Have you ever used a sword? While I’ve had an occasional sword fight with my sons, I’m not an experienced sword fighter. (Note that we used plastic swords, not real ones!) However, I’m learning to wield a different sword… a sword that’s much more powerful than the plastic ones I use with my sons. It’s called the sword of the spirit, a.k.a. the word of God. This sword was used in the Bible by Jesus and Paul, among others, and we can use that same sword today. The sword fighting lessons are free… all it requires is for you to spend some time in God’s word. And if you take it a step farther by memorizing scripture, God’s truth is written on your heart and helps you not sin. I know, memorizing scripture can seem intimidating… but the reward is great. If you need some encouragement to memorize scripture, then this quote from Chuck Swindoll is just for you:
“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.” 1
Before digging into Romans today, take a moment and listen to Word of God Speak by Mercy Me.
Read Romans 9:1-13.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
- What do you learn about Paul from Romans 9:2-3?
- How did the Jews (the people of Israel) encounter God according to Romans 9:4-5?
- Read Ephesians 1:17-20. How can we encounter God according to these verses?
- Have you experienced God as Ephesians 1:17-20 describes? If so, take a moment to reflect on the encounter and thank God for revealing Himself to you in an intimate and personal way. If not, ask God to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation so you can know Him better (Ephesians 1;17 NLT).
- How does Paul support his position that “Being a descendant of Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children?” (See Romans 9:7b for the answer).
- Jesus used Scripture too, just like Paul. Read Matthew 4:1-11. How did Jesus resist the devil?
- Read Mark 14:26-28. How did Jesus use the Scriptures here?
- How is the word of God (or Scriptures) described in Ephesians 4:16-18?
- How does Hebrews 4:12 describe the word of God?
- How can you use the Scriptures to resist the devil and share truth with others?
- What do we learn about God from Romans 9:11-12?
- Jeremiah 29:10-14 gives us some additional insight into the character of God. What do these verses tell us about God?
- What is your reaction to Romans 9:11-12 and Jeremiah 29:10-14?
Let Zephaniah 3:17 encourage you as we wrap up:
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
Your Father God adores you and longs for you to know how loved you are. Rest in His love for you today!
1 (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61).