Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jesus principle - teachable moments - loving the sinner, hating the sin

Jesus principle - teachable moments - loving the sinner, hating the sin

S- John 8 - NASB
2Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5“Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. 7But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

O - Jesus here finds himself in a situation where he is being tested and he uses it as a teachable moment. That is the hallmark of his ministry, he went where the people were  and waited to see what the father was doing and took those moments to make them teachable to both Pharisees and citizens. In this situation the Jewish law enforcers brought him a woman who had committed adultery to test him, and so they said the law of Moses said we should stone her for her sin. Jesus understood their hearts and knew what the father wanted out of this moment which was to show God’s heart and intention for his people who are trapped in there sin.    You see the Law of Mosses was given because the Israelites couldn’t follow God, there sin kept separating them from God’s intent for his people.  God created man and woman and modelled marriage through Adam and Eve. Decades later through Abraham God began restoring his people from the effects of sin. Even though after long captivity in Egypt and the salvation of the Passover, and being witnesses of amazing and miraculous moments (parting of the Red Sea just to name one) , those moments were not enough to keep God’s people honoring the covenant of marriage. Sin still rained in their life.  Now again many years later, long  after God helped Moses write some laws that kept the Israelites in bounds, the heart behind those laws arre lost on them. In this scripture passage we see this example of those wanting to carry out the law of Moses without understanding the heart of God. This is why Jesus came. He witnesses that God hates sin But loves his people.  In this teachable moment Jesus shows God’s love of his people, but hatred of sin.  In this moment Jesus teaches the crowd that they are not to hate the sin  in her but rather represent God’s heart, and leave the judging to God in all situations.  Jesus did this effectively by showing the crowd their own sin, to recognize that they had no place condemning, that was gods role, not theirs. Now Jesus did not let the adulterous woman off the hook either. He simply said I do not condemn you to death, go and sin no more.

A - The application for me is to recognize I can be one of those in the crowd, who spends way too much time judging and condemning, when I need to seek the father’s heart, correct and even condemn the sin And spend all of my time and energy loving.   I need to trust God’s ultimate judgement and discipline of His creation. 

P - Dear heavenly father thank you for today’s lesson may it be used to scrub away the effects of sin in my own heart, and reveal the heart you have given me which is filled with your spirit. Lord I pray for forgiveness for all of those that I have condemned, chose to be the judge of, And simply did not love the way you love them. I pray in the future Lord you would show me each and every day how to love your people, help free those bound by sin, through what you would have do not my will.  I pray all of this in Jesus Christ name, Amen.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Participating in God’s ministry where He is working

Participating in God’s ministry where He is working
S - John 5

19Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20“For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

O - Jesus here is speaking to a group of Jews that were accusing him of doing work not the sabbath after healing a crippled man on the Sabbath? The point though he is making verses 19 through 22 is that he is not doing these things out of a self interest or just showing off for showing off sake, he is healing because this is God‘s will in this situation,  and what is more important following God’s will, who by the way is the Lord of the Sabbath, or following Jewish tradition.    You see God has a plan, He is had it from the beginning, and his will be done here on earth as His will is done in heaven. Jesus examples this as He is shows that while here on earth the Son just sees what the Father himself is doing and participates. He then shares an interesting twist in that he says God does not judge anyone for has he has turned that over to his Son, so that all will look up to and honor Jesus for who He is , our Savior.

A-The application for me is to recognize I am to be come more and more Christlike each and every day as I walk with the holy spirit here on earth. I am to seek with the Father is doing and participate. I am to see the problem sins of the world and seek to be Jesus his eyes ears and hands, but I am not the judge that job has been given to Jesus And I must resist but I think that create separation between men which is judgment, especially judgment falsely laid down.

P- Dear heavenly father thank you for your leadership of my life. Thank you for today’s devotion may it be the sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you would allow me to die to the need to judge, and have ears that hear and eyes that see what you are doing here today in my in around my life.I pray all of this in Jesus Christ name amen.


Monday, December 18, 2017

The source of our transformative power

The source of our transformative power

s - 2 Peter 1
Growth in Christian Virtue
1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

O - in this chapter, Peter writes to the church and  he explains how we are to grow as a result of having this new knowledge of Christ, under a new covenant. He reveals to us our growth no is no longer due to our good works  or lame attempt to live by the law but due to the good work of Christ in us, a divine power that now enables us to achieve this growth in Christian virtue that he goes on to describe in verses 5 through 10.  All of this is possible because of his divine nature, Christ has helped us escape the grip of the world and begin to live how God intends us to live, free from the corruption of sin in this world.

