"take... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"
The word of God is a sword in the hands of His child, to do warfare in the spiritual realm. Will you send your son or daughter into the eternal conflict without a sword? If your child cannot quote scripture, that is exactly what you are doing. As I am praying for you and your children as I write, I will pass to you what I have received from Yahweh, our Lord, Savior, Creator, King and Brother. It's easy.
You pass the sword to your children when you sit together for a meal. Then you say a prayer at the end of the meal.
That is the essence of this page. Please read on... but please pray as you read.
I will repeat the passage for your convenience:
- "take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).
The context of this passage is Ephesians 6:10-20. I will provide some of that passage so that you will have the context for 6:17:
- "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day..." (Ephesians 6:12-13).
Yes, our struggle is not against men of "flesh and blood". Our struggle is against "the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places"... in other words, the invisible spiritual realm. I am speaking of the spiritual battle which is taking place at this very moment, as you read. Do you want your child to be victorious in battle? Your child's Heavenly Father will defeat those spiritual forces with His word and your child's prayer.
So, here is how you will pass the sword to your child in a daily family devotional:
- Before the meal, someone thanks God for the food.
- As the family is eating, a parent asks a child to quote a specific scripture which the child has learned. The scripture may serve as a topic of conversation during mealtime.
- At the end of the meal, a parent or child says a prayer... about the passage and other subjects.
Now, come into the intimate presence of your Lord who lives within you. Please stay in His presence as you read.
Here is a specific example of how to pass the sword to your child.
1) A parent or child prays before the meal:
"Thank you for the food Father."
2) As the family is eating, a parent says to the children:
"What is Genesis 1:1?"
A child says "Genesis 1:1, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1"
Note: If any child can't quote the passage, take a minute to help the child learn the passage. Ask the child to repeat small portions of the passage back to you. You may discuss the passage briefly.
3) A parent or child prays at the end of the meal:
"You deserve all honor and praise, for you created the heavens and the earth. May your word spread rapidly, into all the earth."
You may adjustment these steps according to your specific situation, and culture.
Life is hard. Time is short. Mealtime may be the only time you have to equip your children for their present and future. If your family is full of tension, watch, pray and see the word of God work in your family.
It has been twenty years since my children left home. But I can still remember many times when tension disappeared from my kids during mealtime... just from reading a short scripture out loud. God has said:
- "so is my word that goes out of my mouth: it will not return to me void, but it will accomplish that which I please, and it will prosper in the thing I sent it to do" (Isaiah 55:11).
By merely reading one single verse from God's word, you remind them of God's presence, power and purpose.
Below, you will find a list of scriptures to teach your children... as you implement this daily family devotional... as you Pass the Sword!
Pass the Sword...
1) Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).
2) Ephesians 6:17 "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17)
3) John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
4) Luke 17:5 "The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith'" (Luke 17:5).
5) Luke 22:32 "I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn't fail" (Luke 22:32) (Jesus prayed for Peter's faith.)
6) Matthew 4:4 "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of God's mouth'" (Matthew 4"4).
7) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always. Pray continually. In everything give thanks..." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
8) Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God also in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).
9) 2 Corinthians 13:7 "I pray to God that you do no evil" (2 Corinthians 13:7).
10) 1 Corinthians 4:6 "... learn not to think beyond the things which are written..." (1 Corinthians 4:6). (We are not to try to figure out or invent truth. We are to think what scripture says.)
11) Philippians 1:9 "This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more" (Philippians 1:9).
12) Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without complaining and arguing" (Philippians 2:14).
13) 2 Thessalonians 3:1 "Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly" (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
14) Luke 6:31 "As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them" (Luke 6:31).
15) Colossians 1:9) "... praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will" (Colossians 1:9). ("His will" means God's will.)
16) Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up..." (Ephesians 4:29)
17) 2 Corinthians 3:4 "... the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving" (2 Corinthians 3:4).
18) Luke 24:45 "Then he opened their minds that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45). ("He" is Jesus.)
19) Daniel 2:21 "He removes kings and sets up kings" (Daniel 2:21). ("He" is God.)
20) Daniel 7:27 "The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole sky, will be given to the people of the saints of the Most High" (Daniel 7:27). All the kingdoms of the world will be taken from Satan and given to God's children. See subchapter 6.2 for a complete explanation, from the scriptures.
21) 1 Corinthians 6:2 "Don't you know that the saints will judge the world" (1 Corinthians 6:2)
22) Revelation 22:5 "They will reign forever and ever" (Revelation 22:5). ("They" refers to saints or bondservants in the eternal state, after the thousand year reign of Christ.) See subchapter 6.2.
Spiritual warfare is conducted with the word of God. The word of God is implemented by prayer. Please observe below the ten verses quoted below. The appropriate portions regarding the word of God and prayer are in bold. Note that the word (the sword) is the only offensive weapon mentioned. Note also that the word (sword) is implemented by prayer. Please read prayerfully. If you want to hear from God, please read with an awareness of His presence.
"10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having the utility belt of truth buckled around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace, 16 above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 19 on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:10-20).
We are to take the word of God, with prayer (v17, 18). And by prayer, God's personally selected words (utterance) will be placed into the minds of those who pray, to spread the words of God (to spread the Good News, the Gospel, v 19).
Some translations place a period at the end of verse 18. But none of the literal translations which I consult do: Rotherham, Young and Green.