Tag Archives: Visible

Submissionūüíē

NIV Eph 5:21¬†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 her 26¬†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‚ÄĒ 30¬†for we are members of his body. 31¬†‚ÄúFor this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.‚ÄĚc¬† 32¬†This is a profound mystery‚ÄĒbut 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.
c Gen 2:24

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This part of Ephesians 5 is a challenge because it’s familiar.¬† Countless, is how I’d describe the number of times I’ve read or heard these verses and familiarity tends to become like unconscious editing.¬† So, here’s what we already know about submission:
– Wives: submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
РHusbands: just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  

It’s so easy to massage that truth about submission into something related to behavior that soothes our conscience instead of letting it change our relationship to each other and to the church we love “out of reverence for Christ.”¬† I know about that personally.¬† I also know there is a reality check that challenges me to look at how I am living that truth. ¬†

As a wife can you honestly look at your relationship to the Lord and integrate that into your relationship to your husband?¬† Or from the other side of the issue, does your relationship to your husband look like your relationship to Jesus?¬† No one else can write the rules of what your submission should look like but your honest answers to those two questions is the essence of true submission that makes reverence for Christ visible to the world.¬† How’re you doing?

Now husbands, here’s your first question: How does your relationship to your wife give evidence of your love for the church?¬† Or from the other side of that issue does what happens in your personal relationship to your wife bring honor to the church?¬† No one else can guess your answers but their honesty is what makes it possible to honor your bride as well as the Bride of Christ, the church. ¬†How’re you doing?

A Visible Part

I Peter 2:1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2¬†Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation‚ÄĒ 3¬†if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4¬†As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5¬†you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.¬† ESV

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At one point in time I took daily devotional walks and would pick up a stone¬†[mostly unremarkable] everyday to put in a jar at home as a reminder to me of the purpose of the walk.¬† I’ve collected stones for many years now and they have become a visible part of my living room decor.¬† Most are just plain stones I’ve either found or been given but there are some I’ve purchased because they’re polished and show the beauty of what is underneath their natural exterior.¬† Both have meaning to me.¬† And therein lies the reality that makes this Word live for me.¬†

A stone is not like a book that’s known by it’s cover.¬† The significance of a¬†“living stone” is this: “in the sight of God,” He saw the beauty beneath your natural exterior and gathered you up from the rubble pile of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all slander, to be a “living stone” in His ¬†“spiritual house.”¬† You were purchased and polished by Him and His Word to be a very visible part of “a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”¬†…in plain sight.

 

The Red Thread – The Unlikely Choice

Mark 2
14 Follow me…
17 It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners…

Could there be a more unlikely choice than Levi [Matthew] for Jesus to choose as his second object lesson to the crowd as they walked through Capernaum? They’d certainly heard that Jesus had power over physical illness but this was Levi the local tax collector. Levi had been given his power by the king to make his living by squeezing as much of their money from them as he could. What could he possibly deserve, or need, compared to some poor invalid?

This time Jesus sees something invisible in a man it’s likely no one else in that crowd would ever choose. He chooses Levi. Jesus simply said “follow me” and Levi got up and followed him. It was a different kind of miracle that revealed Jesus is a very different kind of King that has the power to make a visible change in the circumstances of a life forever.