A - The application for me is to recognize the source of our ability to transform from a person in the world, to a person in the kingdom of God. This passage has long for me been a life verse in which the Lord has been showing me the progressive habits of how we are sanctified and become more like Christ every day. Today is the day I recognized that is not through my own good works or stubborn effort to be more like Christ that I will arrive at the destination that I so Intently want, but rather the journey of walking with Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit being transformed as I practice more and more these habits.

P-dear heavenly father thank you for this devotional, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray you would remind me it is Christ in me, not my will that will be the transformative power behind my sanctification. I pray all of this in Jesus Christ name amen.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Gloryifying God through our devotions

Gloryifying God through our Behavior
S 1 Peter 2 
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

O - This is Peter‘s exhortation to the churches that he has shepherded. The theme of this chapter is to help for church recognize the importance of maintaining a good witness, i.e., being able to show the community how Christ has change them through how they behave.  This is why he urged them to abstain from the things that wage against her soul. I can imagine those things being the love of money, coveting other people‘s possessions and powers. These are the things to avoid. The things to do, not surprisingly are good deeds for others because coupled with a proclamation that you a disciple of Christ’ and that you have been changed and transformed and able to resist the sins of this world, and that your only goal is to do good deeds that serve your fellow man while glorifying find your God.

A -  The application for me is to recognize how important it is to guard my witness. Like Paul, I confess that sometimes I do what I don’t want to do. I recognize that I at times have wore on my flesh on my sleeve, and at times externally displayed reduces my effectiveness as a disciple of God.  I have some specific examples that come to mind that I must be wary and guard myself against. The first one is likely Facebook where at times I am joy and opinionated opportunity to display how I feel on various subjects, I must be cautious not to ruin my witness on Facebook.  Second is at work. I must be behaving in a manner that shows my faith and confidence in Christ, while not condemning others. I have always been a little hard and pressing in on people and at work that comes across as a lack of trust, opposite of the emotion of love that I hope to evoke. The opportunities are more abundant for me to improve in this area and I know with the help of the Holy Spirit I can.

P-Dear heavenly father, thank you for this morning‘s devotion. I pray Lord that you would seal it to my heart. I also pray Lord that you would help me improve in the area of sharing my witness with others, I truly need help protecting my words, my mind n my heart for what my flash at times would fail me.  I pray all of this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Character criteria for being a leader

Character criteria to be a leader

S- 1 Timothy 3
Overseers and Deacons
1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

O - Paul  here is speaking to Timothy about the leaders of the church. This is the criteria for overseers and deacons in the church. He likely felt it necessary to speak on this topic because like in all things in this world people fall short.  Likely in this case some of the leaders in the church of Ephesus May have been inappropriately leading the congregation, and in Paul’s assessment it was due to them lacking one of the character traits for being overseer.   The list of course is comprehensive and sufficient to catch the character of the type of person who is called and should be challenged to be an overseer.

A-The application for me is simply to look in the mirror. While the topic is about being an overseer in the church, I recognize God has giving me the position of overseer at home and in the workplace as well. Therefore the criteria applies to me as well though I do not hold a position of overseer in the church, I play a role in leading gods people starting with my family and those in the workplace he is called me to lead. As God shines a light on these criteria and I look in the mirror at myself I see myself falling short in in in a few areas which through God’s grace is becoming my heart felt passion to be better today than I was yesterday, I need to work on the following:

  1. Being temperate
  2. Being gentle
  3. Being peaceable

P -dear heavenly father thank you Lord for today’s devotion made be sealed to my heart. I pray that your Holy Spirit your word to those around me lord you would help me to shake my heart mind and soul to be more temperate gentle and peaceable with those that are in my life. Lord I confess I do not know how to do it by myself I can only do it with you. I pray all this in Jesus Christ name amen.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Show grace to your circle of authority

S - Colossians 4
1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.
5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

O - another amazing revelation from Paul regarding how we are to lead lead lead and how we are to spread the good news. I think Paul has met through these words broke in my own mental model of him. I am off and rejoiced of his passion and vigor and willing to be direct with people. Yet the underlying principles he shares here challenge my own. That we are to grant justice and fairness to those who work for us, and we can do this through prayer and being open To what God is telling you either through his word or through his Spirit. Paul exhorts us also to conduct ourselves with the wisdom towards those outside of our circle of influence and how we do that is to guard our speech to ensure it is always full of Grace seasoned with love and truth.

