Read Ephesians 4 -- 6
In Today's Reading:
Exhortations on unity; spiritual gifts; the importance of holiness; walk in love; marriage, symbolic of the Church; duties of children; armor of God
When we let the love of Christ flow through us and manifest His loving-kindness to everyone without discrimination, then we enjoy His bountiful blessings. We are to overcome all thoughts of resentment without exception. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice (Ephesians 4:31). Instead, be . . . kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you (4:32).
Wrath and anger are often demonstrated in an outburst of abusive language as a reaction against someone who disagrees with our views and actions. Sadly, when some people are offended they are unwilling to forgive. Even more serious is the sin of slander which is one of the seven sins that God hates the most (Proverbs 6:16-19).
The presence of any of these evils destroys our peace of mind, grieves the Holy Spirit, and affects our relationship with God. However, if we allow the Holy Spirit to rule our lives, feelings of anger are overcome.
Instead of thoughts of bitterness, revenge, and anger, we should see this as an opportunity to pray for those who wrong us. An example is Stephen, who prayed while he was being stoned to death. He kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (Acts 7:60).
Every Christian is a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ and is responsible to respond with His love toward all who, by their words, attitudes, or actions, are unlovely. He is the Head of His Body the Church and we are that Body. It is under His direction that the whole Body is fitted together perfectly to work in harmony for the perfecting of the saints (believers), for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (building up) of the Body of Christ. Till we all come in unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect (mature) man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13).
For Ephesians 4:8: See Psalm 68:18. Ephesians 4:25: See Zechariah 8:16. Ephesians 4:26: See Psalm 4:4. Ephesians 5:31: See Genesis 2:24. Ephesians 6:2-3: See Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16.
4:13 perfect = spiritually mature through obedience to His Word; 4:14 carried about . . . by the sleight = led astray by false doctrine; 4:16 compacted = true unity; 4:18 blindness of their hearts = closed minds; 4:22 conversation = manner of life; 5:18 filled with = controlled by; 5:26 sanctify = set apart for God's service; 6:5 singleness of your heart, as unto Christ = sincerity as if you were obeying Christ; 6:11 wiles = deception; 6:14 having your loins girt about with truth = being familiar with all Scripture.
BP Staff: Rick Hash · Pray for Bible Pathway Prayer Partners · Government Officials: Rep. Grace Flores Napolitano (CA) and Sec. Paul O'Neill (Department of the Treasury) · Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa · Major language: Spanish · Freedom for churches at this time · 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Glorify the person, character, and attributes of God as you pray a prayer of praise (Psalm 8:1-9).
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 5:5