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{August 18, 2019}






Heartland Community Church


August 18 – 24, 2019

 

SUIT UP: Sword of the Spirit

By Sheree Lutz

Have you ever reached a point in life where personal transformation is inevitable, whether you wanted it or not? Whether you were ready for it or not? If we’re honest, we all have. My personal story is far too lengthy to detail in these few words. (Come find me and I would be happy to share.) But I reached a moment when everything in which I had staked my identity was no longer secure. I faced the threat of simultaneously losing all of the things and people I cherished most, including, but not limited to, a beloved career and my baby daughter.

In light of this identity crisis and heartbrokenness, my tenuous faith was all that remained—only then did the Sword of the Spirit (Bible) shift from a book I took for granted to a powerful lifeline. Certain passages became mantras I spoke audibly when it seemed the “evil one” or a sin-cursed humanity was seemingly winning my family’s battles. 

For example, I had to make daily life-altering decisions for my medically fragile infant, some of which involved hospitalizations, procedures searching for diagnoses, and a rigorous newborn-like feeding schedule that was necessary for over a year. During this time of intense physical and emotional exhaustion, Psalm 32:8 took on wielding power. “I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel.” While I felt as though I stumbled and grasped in the dark, the sword of the Holy Spirit promised to give counsel. I revisited that verse continually, and it provided enough courage to keep moving forward one day—really one hour—and one choice at a time. In hindsight I can see the wisdom God provided at the time—even when it didn’t feel like it.

An anonymous source states, “The Holy Spirit uses the power of the Word to save souls and then to give them spiritual strength to be mature soldiers for the Lord in fighting this corrupt and evil world we live in.” Often as Christians, we want to be poster-children for well-ordered lives. If we behave like x, the result should be y. If we lead “good lives,” then our paths should be tranquil. But that, friends, is false prosperity gospel. Christ never promises ease. We must seek spiritual strength from the Gospel so that we may be ready for what is to come. (Qualification—this will look different for everyone! Comparison is not helpful or constructive.)

I wish I had been better prepared to put on the armor of God and employ my spiritual sword. I wish I had memorized more scripture, not to “look good,” or “do the right Christian thing,” but to be battle ready, with my playbook already internalized. Not that it would have made life less painful, but maybe I would have been less susceptible to the enemy’s lies about my identity.

If Christ already has eternal and ultimate victory, and Scripture is from God, we should want it as a weapon at our fingertips to wield as we wait for him. As Natalie Grant sings in her song More Than Anything, can we be brave enough to desire “the Healer more than the healing, the Savior more than the saving…Jesus more than anything?”

{sunday 8.18.19}

Read Ephesians 6:10-18, Psalm 32:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Who are the people in your huddle? Who can help encourage you in your spiritual journey? Is there a passage of scripture or verse that you frequently use in “battle?” How has the Sword of the Spirit helped bring you healing?

 

{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

This week we are trying something new with the Journey study plan. The questions each day focus on your observations, reflections, and application.

For a brief teaching on each days reading, hop over to YouTube and follow Seth Davidson’s Vlog on The Journey Online. Simply follow along, listening to the corresponding date. CLICK HERE to check it out. Be sure to click "subscribe" on the page!

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

 

{monday 8.19.19}

Read 1 Timothy 1:12-2:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do I see happening in these verses? What did it mean to those involved? What might it mean for me today? What is God saying to me specifically? What is one thing I am willing to take action on?

{tuesday 8.20.19}

Read 1 Timothy 2:8-3:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do I see happening in these verses? What did it mean to those involved? What might it mean for me today? What is God saying to me specifically? What is one thing I am willing to take action on?

{wednesday 8.21.19}

Read 1 Timothy 3:8-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do I see happening in these verses? What did it mean to those involved? What might it mean for me today? What is God saying to me specifically? What is one thing I am willing to take action on?

{thursday 8.22.19}

Read 1 Timothy 4:1-10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do I see happening in these verses? What did it mean to those involved? What might it mean for me today? What is God saying to me specifically? What is one thing I am willing to take action on?  

{friday 8.23.19}

Read 1 Timothy 4:11-5:8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do I see happening in these verses? What did it mean to those involved? What might it mean for me today? What is God saying to me specifically? What is one thing I am willing to take action on?

{saturday 8.24.19}

Read 1 Timothy 5:9-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do I see happening in these verses? What did it mean to those involved? What might it mean for me today? What is God saying to me specifically? What is one thing I am willing to take action on?

 

{community discussion questions}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as a Journey Community group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters on your journey.

  • Can you name a takeaway or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?

 

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2019 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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