Read Ephesians 4
Exhortations to unity, holiness, love; marriage symbolic of the Church; duties of children and servants.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord . . . Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God (Eph. 5:19, 21).
Within the heart of every believer is joyfulness and a deep sense of thanksgiving. Since the love of Christ indwells in every Christian, the life of each member of the family of God should reflect His Spirit. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (I John 4:7). It is amazing that when we are born again, we gain a whole new family instantly. This is the family of God. We are all brothers and sisters through the life-giving miracle that Jesus performed in our lives. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (Eph. 3:14-15).
Jesus' love is the tremendous unifying power. Our self-seeking, independent spirit must submit to the gentle and gracious Spirit of Christ. If we do not, we will never experience true satisfaction in our walk with Christ. When we try to go our own way, it will always lead us away from Christ. The Lord will bring us together and unite us with a common vision if we allow Him to do His will. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (I Col. 12:25-27). As the Word of God states in these verses, we should allow no devices to come in and divide us. We must work to help those around us stay strong in Christ.
The submission and respect we have for God will be manifested as we submit ourselves. Christ set a great example for us and instructed us about the way we should treat those around us. He did this by explaining the great commandments. And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mark 12:33). Jesus clearly lets us know that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Who is our neighbor? All are our neighbors. Some would argue this includes both children of God and the lost. It does. We must treat the sinner like we want them to be part of the family of God. If we don't treat them well, we will find they may never come to Christ.
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in Him? (I John 3:17).
Thought for the Day: Those who give to others for Christ's sake will never lack for blessing.
For Eph. 4:8: See Ps. 68:18. Eph. 4:25: See Zech. 8:16. Eph. 4:26: See Ps. 4:4. Eph. 5:31: See Gen. 2:24. Eph. 6:2-3: See Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16.
4:13 perfect (does not mean perfection), sincerely desiring to be obedient to His Word; 4:14 carried about . . . by the sleight, led astray by false doctrine; 4:16 compacted, knit together in true unity; 4:18 blindness, hardening of their heart with no regard to repent of their sins or see the need to be saved; 4:22 former conversation, old sinful way of living; 5:18 filled with, controlled by; 5:26 sanctify, set apart to serve the Lord; 6:5 in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ, with no ulterior motive but to sincerely desire to please Christ; 6:11 wiles, deception; 6:14 having your loins girt about with truth, continuing to read the Word of God in order to be familiar with the will of God.
Pray for Staff: Kevin Jennings • Government Official: Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA) • Country: Hong Kong (7 million) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Chinese and English • Limited religious freedom • 90% Chinese religions; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for godly discernment to know His will (Ezek. 44:23).
Memory Verse for the Week: Isaiah 7:14