Grace to Sustain
Watching reruns of shows you grew up loving is exciting because you know exactly how they end. No matter what kind of trouble the characters get into, you know they prevail, and everything works out in the end. This past Sunday we spoke about our ability to push through the toughest battles and trials because we know as followers of Christ that we get to fight FROM victory, not FOR victory. The battle has already been won by Jesus on the cross, so now we stand our ground. Let’s see how we can do that together.
1. Ice Breaker: The cool thing about what Jesus did for us is knowing that without us ever lifting a finger, He won it all for us. Has there been a time in your life that you knew you were going to win before you ever began?
2. Read Ephesians 6:12. The first point of this week’s message was that the struggle in our lives is supernatural. What does this mean? Is it difficult to believe or understand what is happening around us supernaturally without us being able to see it? Why or why not?
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
3. One of the quotes from the message was that “Evil rarely looks evil until it accomplishes its goal”. Is this phrase true? How is evil so deceptive?
4. Read Ephesians 6:13-17. Paul uses the example of the armor a Roman soldier would wear to describe how to protect and shield ourselves from the Devil. What in this list is most difficult for you to understand? Discuss in depth to arrive at an understanding for the group to walk away with.
Ephesians 6:13-17 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the 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 you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil, Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
[Leader’s Note: Every piece of armor is linked to confidence in the resurrection of Jesus. Belt of Truth = Good News of salvation through Jesus, holds everything together; Shoes of Peace = Firm foundation of being reconciled to God and people through Jesus; Shield of Faith = Trusting Jesus is Alive and with us in trials; Helmet of Salvation = confidence in our salvation through Jesus; Sword of Spirit/Word of God = Because Jesus has risen, we trust God’s promises to cut through the devil’s lies]
5. Count how many times Paul speaks about the idea of “standing” your ground in Ephesians 6. What does he mean when he says we need to stand? How can you stand firm when the devil attacks us?
6. The final charge from Paul is a warning to “stay alert”. What happens to us when we don’t stay alert and lose focus? What is it that allows us to always be ready? (constant communication with God)
The challenge this past Sunday was to be in constant communication with God all day. So often when we pray, we close the door on communication with God when we say “amen”. Pray continually this week as you go through your routine, and don’t say amen until you close your eyes at night knowing that you have left the line of communication with God open all day.
CHANGING YOUR MIND
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty of His power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.