Episode #173. Today we’ll read Ephesians chapter 5 together. Paul gives us more practical instruction as he talks about wives and husbands and consistency in our Christian lives.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #173. Today we’ll read Ephesians chapter 5 together: Paul gives us more practical instruction as he talks about wives and husbands and consistency in our Christian lives.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
I have a friend named Suzette and God gave her to me when I didn’t even really know I needed her. In all of my Bible study, I forget sometimes that it can actually equip me for the day-to-day.
Suzette is my antidote. She spends a great deal of time reading and writing devotionals and will sometimes share them with me. Thank God that as I was driving to Reno to visit with my daughter – the morning after the malaise they called a Presidential debate – Suzette called me as if on que.
Like others, I seem to be counting on my fingers these days the number of low-level stresses that are simmering just below our collective surfaces. Covid, violence, racism, elections, and fires, all of which invite fear, financial insecurity, rage, feelings of isolation, and hopelessness. When is it gonna end?
Well, Suzette had not one but three passages to share. She was so excited and blissfully unaware how badly I needed to hear them. She started with, of all places, Revelation 1:5 – and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. What a great nugget! The ruler of the kings of the earth. Elections aren’t settled by bad debates, they are settled by Jesus Christ, and we can trust that. Okay, Suzette, you have my attention.
She went next to Psalm 120, all seven verses. I won’t repeat it all here, but it is a delightful essay on deceitful tongues, makers of war, and lovers of peace.
She ended with 1 Corinthians 13 – our beloved “love” chapter. I know she zeroed in on a few verses, but as I re-read it this morning while writing this script, it occurred to me that all of it applies. If we forget that there is an Almighty God in heaven and if we forget that He is not surprised by anything going on in the world today, then we will not love first. And if we don’t remember to love, it’s all just noise.
Ephesians Chapter 5
Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Light versus Darkness
Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth — testing what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made visible, for what makes everything visible is light. Therefore it is said:
Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.
Consistency in the Christian Life
Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.
Wives and Husbands
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
Have you ever watched a little boy – pint-sized toolset in hand – copying exactly what his dad or grandpa is doing? Desiring so much to be exactly like him; being a big boy. I love watching men teaching boys to be men! And here is Paul, telling us to be imitators of God the Father just like little children. Just like that little boy, we are to desire to be just like Him.
And we are to also love like Christ. Let’s pause on that just for a moment. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to reroll my memory more than 24 hours to remember an unloving thing I said or a kindness I overlooked without acknowledgement. Let’s not forget that I spent five hours on the freeways of Nevada and California yesterday so, yeah, there’s that. Would someone recognize me as a Christian behind the wheel of my car? Have I ever sacrificed myself for someone else to the extent that God would consider it a fragrant offering? It gives me pause.
Do I want to be accepted by God with the same craving and need I have for the people around the water cooler at work? What do I want to be when I grow up? Am I deceived? Do I forget that Christ is coming back? Do people see Christ in me? Do I shine light or am I darkness? Do I honor God’s order by submitting to Mitch? Does my marriage look like Christ’s profound mystery? Let’s pray.
Oh, Jesus, I want to be like You. We want to be like You. It’s so hard though. Please help us. Don’t let our foot slip. Help us to pay careful attention to what we do and say. Give us Your wisdom and help us to understand Your will for us. Fill us with Your Spirit minute by minute and find us encouraging each other with that joyful noise-. We give You thanks right now for Your endless mercy and grace. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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