DIG for Saturday the 16th of September……it is all about relationships…..Ephesians 5 v 21

I started reading the next passage I will be preaching on this week and suddenly realised one of the important aspects of what I was reading.

I’ve just preached through Ephesians chapter 5 and looking to start chapter 6, and it hit me that we are learning all about relationships.

One of the best things to have in life is great relationships.

Life without other people is meaningless.

We were not made to live in isolation, and one of the wonders in life is gong through this journey with people you love and who love you.

In this aspect I am blessed beyond measure.

Sometimes however relationships are difficult, and it would help us all if we were to learn more about living in relationship with others.

The Word does this for us.

I’ve been teaching that as we learn more about grace and the finished work of Jesus (Ephesians 1 to 3 and Galatians 1 to 3 for example), we learn to live more out of the spirit and for others, rather than out of the flesh and for self.

This if course will lead to better relationships, if we prefer the needs of others over our own, if we live out of the spirit rather than out of the flesh.

Much of what we read in the latter part of Ephesians is how to live out the truth of grace, how to walk in the light, and this is all about relationships.

We read about marriage, about parents and children, about workers and bosses, and about submitting one to another.

As we learn more about grace our relationships will improve, that is what Paul is telling us through the letter to the Ephesians.

So how do you improve your relationships; you learn more about grace and the finished work of Jesus, easy!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word and thank you that it is the understanding of the Word that will lead to lasting and permanent change in my life”.

Ephesians 5 v 21…..Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God

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DIG for Thursday the 1st of September……get angry and resist…..James 4 v 7

Over the last week or so I have learned some valuable lessons about healing and the manifestation, or not, of healing.

I have seen someone close to me manifest supernaturally quick healing from multiple fractures in her arms, healing that is too quick in the natural, and I have taken on board a few lessons.

When problems and issues from the enemy come upon us we need to resist with aggressive and passion, we need to get angry.

We need to say, “No, I am not having this” and really mean it.

We need to fight to keep our healing, and I say “keep” instead of “get” as the enemy can only steal, kill and destroy what we already have (John 10 v 10).

At the same time we need to stand on the Word of God, no matter what we feel and no matter what others may be saying.

While others look at the natural and ask questions in the natural we need to look to the spiritual.

Even when good meaning fellow believers try and cast doubt and uncertainty into our minds through their natural unbelief we need to speak out what we know is the truth.

In other words we need to live out James 4 v 7; we need to resist the devil and submit to God.

And we need to be aggressive in both, aggressively resist the enemy and aggressively hold onto the goodness and truth of God.

Even if it offends people, hold onto and speak out what you believe, hold onto and speak out the truth in the Word of God.

By His stripes you have been healed!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you for my healing that was released through the cross”.

James 4 v 7…..Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you

DIG for Friday the 18th of September…..this is not rocket science…..John 10 v 10

The Bible is not a difficult book to understand if it is rightly divided.

It only becomes confusing when men make it confusing with their traditions, philosophies and religion (Colossians 2 v 8).

Take for instance James 4 v 7, where we read about submitting to God and resisting the devil.

Religion has got many confused when thinking about what comes from God (and is to be submitted to) and what is from the devil (and is to be resisted).

There is a really simple rule to follow when considering this verse; if something is good it is form God and if it is bad it is from the devil.

That may sound too simple to you, but that is the truth.

The enemy sends bad things against us, wanting to steal, kill and destroy what we already have from Jesus through His finished work (John 10 v 10).

God only wants good things for us and has provided this already via Jesus ad what He has done (John 10 v 10).

He wants us to live in abundance and above all things want us to live in health and prosperity (3 John 2).

He therefore sends us only good things (James 1 v 17).

Don’t be confuse by religion telling us that God sends bad things in order to improve us, humble us and teach us a lesson; that is religious nonsense!

We all have an intuitive knowledge of what is good and bad.

Health and abundance are good and is from God, while sickness and poverty are not good and are not from God; yes, it really is that simple.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me and that you have only provided good things for me”.

