Leading in Following
Sunday's scripture was Ephesians 6:1-4 which instructs Christian children to obey and honor their parents and then, in turn, instructs parents to raise their children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. Parents have a responsibility to lead their children in following Christ. This is about much more than passing on information - it is about passing on the culture of God's Kingdom. This requires parents to be actively following the Lord and modeling spiritual disciplines as well as instructing and teaching their children. As a parent, what habit can you focus on this week so that you can say to your children, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ"?
The whole church is called to support godly families by prayer, encouragement, teaching, and modeling. In addition to all that we do to teach children in the church, the whole church must live the reality of a relationship with Jesus. It is in this way that young people see what matters, understand how to live it out, and are discipled in the values of the Kingdom. As a church member, how is your walk with the Lord? Can you say to those younger in the faith, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ"? May we live such faithful lives that we have no fear of saying such a thing.
Walking in the will of God does not insulate us from trials
1 Kings 17
Mark 4:35 - 41
I Peter 5:7
Ephesians 5:22-33 shocks us by calling wives to submit to their husbands but this would have been unremarkable for most of human history. Rather, the instructions to husbands were shocking when Ephesians was written! Called to love with sacrifice like Jesus, a Christian husband would have been considered unmanly by ancient society. However, in loving his wife with sacrifice, in looking to her good and using his authority as a servant, a husband showed the world what Jesus is like - the one who did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped but who humbled himself even to the point of death on a cross to save sinners who deserved judgement. On the other side of this, a wife so loved is reminded to respect and submit to her husband as a picture of the church's loving submission to Christ - a submission based on trust and respect. Together, husband and wife live as one - a further picture of the Christian life where Christ and his people are one in salvation. As a picture of Jesus and the church, the best of marriage reveals the Christian life to be one of joyful, loving union with Jesus.