|Step Study Teach||
|Step Study Teach||
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11
When you come home after a long day at work or school, you most likely put something comfortable on. You take off the stiff clothing and constrictive shoes. It's time to unwind. If you were in the police force, you would be itching to take off your body armor and be relaxed.
But, God tells us to put on his full armor. This instruction is not to the spiritual policemen among us (if there were any). As Christians, we are all called to get dressed in God's armor. And we are actually never instructed to take it off. Like his yoke (Matthew 11:28-30), his armor is light and easy. But, it is vital not only for our survival, but for victory in bringing the light of Jesus to the nations.
The fact that we are called to wear armor should tell us a few things. First, we are in a battle. And the battle is 24/7. The spiritual forces of evil that seek to tear you down do not stop their work when you get home. In fact, often the most intense times of battle are in our down times at home. Spiritual alertness is the key to overcoming the enemy here.
The spiritual body armor is meant to aid us in the battle with the spiritual forces of evil. This armor is not used to fight people. Very important! The tool to be used in human relationships is called love. There is a real enemy, though. He needs to be firmly resisted and stopped in his constant harassments.
The fact that we have armor tells us that we can be protected by God. We don't have to walk around intimidated by the enemy, fearing the next attack. We don't have to give in to temptation. We don't have to let Satan's lies stick to us. As we wear the armor of God, we wear the confidence in knowing that Jesus is shielding us. They are his clothes, his righteousness, his salvation, and his truth.
Keep your armor on. Walk with confidence. Fight the right enemy. Gain the victory.
Click on Comments below to write in your prayer of commitment to wear God's armor and to fight the right enemy.
Jesus has come to give you a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:3
There is a garment that has been handcrafted for you. It fits you perfectly. Jesus was anointed for this job. And he took it up with delight. He has been creating a new garment of praise for you. He wants you to put it on.
Just like you wouldn’t go outside without your pants on, don’t go outside without your praise on. Put on this garment that Jesus made for you. Don’t admire it from afar. Actually try it out.
Praise is not just a state of heart, but an action. Most often, it involves the mouth. So, in order to put your praise on, it requires intentional effort in speaking out thanksgiving and worship for who Jesus is. This might feel awkward at first. But make an effort to speak out loud and tell Jesus how much you love him.
Get active in your praise. Use your hands and legs in the process. They are tools of surrender that will help you give a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). So jump, clap, dance, sing, shout, speak your praise to God (for other ways, read the Psalms).
This garment of praise is a bit like active wear. So get ready for a work out.
The more vocal you can be with your praise, the more natural it will become. Don’t wait for Sunday to try on your garment of praise. Wear it when you’re by yourself also. Hopelessness and despair will quickly fade as praise wraps itself around you.
In the Comments below, write out a couple short sentences of praise and thanksgiving to Jesus. Practice putting your praise on!
Ephesians 6:14-15 - Stand firm then… with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
How many pairs of shoes do you own? What is the one pair of shoes that you couldn’t live without? When is the last time you tried on your shoes of the good news?
You might need to look through your closet again. Try these shoes on. They might feel a little awkward if you haven’t worn them for awhile. The shoes of the good news were given to you to be worn and worn in.
Wearing the shoes of the good news means that you are stepping out to share the good news of Jesus with someone. Shoes take you places. To share the love of Jesus with someone, you actually need to go and find them. It takes initiation on your part to approach a person and begin telling them about Jesus.
The shoes of Ephesians 6 are actually called the “shoes of readiness that come from the gospel of peace.” Are you ready to share Jesus with people? 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” So are you prepared?
Get yourself prepared with your testimony and this simple 5 point outline below.
Ready to go? Ready to run? Strap on the shoes of the good news. The world is waiting…
If you can put your pants on, then you can put your patience on.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with patience. Colossians 3:12
It's been one of those mornings. You kept hitting the snooze button, and now you're late. Everything in you wants to roll over. You don't want to get up. You don't want to put your pants on.