A-The application for me today it is well specific and general. Specific in the perspective that I am working with one of the leaders who works in my department on building trust. If I was to be honest I feel like he is outside my circle of influence, though it was in my circle of authority and this has caused great tension in our office. Normally as well as in this case when I find somebody out of my sight my circle of influence pricing out against my circle of authority I use my favorite tool the bulldozer to fix things. Today the Lord is showing me through people he has placed in my life, as well as his word family apostle Paul do you show me that I need to treat all of those within why authority with  Fairness.   I have to always show grace in all that I say to both direct reports and those around me, for this is what God has done for me, and without it the open doors.

P - Dear Heavenly Father , thank you for today’s lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that you help me overcome my overwhelming feelings and put on my full armor so that I may show grace and love and represent you well.  I pray all this in Jesus Christ name,  Amen.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Speaking truth without poking or grumbling

Speak truth without grumbling or poking
S-Philippians 2
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

O - Paul here is encouraging the church at Philippi to be great witnesses of the Gospel to the world.   He is is telling his perspective both as an apostle and as member of the church. As an apostle he is an example, as he faced many challenges and boldly went into the world sharing the gospel, despite the many challenges he faced as a result of his obedience to the calling,  he is able to make statements such as “do all things without grumbling“. He says that, knowing not that he doesn’t have things to grumble about but,  for a purpose so that as we go into the world we are lights, giving others who need to hear the good news without the light being dimmed by our pointing out about our own flaws in our own poor attitudes. You see it’s because there are not bad people, but a generation in which we he is trying to speak the gospel to and  at times. can be resistant to hearing the truth due to the culture that is in this world, or a different way of saying that due to the culture telling them not to have faith in Christ but to have faith in their own ability to be their own salvation.

A -   The application for me is to simply make sure I am guarding my attitude. My response to things in this world, whether it be my distaste for them, my judgment of them, or my sinful thoughts against them are barriers to me being a light in this world. I need to understand that my internal voice does not need to be my external voice. I need to allow God’s internal spirit in me speak externally to those before me. I have a very real example today with the leader who works for me who continues to challenge my ability to show him God‘s love and grace, because he continually challenges me and my values. My response needs not to be that of retaliation, but light, I must continue to shine light and love where there is darkness. My default is not to do that but to rather shine a bright light on the ugliness and poke a stick at things that I see as unclean, or unrighteous. God is telling me that in His time, and in in his spirit is the way to help people come to his righteousness. If I am a willing servant I will set my pride aside and be a vessel in which God can bring the light into the world.

P- dear heavenly father, thank you Lord for this timely devotion, may it to be sealed to my heart. I recognize today as a potential breakthrough in my understanding, Lord I need you to help me change what is inside to heal the hurt to squash the pride in to change me inside out, so that I might respond the way you are calling me to respond to those that you have me in front of today. I pray all these things in Jesus Christ name, Amen. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Leading and Loving Family

Leadership and Love of family

Ephesians 5
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 6
Family Relationships
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 49:63 so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


Commentary from Mathew Henry:

