Weekly Readings – June 19

Toni Knight   -  

Weekly Readings

BATTLE READY – Part 3
June 19, 2022

In this message series, Battle Ready, we are working our way through Ephesians 6:10-18 so that we will Battle Ready for the spiritual battle in our lives. This week we will focus on the breastplate of righteousness. In our Worship service we were exhorted to 1. BUILD UP your righteousness, 2. HONE IN your righteousness, and 3. LIVE OUT your righteousness.

For context, read Ephesians 6:10-18.

Day 1 – Truth and Righteousness

Read Ephesians 6:14.

Truth and righteousness go hand in hand. Truth is what we believe. Righteousness is putting that truth into practice. Both are needed to stand firm. The breastplate of righteousness protects our vital organs, our heart, the center of our mind, emotions and will.

Read Proverbs 4:23.

Why do you think the heart needs to be protected above everything else?

Why do you think Satan goes after our hearts?

Read Acts 5:1-5.

What did Ananias do wrong (1-2)?

What role did Satan play (3)?

What happened after Ananias was confronted (5)?

How would things have been different if Ananias had been committed to live in truth and righteousness?

Read Luke 6:43-49.

Why is the heart so important (43-45)?

What do we need to store in our hearts to protect our hearts from evil?

Jesus illustrates just how important the right foundation is in our lives..

What happened to the man who heard the Word of God and put it into practice (47-48)?

What happened to the man who didn’t put God’s word into practice (49)?

How do you think these men’s actions were influenced by what was in their hearts?

Application:

How vulnerable is your heart to Satan’s lies? Why?

What type of foundation do you need to lay in your heart?

What one step can you take today to protect your heart from Satan’s lies?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for giving me a new heart. Help me to protect my heart, to nurture it with your Word. I want to stand firm against the storms in my life and the lie’s of the enemy. Amen.

Day 2 – Stand firm in Christ’s righteousness.

As we look at putting on the breastplate of righteousness, there are two ways the Bible uses the word ‘righteousness’. One is the righteousness that we receive in Christ (position). The other is the righteous way we live when we choose to live according to the truth (practice). Today we are going to look at the righteousness we have in Jesus, our right standing before God, our position in Christ.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:21.

What do we become in Christ (21)?

Read Romans 3:20-26.

The works of the law do not give us our right standing before God. What do they do (20)?

How do we receive Christ’s righteousness (22)?

Why did we need to be justified (23)?

To be justified means to be made just as if we have not sinned. How were we justified (24-25)?

Who does Jesus justify (26)?

Read Colossians 2:13-14

What did Jesus do with your debt so that you could have right standing before God?

Application:

When we give our lives to Jesus, we are declared righteous – just as if we had never sinned.

How would being secure in your standing before God help you to stand firm in battle?

Take a moment to meditate on the truth that you have been declared righteous. Your sin (past, present and future) has been paid for by Jesus giving you his righteousness.

Thank Jesus for giving you His righteousness.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for nailing my debt to the cross so that could be declared righteous. Amen.

Day 3 – Put on the righteousness

Even though we have Christ’s righteousness, we also need to live out his righteousness in our daily lives.

Read Epehsians 4:17-32.

What are some ways Paul describes those who do not live rightly before God (17-19)?

What important point does Paul bring out about how the believers were taught (20-21)?

Why do we need to put off our old ways of doing things (22)?

Where does change need to start (23)?

What is the nature of the new self we are to put on (24)?

Application:

Read through verses 25-32 slowly. 

Ask the Spirit to show you what part of the old self you still need to take off. 

Ask him to show you where your attitude needs to change.

Ask him to show you what you can do today to live out your righteousness.

Prayer: Jesus, you created me to be like you in righteousness and holiness. Give me a heart that desires to be righteous. Work with my attitude. Show me what I need to remove from my life and what you want me to put on today. Amen.

 

 Day 4 – Practice your righteousness before God not men

Read Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18.

In this passage, Jesus gives us the principle in verse 1 and then three illustrations of its application.

What do you think Jesus means by practicing righteousness before men?

What is the main principle Jesus wants us to grasp (1)?

How does Jesus apply it to giving (2-4)?

How does Jesus apply it to prayer (5-8)?

How does Jesus apply it fasting (16-18)?

Application:

God is concerned with protecting our hearts. If we want pure hearts, we need to learn to live rightly before God, and God alone.

Why is it easier to worry more about what people think than what God thinks?

When are you most tempted to care about what people think? Be specific.

What is the Spirit nudging you to put into practice today? 

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for caring about my heart. Forgive me for all the times I have lived based on what others think. Purify my heart. Help me to live out my righteousness before you and you alone. Amen.

Day 5 – Pursue righteousness

Read Matthew 5:6.

What should be our attitude toward pursuing righteousness?

Read 1 Timothy 6:9-11.

Paul, in this passage, is giving Timothy wisdom and instruction.

What key point does Paul make in verses 6-8?

What temptation can those who lack contentment fall into (9)?

What is the problem with the love of money (10)?

We pursue righteousness when we flee ungodly ways of living and to pursue right ways of living. 

What was Timothy encouraged to pursue (11)?

Which of those would be most important for you to pursue at this time in your life?

Read Psalm 119:59-60.

We can’t live rightly before God if we haven’t put God’s Word (his truth) in our heads and in our hearts.

What did King David do to pursue righteousness?

Application:
When has lack of contentment, especially with money, led you away from living rightly before God?

Sit before God to consider your ways. 

Think about how much you hunger to live rightly before God. 

Think about where you need to turn your steps toward God’s truth. 

What is the Holy Spirit impressing you to hurry to put into practice today?

What step will you take to do this?

Prayer:  Lord, I hunger to live rightly before you. Forgive me for all the times I have fallen into temptation and away from you because I was pursuing my ways and not yours. Help me to hurry to put your Word into practice today. Amen.