But, somehow, you find a way to put your pants on (and your shirt, shoes, etc.). Even though you might be half asleep, you still stumble out of the house with your pants on. You weren't feeling like it was a "pants" day. In fact, you would rather be tucked in bed with your PJ's on. But, you still got dressed.
Perhaps you have prayed a long time for God to give you patience. You've "struggled" with impatient attitudes towards people who are not getting with your program. If people weren't so slow to catch on, you wouldn't struggle with impatience (you think!). And then, you ask God one more time to give you the patience to deal with those annoying humans.
In light of your typical "struggles" with impatience, God says, "Struggle no longer. Put your pants on." There is a reason why God gives us the imagery of "clothing ourselves with patience." He means that this something you can do. Even when you don't want start your day, you still find a way to put your pants on. You wouldn't leave home without them.
Then, why would you leave home without your patience on? God's point is that you can "put on" patience, just like you would put your pants on. When you were a toddler, you struggled with putting your own pants on. But now, you would be considered an expert. Why? You do it every day without fail.
So too, you can become an expert in putting your patience on. It is a decision you make to respond with kindness… a choice you make to wait without worrying. You don't have to be controlled by emotions of anxiety or pressure. In an effort to please Jesus, clothe yourself with patience. Practice putting it on.
James 1:19 says, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." Do this, and you will be practicing putting your patience on. Soon you will find that it's as easy as putting your pants on.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV
Do you get intrigued by the royal family? Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live in the palace, eat at the banquet table, be served and driven everywhere? What would it be like to wear the clothes of royalty?
Jesus says, "You are royalty. You are a royal priesthood, a holy nation. You are chosen." The royalty bestowed on you is much greater and more significant than that of the royal family. This is a royalty bestowed by God.
How can you know that these royal clothes are yours to wear? Colossians 3:1-3 says, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Where is Jesus in this scene? He is at the right hand of the Father… a position of royalty. The ascended Jesus is now ruling and reigning over creation. And where are you? Colossians 3 says that you are "hidden in Jesus." In other words, in Jesus, you are considered royalty. You are ruling and reigning with Jesus over creation.
So, it's time to put on your royal clothes. What do they look like? Jesus' royal clothes are marked by humility and authority. Royal clothes are not meant for impressing people with your beauty. They are meant for serving others the way Jesus does. Wearing royal clothes also understands the authority that comes with royalty. As royalty, you are called to deal with the enemy, resist him and pave a way for the coming of Jesus into your family and community.
It's time to put on your royal clothes. What a privilege and responsibility! Walk in confident humility. Exercise your spiritual authority over darkness. Remember, you are in Jesus, seated in a place of honor next to your Father. You are royalty.
Write down your prayer of willingness to wear your God-given clothes of royalty. Tell Jesus you will walk in humility today. Tell him that you will carry his authority, as you resist the enemy around you.
Don't just wear your heart on your sleeve. Get dressed with the compassion of Jesus.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion. Colossians 3:12
Does compassion come naturally to you? Even though some of us tend to be more empathetic than others, compassion is a different story. And Jesus tells us to get dressed in it.
Compassion is not feeling sorry for someone. It is not a moment of empathy where your heart goes out to another person. No, it goes much farther and deeper than that. You see, compassion is not a human-sourced feeling. It has its source in Jesus.
That's why you have to put on HIS clothes of compassion. When you put on the compassion of Jesus, he begins to share his heart of pain and love for a person. His burden becomes yours. If you do not have the compassion of Jesus, all of your humanitarian efforts at helping the oppressed will not last. Dressed in Jesus' clothes of compassion, though, you can have a profound, long-lasting impact on individuals and communities.
What does the compassion of Jesus look like? Matthew 9:36 says, "When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." The "compassion" that Jesus had was literally a gut-wrenching pain that moved him into action. Jesus was constantly with crowds of hurting people. But, he never became immune to their pain. Jesus gained his Father's heart for the lost and hurting. That's how he could keep ministering in the face of such crushing need.
