Welcome to our study on putting on the full Armor of God, found in Ephesians 6:10-20. We’ll be looking deeper into each piece of the armor so we can learn how to take it up and use it in the spiritual battle against evil. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). An example SOAP from our team is below today’s Bible reading. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP or thoughts on the verse. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
“Take up the shield of Faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one…” (Ephesians 6:16)
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Joy Through the Trial | Jess Howell
This first chapter in James shows us the journey that our faith will take. We will encounter trials. We will need wisdom from God (if we ask Him). We will be tempted. And our journey is temporary. All of these things we experience on our Christian walk are required in order for us to grow in spiritual maturity.
Two years ago my word of the year was Faith. It’s silly of me to think that in a year’s time I would be done and move on with that word, but in reality it is a journey, and one that I will be taken through for a lifetime. I’m thankful that my faith has yet to be truly tested, but I have to prepare myself for when it is. The times when I let my schedule and priorities overwhelm me and I feel like I’m on a wave being tossed about, I don’t always see that as a moment to stop and seek God – I’m trying so hard just to keep my head above the water. But these are the exact moments when I need to seek Him first, and when my attitude needs to be “Joy” through the trials. My faith will strengthen, and my shield will grow stronger.
God, You are my strength and my shield, but You need me to give up my own control. I can’t dig myself out of the pit nor can I calm a raging sea, but You can. Trials will come, Lord; I know that. Help me to strengthen my faith for the trials… and to have JOY when they come. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.