Here the apostle begins his exhortation to the discharge of relative duties. As a general foundation for these duties, he lays down that rule v. 21. There is a mutual submission that Christians owe one to another, condescending to bear one another's burdens: not advancing themselves above others, nor domineering over one another and giving laws to one another. Paul was an example of this truly Christian temper, for he became all things to all men. We must be of a yielding and of a submissive spirit, and ready to all the duties of the respective places and stations that God has allotted to us in the world. In the fear of God, that is, so far as is consistent with the fear of God, for his sake, and out of conscience towards him, and that hereby we may give proof that we truly fear him. Where there is this mutual condescension and submission, the duties of all relations will be the better performed. From v. 22 to the end he speaks of the duties of husbands and wives; and he speaks of these in a Christian manner, setting the church as an example of the wife's subjection, and Christ as an example of love in husbands.
  • I. The duty prescribed to wives is submission to their husbands in the Lord (v. 22), which submission includes the honouring and obeying of them, and that from a principle of love to them. They must do this in compliance with God's authority, who has commanded it, which is doing it as unto the Lord; or it may be understood by way of similitude and likeness, so that the sense may be, "as, being devoted to God, you submit yourselves unto him.' From the former sense we may learn that by a conscientious discharge of the duties we owe to our fellow-creatures we obey and please God himself; and, from the latter, that God not only requires and insists on those duties which immediately respect himself, but such as respect our neighbours too. The apostle assigns the reason of this submission from wives: For the husband is the head of the wife, v. 23. The metaphor is taken from the head in the natural body, which, being the seat of reason, of wisdom, and of knowledge, and the fountain of sense and motion, is more excellent than the rest of the body. God has given the man the pre-eminence and a right to direct and govern by creation, and in that original law of the relation, Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Whatever there is of uneasiness in this, it is an effect of sin coming into the world. Generally, too, the man has (what he ought to have) a superiority in wisdom and knowledge. He is therefore the head, even as Christ is the head of the church. There is a resemblance of Christ's authority over the church in that superiority and headship which God has appointed to the husband. The apostle adds, and he is the Saviour of the body. Christ's authority is exercised over the church for the saving of her from evil, and the supplying of her with every thing good for her. In like manner should the husband be employed for the protection and comfort of his spouse; and therefore she should the more cheerfully submit herself unto him. So it follows, Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ (v. 24), with cheerfulness, with fidelity, with humility, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing-in every thing to which their authority justly extends itself, in every thing lawful and consistent with duty to God.
  • II. The duty of husbands (on the other hand), is to love their wives (v. 25); for without this they would abuse their superiority and headship, and, wherever this prevails as it ought to do, it will infer the other duties of the relation, it being a special and peculiar affection that is required in her behalf. The love of Christ to the church is proposed as an example of this, which love of his is a sincere, a pure, an ardent, and constant affection, and that notwithstanding the imperfections and failures that she is guilty of. The greatness of his love to the church appeared in his giving himself unto the death for it. Observe, As the church's subjection to Christ is proposed as an exemplar to wives, so the love of Christ to his church is proposed as a pattern to husbands; and while such exemplars are offered to both, and so much is required of each, neither has reason to complain of the divine injunctions. The love which God requires from the husband in behalf of his wife will make amends for the subjection which he demands from her to her husband; and the prescribed subjection of the wife will be an abundant return for that love of the husband which God has made her due. The apostle, having mentioned Christ's love to the church, enlarges upon it, assigning the reason why he gave himself for it, namely, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next: That he might sanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of water by the word (v. 26)-that he might endue all his members with a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin. The instrumental means whereby this is affected are the instituted sacraments, particularly the washing of baptism and the preaching and reception of the gospel. And that he might present it to himself, etc., v. 27. Dr. Lightfoot thinks the apostle alludes here to the Jews' extraordinary carefulness in their washings for purification. They were careful that there should be no wrinkle to keep the flesh from the water, and no spot nor dirt which was not thoroughly washed. Others understand him as alluding to a garment come newly out of the fuller's hand, purged from spots, stretched from wrinkles, the former newly contracted, the latter by long time and custom. That he might present it to himself-that he might perfectly unite it to himself in the great day, a glorious church, perfect in knowledge and in holiness, not having spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing, nothing of deformity or defilement remaining, but being entirely amiable and pleasing in his eye, holy and without blemish, free from the least remains of sin. The church in general, and particular believers, will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. From this and the former verse together we may take notice that the glorifying of the church is intended in the sanctifying of it: and that those, and those only, who are sanctified now, will be glorified hereafter.