(The following is a family devotional guide with suggested questions and scriptures.)
Focus Verse: “Lord, help me be on my guard and to stand firm in my faith, to be a woman (or man) of courage and be strong.” -1 Corinthians 16:13
T-Talk About It Topic
Imagine you are a soldier in an army about to go to war. If you could take one thing to defend yourself, what would it be?
Guns, gear, and battlefields sound like something most of us would only see in a movie, right? But interestingly enough, God makes sure to tell us in Ephesians 6 that all Christians are engaged in a daily battle for our faith. You see, Satan would love nothing better than to get us to doubt God and grow distant in our relationship with Him. But God didn’t leave us stranded without hope – the apostle Paul tells us exactly how to defend ourselves from these attacks on our faith: We need our battle armor and one key offensive weapon – our sword. Now, you won’t see many Christians today walking with a literal sword, but God wants us to visualize a sword as a picture (or metaphor) representing the true weapon: the Bible. God’s Word is the most powerful weapon we have to defend ourselves against attacks from the enemy.
A-Anchor To The Bible
So, as a soldier in God’s army, how can we use God’s Word as a “sword”?
- We can memorize it. A good soldier learns his instructions from his superior. He goes into battle with the knowledge he needs to prevail. The same goes for us. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 instructs us to write God’s commandments on our hearts. This means to get them inside of us by memorizing them! In order to live out our faith, we need the instructions from our superior!
- We can meditate (think) on it. A good soldier has a strategy, a plan and a back-up plan. It’s something he/she has thought out many times, using different circumstances. The same goes for us. In Joshua 1:8, God told Joshua to keep his Book of Law always on his lips, to meditate on it day and night so that he would obey it. As soldiers, thinking about our superior’s instructions helps us understand them better. The more we are thinking about them, the more prepared we are to act upon them and obey them.
- We say it. In battle, soldiers cry out encouragement to each other to spur one another on. Proverbs 18:21 says the power of the tongue can bring life or death…and as soldiers in God’s army, when we say God’s Word out loud, it brings life and tremendous power into our situations. Making the words personal to our situation is even better! For example: “Lord, help me to be strong and courageous and not be afraid for You are with me wherever I go!” (Joshua 1:9)
- We pray it. Ephesians 6:18 also tells us to pray while engaged in battle. The best thing we can pray is God’s Word. Praying God’s Word is like taking our sword and wielding it in battle.
L-Learn God’s Word
Now that we know how to use God’s Word, let’s get started! 1 Corinthians 16:13 encourages us to be on our guard and to stand firm in our faith. The best way we can do this is to not only memorize God’s Word, but also to meditate on it, say it, and to pray it any time our faith us put to the test. When we do this, watch out! We have just become armed and dangerous as a soldier…and that is just where God wants us to be!
K-Keep Each Other Accountable
Below is a list of some powerful effects of God speaking! I mean, why wouldn’t we want to use God’s Word? It can…
- defeat armies
- divide the ocean and rivers (Moses and the Red Sea, Joshua and the Israelites)
- bring our world into existence and everything on it (oceans, land, atmosphere, plants, animals, etc.)
- convict us of sin (Hebrews 4:12)
- guard us against sin (Psalm 119:11)
- cleanse us (Ephesians 5:26)
- transform us (Romans 12:2)
- make us wise (Psalm 1; 2 Timothy 3:16)
- keep us pure of heart (Psalm 119:15)
- help us witness to others (1 Peter 3:15)
- give us clear direction (Psalm 119:15)
- empower our prayer life (1 John 5:14-15)
- grow our relationship with God
- bring blessing into our lives (Psalm 1; Joshua 1:8)
- change us into looking more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18)
- lead people to salvation (Acts 2:38-43; Romans 10:13-14)
- help us encourage and advise others (Proverbs 25:11; Thessalonians 4:18)
- help us obey God (Luke 5:1-7; John 14:15)
- help us resist temptation (Matthew 4:1-11)
Pray this week’s focus verse with your kiddos! Write it on a note and put it in their lunch boxes. You can also write it on their mirrors or text it to them daily. Even better, say it to them personally every day before they leave for school.
Motivate each other to memorize our focus verse this week. Write the focus verse on a chalkboard and display it by the door. Have them say the verse each morning and initial they did so.