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 clamour, 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 hath 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 (malicious report) 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 will be overcome.
Instead of thoughts of bitterness, revenge, and anger, we should see difficult situations as opportunities to pray for those who wrong us. Our example should be 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 the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness 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 =b> spiritually mature through obedience to His Word; 4:14 carried about . . . by the sleight =b> led astray by false doctrine; 4:16 compacted =b> knit together in true unity; 4:18 blindness =b> hardness; 4:22 conversation =b> behavior, manner of life; 5:18 filled with =b> controlled by; 5:26 sanctify =b> to set free from the guilt of sin; 6:5 singleness of your heart, as unto Christ =b> with sincerity as if you were obeying Christ; 6:11 wiles =b> deception; 6:14 having your loins girt about with truth =b> made ready for battle by being familiar with all Scripture.
Pray for Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Government Official: Rep. Grace Flores Napolitano (CA) • Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (19 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India • Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil • Christianity suppressed • 69% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Christian (mostly Catholic); 7% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your decisions will always be to please the Lord (Psalm 73:24).
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 12:14