-So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies, etc., v. 28. The wife being made one with her husband (not in a natural, but in a civil and in a relative sense), this is an argument why he should love her with as cordial and as ardent an affection as that which he loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, v. 29-(no man in his right senses ever hated himself, however deformed, or whatever his imperfections might be); so far from it that he nourishes and cherishes it; he uses himself with a great deal of care and tenderness, and is industrious to supply himself with every thing convenient or good for him, with food and clothing, etc. Even as the Lord the church: that is, as the Lord nourishes and cherishes the church, which he furnishes with all things that he sees needful or good for her, with whatever conduces to her everlasting happiness and welfare. The apostle adds, For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones, v. 30. He assigns this as a reason why Christ nourishes and cherishes his church-because all who belong to it are members of his body, that is, of his mystical body. Or, we are members out of his body: all the grace and glory which the church has are from Christ, as Eve was taken out of the man. But, as one observes, it being the manner of the sacred writings to express a complex body by the enumeration of its several parts, as the heaven and earth for the world, evening and morning for the natural day, so here, by body, flesh, and bones, we are to understand himself, the meaning of the verse being that we are members of Christ.-For this cause (because they are one, as Christ and his church are one) shall a man leave his father and mother; the apostle refers to the words of Adam, when Eve was given to him for a meet help, Gen. 2:24. We are not to understand by this that a man's obligation to other relations is cancelled upon his marriage, but only that this relation is to be preferred to all others, there being a nearer union between these two than between any others, that the man must rather leave any of those than his wife.-And they two shall be one flesh, that is, by virtue of the matrimonial bond. This is a great mystery, v. 32. Those words of Adam, just mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden mystical sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church, of which the conjugal union between Adam and the mother of us all was a type: though not instituted or appointed by God to signify this, yet it was a kind of natural type, as having a resemblance to it: I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 6:1-9
Here we have further directions concerning relative duties, in which the apostle is very particular.
  • I. The duty of children to their parents. Come, you children, hearken to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. The great duty of children is to obey their parents (v. 1), parents being the instruments of their being, God and nature having given them an authority to command, in subserviency to God; and, if children will be obedient to their pious parents, they will be in a fair way to be pious as they are. That obedience which God demands from their children, in their behalf, includes an inward reverence, as well as the outward expressions and acts. Obey in the Lord. Some take this as a limitation, and understand it thus: "as far as is consistent with your duty to God.' We must not disobey our heavenly Father in obedience to earthly parents; for our obligation to God is prior and superior to all others. I take it rather as a reason: "Children, obey your parents; for the Lord has commanded it: obey them therefore for the Lord's sake, and with an eye to him.' Or it may be a particular specification of the general duty: "Obey your parents, especially in those things which relate to the Lord. Your parents teach you good manners, and therein you must obey them. They teach you what is for your health, and in this you must obey them: but the chief things in which you are to do it are the things pertaining to the Lord.' Religious parents charge their children to keep the ways of the Lord, Gen. 18:19. They command them to be found in the way of their duty towards God, and to take heed of those sins most incident to their age; in these things especially they must see that they be obedient. There is a general reason given: For this is right, there is a natural equity in it, God has enjoined it, and it highly becomes Christians. It is the order of nature that parents command and children obey. Though this may seem a hard saying, yet it is duty, and it must be done by such as would please God and approve themselves to him. For the proof of this the apostle quotes the law of the fifth commandment, which Christ was so far from designing to abrogate and repeal that he came to confirm it, as appears by his vindicating it, Mt. 15:4, etc. Honour thy father and mother (v. 2), which honour implies reverence, obedience, and relief and maintenance, if these be needed. The apostle adds, which is the first commandment with promise. Some little difficulty arises from this, which we should not overlook, because some who plead for the lawfulness of images bring this as a proof that we are not bound by the second commandment. But there is no manner of force in the argument. The second commandment has not a particular promise; but only a general declaration or assertion, which relates to the whole law of God's keeping mercy for thousands. And then by this is not meant the first commandment of the decalogue that has a promise, for there is no other after it that has, and therefore it would be improper to say it is the first; but the meaning may be this: "This is a prime or chief commandment, and it has a promise; it is the first commandment in the second table, and it has a promise.' The promise is, That it may be well with thee, etc., v. 3. Observe, Whereas the promise in the commandment has reference to the land of Canaan, the apostle hereby shows that this and other promises which we have in the Old Testament relating to the land of Canaan are to be understood more generally. That you may not think that the Jews only, to whom God gave the land of Canaan, were bound by the fifth commandment, he here gives it a further sense, That it may be well with thee, etc. Outward prosperity and long life are blessings promised to those who keep this commandment. This is the way to have it well with us, and obedient children are often rewarded with outward prosperity. Not indeed that it is always so; there are instances of such children who meet with much affliction in this life: but ordinarily obedience is thus rewarded, and, where it is not, it is made up with something better. Observe,
    • 1. The gospel has its temporal promises, as well as spiritual ones.
    • 2. Although the authority of God be sufficient to engage us in our duty, yet we are allowed to have respect to the promised reward: and,
    • 3. Though it contains some temporal advantage, even this may be considered as a motive and encouragement to our obedience.
  • II. The duty of parents: And you fathers, v. 4. Or, you parents,
