This summer I want to delve into God’s Word and add to a couple of my series. First, I want to continue to explore favorite passages that my friends have found meaningful for confident living with and in Jesus. Second, last summer I did a series where I Wandered through the Bible writing on passages that have been meaningful to me in years of study and living with Jesus. Hence you will see both series continued this summer and I do hope you will allow God’s Word to speak to you in a new and fresh way as my journey continues.
Today I want to highlight a favorite passage of mine and my dear friend Joan Pauls. She went to be with the Lord this March and I thought it fitting to begin this series anew with her passage. Her favorite passage is Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Knowing my friend Joan, I can see why she always got strength and power for living from these 2 short verses. One must TRUST in God with all of your heart and being, forsaking the worldly views or what you think is right and go with God. He knows the true pathway in life and our submission to Him and His will leads us on His path and in His way. God never fails and His ways are right and just. Sticking to worldly views and morals and standards is not enough as they are often in conflict with what God desires for us and gives us in His Word. We must Trust in Him, lean only on Him and His wisdom and submit to His ways. Those actions and thoughts will lead us on the straight path and we will not be deceived or lead astray or as we say take the long road around. God’s way is direct and never crooked. Is it easy? No. Keeping our focus on Jesus, His Word, being steeped in prayer and connected in fellowship will help us in our daily submission to Him.
Joan knew that this was a recipe for great and confident living in Jesus. Those around her knew her heart belonged to Jesus and that she loved Him. May we do likewise and be blessed with the straight pathway He has promised.
P.S. These verses are also a favorite of my friend Elizabeth and I wrote about her favorites in the blog entitled, About To Give up? Look to God’s Word- He has the Answer you need. She had several verses she leans upon to help her live confidently in Jesus. Look it up, February 15, 2022.
We are about to enter one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Ephesians 6 has so much to tell us about Christ and the life He desires that we live in and through His powerful indwelling Holy Spirit. Remember Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”? This is the driving verse for the discussion about relationships between a husband and wife and it continues in Ephesians 6 with children and parents, then employee and employer.
Ephesians 6:1-4 deals with parent-child relationships. “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise:3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
The admonition from God to obey and honor our parents was given in the 10 Commandments. Exodus 20:12 ““Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Living a life with peace begins in the home. Rebellion, strife, anger, harsh words and discord can flourish in children both young and old (meaning even you at your age) if not curbed with honor, respect and love. We are selfish creatures and as such want our own way. This command to honor and obey our parents has a promised return- a long and full life in the Lord. Honor and obedience lead to peace and harmony that will lengthen the quality our lives just as disharmony, discord and dissent will shorten it. Paul does not end with the children but goes on to admonish all parents. He says we are not to provoke, needle, irritate our children intentionally or be unnecessarily angry with them for anger sake. We are to practice a parenthood that reflects Christ and remember His submission to the Father on our behalf. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead,we (both parent and child) are able to submit to one another with love and respect.
These are sobering words that call all of us to think about our parent-child relationships. Are they honoring in God’s eyes? In these last days of Lent, spend some time mediating on Paul’s words and seek God’s guidance in your relationships.
The last portion of Ephesians 5is a difficult passage as it deals with submission and relationships in the home and in marriage that are to mirror Christ’s love for us. I think the reason these verses cause such turmoil is that they are counter-culture and go against the thinking of today and women’s rights. However, if we look at verse 5:21 and 5:32-33we get to the heart of what Paul was saying. God is a god of order and design. Someone in the home has to make the final decision but any decisions need to be tempered and driven by love, a love like Christ has for us as believers. Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” We submit, yield or seek the approval of one another out of our love for Christ. 5:32-33 “This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” An example of the mystery of Christ’s relationship to believers is seen in the loving, caring respectful relationship of a man and wife. Submission to each other is done because of Christ and our love for Him. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, we can live lives submitted to one another in love that mirror Christ’s love for us.
Have a blessed day as you consider how you are submitting or yielding your rights to others in Christ like love.
Here is the whole passage –Ephesians 5:21-33 ” Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”