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Readiness for the Gospel of Peace

January 29 | DNA Guide

Be Real Together

Take a few minutes to catch up, tell stories, and laugh together. Trust and friendship take time to build. If you’re launching a new DNA, one person should tell their story — what do we need to know about you? Next week, have another person in your DNA share their story.

Read Together: Ephesians 6:10-20 CSB

Grow Together: Observe & Apply

We are continuing on in our sermon series on “The Armor of God," looking at the tools God has given us to overcome the challenges we face as we follow Jesus. We looked at the belt of truth (which holds us together) and the breastplate of righteousness (Jesus, not our qualifications make us right with God). This week, we focus on your “feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.” 

We are in a real spiritual battle. Not one against flesh and blood (people), but in a battle with an enemy named Satan. His life goal is to ruin yours by keeping people from meeting Jesus and by making humanity miserable. His agenda is your destruction.  Our enemy is scheming to get you off balance and convince you that any other activity is more important than your pursuit of God and living the Gospel.  

Paul says we’re supposed to put on sandals (shoes), that are like the gospel of peace. Gospel means “good news” and the good news is - our God reigns. He rules over all things. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and always present. You might not ever fully believe he’s there, but your unbelief doesn’t change anything about God. He’s greater than your unbelief. In fact, your unbelief only revealed his love in a more powerful way.

When the first man and first woman believed Satan’s lie (Genesis 3), their decision to reject God’s trust and pursue their own happiness resulted in the introduction of sin into the human race. The first wrong turn for humanity was rooted in a disbelief.  “Did God REALLY say that? Does God REALLY have your best interest in mind or is he holding out?”  In that moment, we became enemies of God.  The Bible makes it clear that our assertion that we’re the ultimate authority over our lives is actually an expression of hostility.  Sin is the barrier between us and God. But, even your disbelief in God has been conquered by Jesus on the cross. Jesus defeated Satan with his own weapon, death. 
You’re in a battle. Jesus has won the war, but we’re still dealing with the residual effects of sin and Satan’s work.  At the end of the day, God wants you to stand.  You can run with other pieces of armor on, claiming God has your back, but if you’re not rooted in the truth of Jesus Christ alone, you’re easy prey. 

How do we stand against the schemes of the devil and stand firm in the strength of Jesus Christ? When you’re going into battle, how you prepare yourself matters. You need the right kind of footing and the right kind of shoes, if you’re going to survive.  Putting on our Gospel shoes gives us a sense of reverence for God and a confidence that only he provides. The Gospel is the shoes that give us traction and the ability to stand in the battle. Jesus is the source. His words. His gospel. When the enemy’s corrupting influence seems too strong to bear, you need to establish everything about your life upon the Gospel.  

In this passage we’re called to “put on” the armor of God. We must play our part. It’s our job to use what we’ve been given. All that Christ accomplished has resulted in peace. Jesus himself IS our peace.  And the devil knows that the Gospel has the power to redeem lost people and unite the church. He knows that saved people share the good news with others and more people get free. So the attacks continue to come. 

It’s important that we have the Gospel of peace at the foundation of our lives and that we’ve got firm footing in the realities of Christ at all times. You can continue to fall prey to the devil’s schemes and make decisions that are contrary to God’s standards, or you can recognize that Jesus freed you from sin and has given you a new life to walk in. Choose the Gospel over a lie. Be obedient in the momentary decision. Learn to spend time with God through  prayer, reading scripture, sitting silently in his presence. Take what you know and apply it. Live like a victor and not a victim. Jesus will grant us everything we need to stand firm against the attacks of the enemy.  We can prepare ourselves for whatever comes by putting on the gospel of peace, like shoes on our feet.  

Questions to Discuss:
  1. Where have you seen evidence of the enemy’s agenda?
  2. How do you prepare for spiritual battles?
  3. Are you living your life like you are on the winning team?   

Pray Together

Heavenly Father, 
We thank you for the reminder that although Jesus has won the war, we must still prepare to face the enemy. Grant us the discipline to spend time in the Gospel of peace, so that we will be provided sure footing when we stand in spiritual battles. Our foundation is in you Lord. We pray for the blessing of peace for our families, our church and our communities.
We pray in your name,