    • 1. "Do not provoke your children to wrath. Though God has given you power, you must not abuse that power, remembering that your children are, in a particular manner, pieces of yourselves, and therefore ought to be governed with great tenderness and love. Be not impatient with them, use no unreasonable severities and lay no rigid injunctions upon them. When you caution them, when you counsel them, when you reprove them, do it in such a manner as not to provoke them to wrath. In all such cases deal prudently and wisely with them, endeavouring to convince their judgments and to work upon their reason.'
    • 2. "Bring them up well, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the discipline of proper and of compassionate correction, and in the knowledge of that duty which God requires of them and by which they may become better acquainted with him. Give them a good education.' It is the great duty of parents to be careful in the education of their children: "Not only bring them up, as the brutes do, taking care to provide for them; but bring them up in nurture and admonition, in such a manner as is suitable to their reasonable natures. Nay, not only bring them up as men, in nurture and admonition, but as Christians, in the admonition of the Lord. Let them have a religious education. Instruct them to fear sinning; and inform them of, and excite them to, the whole of their duty towards God.'
  • III. The duty of servants. This also is summed up in one word, which is, obedience. He is largest on this article, as knowing there was the greatest need of it. These servants were generally slaves. Civil servitude is not inconsistent with Christian liberty. Those may be the Lord's freemen who are slaves to men. "Your masters according to the flesh (v. 5), that is, who have the command of your bodies, but not of your souls and consciences: God alone has dominion over these.' Now, with respect to servants, he exhorts,
    • 1. That they obey with fear and trembling. They are to reverence those who are over them, fearing to displease them, and trembling lest they should justly incur their anger and indignation.
    • 2. That they be sincere in their obedience: In singleness of heart; not pretending obedience when they design disobedience, but serving them with faithfulness.
    • 3. They should have an eye to Jesus Christ in all the service that they perform to their masters (v. 5-7), doing service as to the Lord, and not to men; that is, not to men only or principally. When servants, in the discharge of the duty of their places, have an eye to Christ, this puts an honour upon their obedience, and an acceptableness into it. Service done to their earthly masters, with an eye to him, becomes acceptable service to him also. To have an eye to Christ is to remember that he sees them and is ever present with them, and that his authority obliges them to a faithful and conscientious discharge of the duties of their station.
    • 4. They must not serve their masters with eye-service (v. 6)-that is, only when their master's eye is upon them; but they must be as conscientious in the discharge of their duty, when they are absent and out of the way, because then their Master in heaven beholds them: and therefore they must not act as men-pleasers-as though they had no regard to the pleasing of God, and approving themselves to him, if they can impose upon their masters. Observe, A steady regard to the Lord Jesus Christ will make men faithful and sincere in every station of life.
    • 5. What they do they must do cheerfully: Doing the will of God from the heart, serving their masters as God wills they should, not grudgingly, nor by constraint, but from a principle of love to them and their concerns. This is doing it with good-will (v. 7), which will make their service easy to themselves, pleasing to their masters, and acceptable to the Lord Christ. There should be good-will to their masters, good-will to the families they are in; and especially a readiness to do their duty to God. Observe, Service, performed with conscience, and from a regard to God, though it be to unrighteous masters, will be accounted by Christ as service done to himself.
    • 6. Let faithful servants trust God for their wages, while they do their duty in his fear: Knowing that whatsoever good thing (v. 8), how poor and mean soever it may be, considered in itself,-the same shall he receive of the Lord, that is, by a metonymy, the reward of the same. Though his master on earth should neglect or abuse him, instead of rewarding him, he shall certainly be rewarded by the Lord Christ, whether he be bond or free, whether he be a poor bond-servant or a freeman or master. Christ regards not these differences of men at present; nor will he in the great and final judgment. You think, "A prince, or a magistrate, or a minister, that does his duty here, will be sure to receive his reward in heaven: but what capacity am I, a poor servant, in, of recommending myself to the favour of God.' Why, God will as certainly reward thee for the meanest drudgery that is done from a sense of duty and with an eye to himself. And what can be said more proper either to engage or to encourage servants to their duty?
  • IV. The duty of masters: "And you masters, do the same things unto them (v. 9); that is, act after the same manner. Be just to them, as you expect they should be to you: show the like good-will and concern for them, and be careful herein to approve yourselves to God.' Observe, Masters are under as strict obligations to discharge their duty to their servants as servants are to be obedient and dutiful to them. "Forbearing threatening; anientes-moderating threatening, and remitting the evils with which you threaten them. Remember that your servants are made of the same mould with yourselves, and therefore be not tyrannical and imperious over them, knowing that your Master also is in heaven:' some copies read, both your and their Master. "You have a Master to obey who makes this your duty; and you and they are but fellow-servants in respect of Christ. You will be as punishable by him, for the neglect of your duty, or for acting contrary to it, as any others of meaner condition in the world. You are therefore to show favour to others, as ever you expect to find favour with him; and you will never be a match for him, though you may be too hard for your servants.' Neither is there respect of persons with him; a rich, a wealthy, and a dignified master, if he be unjust, imperious, and abusive, is not a jot the nearer being accepted of God for his riches, wealth, and honour. He will call masters and servants to an impartial account for their conduct one to another, and will neither spare the former because they are more advanced nor be severe towards the latter because they are inferior and mean in the world. If both masters and servants would consider their relation and obligation to God and the account they must shortly give to him, they would be more careful of their duty to each other. Thus the apostle concludes his exhortation to relative duties.


