December 4, 2005
Read Ephesians 4
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 (loud, insulting, abusive language), and evil speaking (slander), be put away from you, with all malice (ill will) (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 outbursts of abusive language as a reaction against someone who disagrees with our views or actions. Sadly, when some people are offended they are unwilling to even forgive. Even more serious is the sin of slander (malicious verbal attack) which is one of the seven sins that God hates the most (Proverbs 6:16-19).
The presence of any of these or similar evils destroys our peace of mind, grieves the Holy Spirit, and affects our relationship with God and others. 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 unloving. 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, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13).
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 = knit together in true unity; 4:18 blindness = hardness; 4:22 conversation = behavior, manner of life; 5:18 filled with = controlled by; 5:26 sanctify = free from the guilt of sin; 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.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Bonnie Wilhite · Staff: Kenneth Roy Roberts III · Government Official: Rep. Grace Flores Napolitano (CA) · Country:
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:22