Sometimes concluding remarks feel like a courteous goodbye or just a random handful of leftover thoughts the author wanted to wrap up with. And so oftentimes we miss the importance of a conclusion. Think about some of the best movie cliff hangers you’ve experienced this last year and how they left you on the edge of your seat wanting more. That’s my prayer for us as we turn our attention to the last four sentences of Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church.
A person’s attitude says a lot about who they believe God is and who they believe they are. What does your attitude look like today? Is it an attitude of defeat or victory? Despair or joy? Obedience or rebellion? What does your attitude look like today? Because your attitude today, says a lot about who you believe God is and who you believe God says you are.
What is your heart captivated by? What are you in bondage to? What lies have you believed that have lead you into a jail cell of doubt or worry or despair or shame or guilt? Jesus said that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. And Paul said that we have been set free to be set free.
Truth. What is truth? Is there really such a thing as absolute truth? Who is the source of the truth you believe? Why does this matter?
Paul is calling us to know who and whose we are and he’s calling us to walk obediently as children of God and the way that Paul says we are to get that done is to take a stand. Know who you are. Know whose you are. Walk like a child of God. Take a stand in these things.
The topic of slavery for me in my limited understanding brings about a sense of fury and disgustedness. I feel a deep sense of rage when I think about how in the world any human being could ever want to turn another human being into a mere piece of property or worst into a blunt instrument to further their agenda. So I admit that this passage has been tough for me to study. Look at it with me…
This passage presents a simple topic with complex baggage. I have my own personal story. And every one of us in our own distinct way needs to hear something from this text. And I assure you that the Lord wants to speak to you. And my prayer is simply that God would reveal more of his heart as a loving Daddy to his children and that as we encounter more of his heart, we would be enabled to love him more obediently.
The only place a man can grow in his desire and ability to love his wife is under the shadow of the bloody cross and in the doorway of the empty tomb.
I was working on the new building this last week and I was praying for us as a church. I was praying for the community around us that I’ve begun to affectionately refer to as “Hastings South of The Tracks”. And as I was praying for our first Sunday gathering here I sensed the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about what he wanted me to preach this morning for our first gathering on B street.
I arrive at this passage with a very real and a very emotional and a very raw and a very passionate sense of fear. Fear of the Lord. Fear for you. And fear for myself. Nevertheless, this is God’s Word. God’s Word is faithful and true. And on the truth of his Word I will stand today and I pray that you will join me too. And that brings me to the text in front of us.