Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Ephesians 6:17 and Acts 22:1-2

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Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

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Kendra Graham notes from Ephesians 6:17 and Acts 22:1-2

And take the helmet of salvation…  (Ephesians 6:17)

Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you. And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect they became even more quiet.  (Acts 22:1-2)

Step 1


(Eph 6:17) Take the helmet of salvation

(Acts 22:1-2): Brethren & fathers hear what I offer to you.  When they heard Hebrew they became more quiet.

Step 2


How many of us heard about Joe Kennedy before this fall?  I know I didn’t.  I don’t have a TV to get local news, or the paper… but I heard about Joe Kennedy via social media.  Joe Kennedy, assistant football coach of Bremerton, Washington’s high school, was fired this year for a 7-year tradition of having a 20-second silent prayer at the 50-yard line after each football game his team played.  Think about that…. 7 years of faithfulness… and not until this year do we hear hoot or holler of Bremerton, Washington’s high school football team.

The enemy saw fit to remove this man from his post, because he was having too much of an impact.  WOW… then in enemy flair… he overreaches and in turn, others are encouraged (like me), to engage their communities for Christ.

Why did Joe do this?  Joe was just an assistant coach… not of an NFL team… just a random high school team… Joe did this because of the story that God had worked out in his life years before.

Joe’s canvas was stained and messed up, but God… saved him.  Investing in and praying for these boys was a small way in which  Joe was entrusted by God to serve Him.  (There is no such thing as “just” an assistant when we are a branch connected to the Vine… the trap of insignificance is tempting to us all.)

Our stories, our testimonies… are what bring us together and together we have an impact because of the work of the cross.  The helmet of salvation… each helmet fits differently because all of us have  different dimensions of need.  The helmet of salvation is something you purposely take ahold of.  We can’t wear someone else’s helmet… it wouldn’t fit, and they will need it when they engage the world today.  God fits us each personally for our own helmet, our own story of Him, that no one can take away.  No one can take something away that happened to you, and that you experienced, it’s yours… it’s what makes you, you!

This is why God does not throw out the canvas that we have painted all over, He takes that same paint that we had in hand, and begins to paint the reflection of another story over our canvas.  Redeeming ALL the splotches, splashes and smudges to reflect the glory of His Son, Jesus.  Now… this is a story worth telling and not hiding from anymore.

This is where we find Paul in Acts 22.  Paul’s canvas was not pretty prior to God entering in.  Paul’s paint-medium of choice was the blood of innocents, of Christians, namely Stephen.  But God…. is in the redeeming business, and God will redeem the most horrible of decisions we make if we allow Him to do so.

In Acts 22–I love this–because, this is Paul, telling his story, engaging with his people of whom were exactly like he was in the past.  Who better to engage and testify than someone who had made the same choice back in the day?  So Paul, with his helmet of salvation firmly in place, the Word of God strapped to his feet, and the presence of God giving him boldness to speak, Paul spoke with all the love that God has for His people.

“Brethren and fathers, hear this defense that I now offer to you…” this was the same way Stephen started his defense so long ago when Paul was judge, jury, and executioner.  Now Paul, with the same love Stephen had, is sharing the same story of God’s love and grace, but with the story God gave Paul.  Paul spoke in their own dialect, so that none of the meaning would be lost.  Paul was ready to give his life for the Gospel, because of the grace he had received, he could no longer keep quiet, and had to proclaim his story in Jerusalem, where if anywhere, there, should have made a huge difference.  The result didn’t matter, his story about how God had hounded him down, relentlessly, and showed him, not hate and judgment, but love and grace, had to be told.  Paul was compelled to tell… because God was compelled to hound.

I love this chapter because Paul doesn’t hold back.  It’s as if Paul’s portrait is in full display, and Paul takes the Light of God and shines it all over those portions anyone in their right mind would run from, but the more splotches, the bigger the smudges, the greater the grace.  Paul is very aware of who he is, but greater than that he is very aware of who God is, and can’t help but share it.

God has entrusted you with a story–with your story–and your story matters.  There are people, like it or not, who need to hear your story of the great grace of God.  We can’t change the strokes of paint on our canvas, but we can allow God to change the story it reflects.


What story is God wanting to repaint to show His grace instead of your shame?  Will you allow God to paint, using the medium from that spot?

Where has God called you to engage with your story?  Joe Kennedy’s story was told in a 20 second silent prayer each game for 7 years, what does engagement look like where you are?

Will you grab ahold of your story, firmly set that helmet in place as to protect you from ideas of insignificance?


LORD, help me TODAY to engage those You send down my path, knowing in Whom I have believed because of the great story of Your grace You have written on my heart. May that grace be evident in the way I deal with people and love those you put in my path.



What Scripture are you studying now?  What have you learned?  How has the Lord spoke to you?  Share with us in the comments section.

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove  in person (January 12 – February 23, 2016), we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  You can catch ALL the replays here.

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

You don’t have to have Periscope to watch the replays.  You can just click on the links below.

Click here to watch Week One’s study with a special performance by artist Jared Emerson.

Watch Week Two’s message on TRUTH here.

Watch Week Three message here.  Kendra shines a Light on the woman with issues.

Watch Week Four message here.  Jesus is the Vine, we are the branches.