Hey Students, to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus we are providing a weekly devo (devotional). This is week 5. As a reminder why we do this, we struggle to find time every week to read the Bible and when we do think about it we struggle knowing where to start reading. It our hope that by putting up these weekly devo’s that it will help us get into God’s Word at least once during the week. It’s my prayer for you that in getting into a weekly habit then Jesus will awaken your heart to desire to be in the Bible more often.
Students, if you are reading some of the questions and they don’t make sense to you or you don’t know how to answer them, ask your parents for help. I would encourage you to bring your answers to Emerge (maybe in a journal) because your huddle group may go over them.
Take 20 minutes and follow these 4 simple steps:
Pray: Today we will be reading a few verses that, if you’ve every been to kids church, you probably already know it. You might even think of them as “kid verses” and blow them off. Take a few minutes now and thank God that you know Him, praise Him for loving you so much that He sent Jesus to die for you. Also, pray that God would help you not see these verses in the Bible as “kids verses” but help you grow in your relationship with Him.
Read: Ephesians 6: 10-20
1. The apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians. What is he saying to us in verse 10?
Be what? By who’s strength?
2. If you’re reading this devo then I think it’s safe to say that we all want to be strong in our relationship with Jesus. Our problem is we don’t know how to be strong. In this verse 11, how do we be strong?
3. One word is repeated three times in verse 13 and the first word of verse 14. What is that word?
4. Have you ever been through a time when you wondered if God is really there? Do you struggle knowing how to grow in your relationship with God? What does being “being strong”, “growing”, and “standing” have in common in these verses? Can you do these on your own over a long period of time?
5. What is the purpose of the armor of God? (think back through the past answers to answer this question)
Read the following about the armor of God
Belt of Truth: What does a belt do? It holds your pants up. If you don’t have one on, in theory, your pants fall down. Truth is what hold up your relationship with Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, truth, and life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Do you believe Jesus is the center of all truth? The answer to this question is the foundation to everything else.
Breastplate of Righteousness: Thinking about a suit of armor, what does a breastplate do? It protects your heart, right. If your heart get’s shot, you die! Question two. What is righteousness (right-ness)? Thinking back through Devo 4…who does righteousness (right-ness) belong to? Are you righteousness (right) by yourself? NO! Our righteousness is found in Jesus through what He did on the cross. The breastplate of righteousness is our identity in Jesus. We are sinners who have been rescued by Jesus. Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness is knowing your identity as a child of God. Do you know that you are a child of God that, that He chooses you, and even knowing all your sins He still deeply loves you?
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace: As the old song says, boots were made for walkin’. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we are to start living like Jesus and talk like Jesus when He gives us the opportunity. The gospel story brings either peace or war. It either gives a friend life they don’t already have or it makes them upset. Do you know that part of your armor (your growth) is talking about Jesus to your friends who don’t know Jesus? EVEN if it causes war, it helps solidify what we believe. Interesting huh?
Shield of Faith: A shield protests a soldier but it also helps a soldier advance in battle. Ahh, there are some great movies out there of warriors using their shields in battle. I am having a man moment. Did you know that your faith (believing God is who He say’s He is) is important to your growing? God is on your side! You can block Satan’s lies with your faith.
Helmet of Salvation: Riddle me this, what is in your skull? Duh, your brain. Your brain is like a steering wheel that drives your body. Without your brain you are useless…like a zombie…you’re the living dead. Your salvation (rescue story) drives your life. We are called to protect it. 2 Peter 1:10 says, “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election (salvation) sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” Peter tells us here that we need to grow in our salvation. Romans 6:22 says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” Paul is saying here that between being saved by Jesus (the day you give your life to Jesus) and going to heaven (after we d)…we must grow in our relationship with Jesus (sanctification). Did you know that your salvation is more than an one time experience?
Sword of the Spirit (the word of God): The one offensive weapon we have as followers of Jesus is the Bible. We must know it well. Jesus, when tempted in the desert before He started His ministry, quoted scripture to Satans lies to him. What happend after that. Satan left…till another opportune time! Did you know that knowing the Bible is more for your relationship with Jesus (fighting off Satan lies) rather than trying to win an argument with someone that God is real.
**ALL These things are essential in fighting sin and temptation in your relationship with Jesus.
Pray: Pray today and thank God that He wants to have a relationship with you. Ask him to help you have the foundation of truth, to help you know your identity as a child of God, to help you stand up for Jesus to others, to make your faith in Jesus stronger, to help us pursue Jesus, and to give us a desire to be in the Bible.