If you wear Jesus' clothes of compassion, you will begin feeling how he feels about the lost and hurting of our world. But, more specifically, you will be led to take action to relieve the pain and suffering. Clothes of compassion are meant to get dirty. Compassion intervenes in someone's life with the hand of Jesus.
How could you show compassion today? A listening ear, a hand of service, a prayer for healing, a hot meal given to the hungry? First, tell Jesus that you want to wear his clothes of compassion. Then ask him for his idea of showing that compassion to others. You can write this prayer down in the "Comments" section below.
Don't eat it. Wear it!
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with… humility. Colossians 3:12
How long did it take you to get dressed this morning? Oh, sometimes, it takes us awhile. But, that's not because we're not sure how to put our pants on. We just can't decide what looks best on us. The clothes that Jesus provides always looks best on us. It suits us - tailor-made to fit us, actually.
There is a piece of clothing, called humility, that Jesus tells us to put on. It looks mighty fine on us - if we would actually put it on. We can stand in front of our opened closet looking at that blue striped shirt for a long time. But, we will never know what it looks like until we try it on. The shirt won't jump on us. We actually have to put it on.
You will never be overcome with humility, unless of course, you are made to eat humble pie (i.e. suddenly you are proven wrong in front of a group of people). You must decide to put it on. If you wear humility, you never have to eat it.
What does it look like to wear humility? Think of others as better than yourself (Philippians 2:3). Don't "one-up" people in your mind or in your mouth. Humility is in no way a condemnation of self. The humble person recognizes his rightful position before God (Romans 12:3). Before God, we are nothing, yet we are given everything.
Humility is a manifestation of gratefulness. You don't have to prove yourself, because you have already been given amazing grace and status as a child of God. Remember, humility is the clothing of Jesus. He is the most humble One in the universe. Follow in his steps. Wear what he wears… humility.
Click on "Comments" below and write out your commitment to put the clothes of humility on. If you have been proud or selfish in a specific relationship, go humble yourself to that person and make things right. Time to get your humility on!
Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 13:14
Looking for a new shirt? How about a pair of beautifully ripped jeans? Wouldn’t it be nice to throw out those nasty shoes and trade ‘em in for a new pair? What would it be — new sport shoes, some classy dress shoes, or the latest kicks just for show?
Once you get that new pair of shoes, you know what to do with them. It doesn’t take long before you are showing them to the world. How did you get so good at putting your shoes on? Well, you do it every day…
We are told in the Bible to put some clothes on. Now, these clothes never wear out, and they never go out of style. They are custom made for you. Think of the confidence you would have walking around in this new wardrobe.
Romans 13:14 says to “clothe yourself with Jesus.” Denim and buttons are not needed. We are to put Him on. What does that look like? And how do we put Jesus on?
We get a clearer view of “Jesus clothes” as we look at his character. Clothing ourselves with Jesus really means to put on his character. In the coming days we will look at his character and how to clothe ourselves with it. When we intentionally act as Jesus acts, we are actually putting Jesus on us.
It’s one thing to know what Jesus is like… to know what his clothes look like. But, it’s another thing to put on the clothes. In other words, clothes don’t just jump on you. You have to get dressed. Just because you read the Bible or go to church doesn’t mean you will look like Jesus.
You have to practice putting your clothes on. How did you become an expert in putting your pants on? You have done it almost every day of your life. So too, you can become an expert in clothing yourself with Jesus - in looking like him, sounding like him, smelling like him.
Are you ready to get dressed? Do you want to look like Jesus, act like Jesus? Ready to practice putting your clothes on?
Click on "Comments" below and write out a simple prayer telling Jesus that you are ready to practice putting Him on. Ask for his help. Thank him for giving you beautiful new clothes to wear.