experience a relationship God as we are. We cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
So God sent His Son. Jesus Christ was born without sin and lived a sinless, perfect life. And then he died on an old rugged cross. He died and was buried and then he rose again and defeated death. Through His life, death & resurrection He defeated sin, he defeated death and provided us a way to receive eternal life! How beautiful is that? I mentioned a beautiful song sung by David Crowder at a concert I recently went to. To listen to that song, click here.
SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: The Sword of the Spirit
The sword was one of the most effective pieces of weaponry the Roman soldier had.
The word for ‘sword’ as used in this text, is taken from the Greek word ‘machaira.’ This brutal weapon was about 19 inches long. Both sides of the blade were razor sharp, making this sword much more dangerous than the other four. In addition, the tip of the sword turned upward, causing the point of the blade to be extremely sharp and deadly. That tip would inflict a wound far worse than the other words. Before a Roman solider withdrew this particular sword from the gut of his enemy, he would his sword very tightly with both hands and give it a wrenching twist inside his enemy’s stomach. This would cause the opponent’s entrails to spill out as the soldier pulled the sword from his enemy’s body. Vegetius, a famous fourth-century Roman historian, said,
“…A stroke with the edges, though, made with ever so much force, seldom kills, as the vital parts of the body are defended by both the bones and armor. On the contrary, a stab, though it penetrates but two inches, is generally fatal.”
The sword rested on the belt of the Roman soldier.
Like the other pieces of armor, the sword and the belt were inseparable. The shield rested on a clip on the right side of the belt and the sword hung from a clip on the left side of the belt. The belt served as both a support for the shield and a resting place for the soldier’s sword.
The Word of God is mentioned twice in the Armor of God.
The belt is the representation of the written Word of God.
It is our source of truth. It is the standard by which we live. It is the standard by which we love. Where the Bible speaks, we will speak. Where the Bible is silent, we will be silent. Figuratively and literally everything rests on the written Word of God.
The sword is the spoken Word of God in the midst of a battle.
When the Holy Spirit quickens our heart at a specific time and for a specific purpose it is so strong and powerful that it is as if God has put a supernatural sword our hand. With that sword in hand, you have a powerful weapon with which to repel Satan’s attacks against you.
There are moments in our life where we are faced with temptation or with a difficult decision or a hard moment or a trial and we need to do battle with our sword.
With a spoken word from God like this placed into your heart and into your mind, we will have a powerful sword to wield against the devil when he attacks!
The verses in our study this week have to do with the Bible and dealing with temptations and difficult moments in our life.
II Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
John 14:26 (NASB)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart
II Corinthians 10:4 (NIV)
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Psalms 119:9-11 (KJV)
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
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
Psalms 37:31 (NIV)
The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip
Matthew 4:1-4 (NIV)
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL GROWTH & DISCOVERY
- The sword rested on the belt of the Roman soldier. Considering the belt represents the written Word of God and the sword represents the spoken Word of God, what’s the significance?
- How often do you read the Bible?
- When was the last time you memorized a verse?
- What did Jesus do when the enemy tempted Him in the wilderness? (Matthew 4)
- How can you follow His example the next time you are faced with temptations, doubt, fear? (Matthew 4)
Have any questions about this study?
Email them to email@example.com or text them to (541) 530-4912.
Only two more Sundays in this study! I’ll see you Sunday!!
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