Dear Heavenly Father your word is my prayer:
Psalms 119:1-80
Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God.
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the Lord. 2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart. 3 They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways. 4 You have ordained Your precepts, That we should keep them diligently. 5 Oh that my ways may be established To keep Your statutes! 6 Then I shall not be ashamed When I look upon all Your commandments. 7 I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8 I shall keep Your statutes; Do not forsake me utterly! 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. 12 Blessed are You, O Lord; Teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. 16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. 17 Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. 18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. 19 I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me. 20 My soul is crushed with longing After Your ordinances at all times. 21 You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, Who wander from Your commandments. 22 Take away reproach and contempt from me, For I observe Your testimonies. 23 Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes. 24 Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors. 25 My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. 26 I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; Teach me Your statutes. 27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders. 28 My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Your word. 29 Remove the false way from me, And graciously grant me Your law. 30 I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Your ordinances before me. 31 I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame! 32 I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart. 33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart. 35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. 36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to dishonest gain. 37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways. 38 Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You. 39 Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your ordinances are good. 40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me through Your righteousness. 41 May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word; 42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, For I trust in Your word. 43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I wait for Your ordinances. 44 So I will keep Your law continually, Forever and ever. 45 And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts. 46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings And shall not be ashamed. 47 I shall delight in Your commandments, Which I love. 48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes. 49 Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. 51 The arrogant utterly deride me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law. 52 I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, And comfort myself. 53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, Who forsake Your law. 54 Your statutes are my songs In the house of my pilgrimage. 55 O Lord, I remember Your name in the night, And keep Your law. 56 This has become mine, That I observe Your precepts. 57 The Lord is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. 58 I sought Your favor with all my heart; Be gracious to me according to Your word. 59 I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies. 60 I hastened and did not delay To keep Your commandments. 61 The cords of the wicked have encircled me, But I have not forgotten Your law. 62 At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You Because of Your righteous ordinances. 63 I am a companion of all those who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts. 64 The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O Lord; Teach me Your statutes. 65 You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word. 66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. 68 You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes. 69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me; With all my heart I will observe Your precepts. 70 Their heart is covered with fat, But I delight in Your law. 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. 72 The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces. 73 Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. 74 May those who fear You see me and be glad, Because I wait for Your word. 75 I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. 76 O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, According to Your word to Your servant. 77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live, For Your law is my delight. 78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; But I shall meditate on Your precepts. 79 May those who fear You turn to me, Even those who know Your testimonies. 80 May my heart be blameless in Your statutes, So that I will not be ashamed.  

In Jesus name, I pray