We’re on the final chapter of the book of Ephesians, it’s amazing how reading one chapter a day is really simple and something that all of us can do. My prayer to God is that we will develop a Bible reading culture, and become people who not only know their God, but who know His Word.
In this final chapter, we continue with instructions for christian households, but this time we’re discussing about children, fathers, masters and workers. Attention to detail has been given to these instructions, leaving no one out. Just goes to show how God had thought about everyone, and on how we need to conduct ourselves, after all, we do fall into the different categories that Paul mentions from chapters four, all through to six.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” As a parent, I feel honoured when my children obey and follow the instructions that I have given them, it puts a smile on my face. Obedience from them also shows respect which is something that all parents want from their children. Am all grown up now, and I thank God that both my parents are still alive, but even as a wife and mother living in my own house, I still obey my parents and do what they request me to do. Obedience to our earthly parents is a life long lifestyle, but parenting in the 21st century has seen a rise in children who are disobedient and parents who don’t discipline their children.
The Bible doesn’t stop there, parents also have a part to play in the way that some of their children turn out, as and when they don’t give a listening ear and treat their children harshly. “Fathers, do not exasperate (extremely annoy) your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Yes children can be disobedient and they can do crazy things that make leave you wondering if this was really your child or their possessed 🤭, but it is our duty as parents to make sure that we are not too harsh on how we handle them, discipline is a must, but we must make sure that we do not push them away from us or else, they might turn to bad company who will lead them astray.
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” Joyce Meyer is quoted as saying, ‘a bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can’t go anywhere until you change it,’ this is the sad reality in our world today, more and more people are having bad attitudes in their various relationships, circle of friends and even places of work. How do you manage to go to the same job year in, year out, and still keep complaining of how bad it is? We spend roughly eight (8) hours a day at work, with our bosses and workmates, meaning, if we keep having a bad attitude, then we will be complaining eight hours a day for whooping total of 8,760 for a whole year! That’s a lot of hours to keep complaining don’t you think?
Everyone wants to be obeyed, but to others, obedience is like a crime, and they can’t seem to take any instructions hence displaying a chauvinistic attitude, but Paul is reminding us that we should obey our earthly masters with respect, fear and sincerity of heart – not fakeness! It doesn’t stop there, we should, “obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” For the majority of people, it’s a case of, ‘smile for the camera and be all cute and cuddly,’ but when the lights are off, your back to your old cold, crooked self, who wants to paint a picture of just how good you are, but still harbouring anger and bitterness to those above you and in your circle of friends, this my dear friends is hypocrisy of the highest order! Serve, from the heart! serve wholeheartedly! give 110% of yourself, not unto people, but unto The Lord. We can lie and fake it, in front of millions of people, but God sees into our hearts, and He will reward each one of us according to the works that we do.
“And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that He who is both their Master and yours is in Heaven, and there is no favouritism with Him.” This one is to our bosses and those in authority, stop threatening people simply because your higher in ranking than they are! You too have a boss over you, The Father and King of the universe, and we’re all equal in His eyes but you as a leader, are answerable to God in the way you treat those under your leadership.
As we come to the end of the book of Ephesians, Paul urges us to put on the armour of God, but before we do, lets go back to 2 Corinthians 10:3 and see why we need God’s armour. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Ain’t that a powerful statement? We live in this world, but our weapons are not guns and bullets no! What then are they? Let’s get back to Ephesians, put on the whole armour of God and learn why we need to do so.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can stand against the devils schemes.” We’ve learnt about instructions of christian living, and now we crown it all with clothing ourselves with an armour, not just any other heavy armour, but God’s armour. Why do we need an armour anyway? “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I know some of you are wondering, who are these rulers? Let me take you back to Luke 4:5-7 during the temptation of Jesus to understand this better. “The devil led Him (Jesus) up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours'”
I think the devil here had been high or something! like how do you tell Jesus, The Son of God, who is also part of the Holy Trinity and the rightful heir to God’s Kingdom to worship you? He’s palace is in Heaven and your’s is I don’t know where deep in the dark and you want Him to come there? Crazy right? So there you have it, the kingdoms of the world, their authority and splendour belong to the devil, hence, why our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood, guns and bullets, but against principalities of this age, who hate God’s children and who will do anything in their power to pull us down, but praise be to God because He has given us a way out.
“Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” Truthfulness, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation and Word of God, these are the things that we should always have with us at all times, this is our armour!
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Beloved, pray for one another, stand at the watchtower and keep praying so that the enemy doesn’t strike while we are sleeping.
Lesson/take out – But on the full armour of God!
Memory Verse Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can stand against the devils schemes.”