John 10 v 10…..The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly

DIG for Monday the 9th of June…..we can grow through troubles and tribulations; if we play our part…..Exodus 1 v 12

I started reading through Exodus this evening and almost immediately saw a picture (type or shadow) of our lives today.

The people prospered in Egypt and grew in abundance and numbers and this alarmed the Egyptians, so they started to persecute the people (Exodus 1 v 7 to 11).

This only made them stronger, as the more they were persecuted the more they increased in terms of numbers and abundance (Exodus 1 v 12).

This is a picture that speaks of us today as born again believers; we can be like the children of Israel and increase (or grow and develop) through trials and tribulations.

Jesus said that as believers if we lived Godly lives we would be persecuted (2 Timothy 3 v 12).

How many of you know that Jesus did a lot at the cross, but He did not deal with persecution?

These trials and tribulations, this persecution, does not come from God, the Word is clear on that (James 1 v 13 and 16).

So if we want to grow through these hard times we have to resist and fight, not passively accept the situation as many believers currently do.

Many believers do not know what is from God and what is from the enemy, so let me tell you it is pretty simple; if it is good it is from God and if it is bad it is from the enemy!

We learn and grow as we resist trials and troubles, as we submit to God and resist the devil (James 4 v 7).

Body builders increase their muscles by using resistance training; they push and pull weights about, they don’t just sit passively looking at the weights thanking people for putting them in their path.

No, they actively “resist” and fight against those weights, building up muscle increase (developing and growing) as they use the weights in the proper way.

If we resist and fight trials and tribulations we will grow and develop patience and character, in other words we will grow (James 1 v 3).

Trials and troubles are not from God, however they can be used by God to see us grow and mature, develop and increase, but only if we will play our part in the process (Romans 8 v 28).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can develop and grow through trials and temptations and that you are there to help me in this process”.

Exodus 1 v 12…..But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel

DIG for Friday the 7th of February…..I think I’d rather have to submit than love like Christ…..Ephesians 5 v 22 and 25

I was drawn to this passage of Scripture today after a deep conversation with my wife and a couple of good friends last night.

It is a section of Scripture most believers are well aware of, however one section of it seems to get more attention and “teaching hours” than the rest.

I don’t know about you, but in the past I have only ever heard teaching on the necessity of wives to submit to their husbands (I did a study and teaching on this a few years ago entitled “Submission; Not Just for Wives” to try and redress the balance).

As a man and a Christian husband this imbalance used to be OK in my eyes, I liked to to be the one in authority!

However as I studied this passage for myself (as we should always do with whatever we have been taught) I realised that the ladies are the ones with the easier task here.

The wives are required to submit to the husbands (I think I should also say at this point that the verse does not say that husbands should force their wives to submit) (Ephesians 5 v 22).

The husbands have to love their wives, and love them as Christ loved the church; in this context the church is the people in the body of the church, that is you and I and everyone else in the Kingdom, the called out ones (Ephesians 5 v 25).

Ponder for a few moments what Jesus Christ actually did for all of us; ponder what Christ had to do to enable us to become the called out ones; ponder the majestic place He left to come and walk this earth; ponder the rejection, shame and death He endured for us; ponder the pain and suffering He went through so that we could be saved.

In other words consider the amount and depth of love required from Jesus to complete His finished work.

Husbands, we are being asked to love our wives in a similar depth and amount; I think I would rather have the submission request, it sounds easier!

Here’s another little reflection of mine; maybe our wives would find it easier to submit if we loved them more like Christ loved the church.

Maybe more preaching and teaching should go into the “love like Christ” bit in order to make the “submit” bit a touch easier.

Husbands, we should also consider verse 21, where we are told we should all submit to one another; you see my male friends, submission is not a one way street.

Now you may be thinking that this has nothing to do with me; you may not actually be a wife or a husband.

But what this passage and the way it is normally taught highlights is the absolute necessity for us to rightly divide the Word (2 Timothy 2 v 15), and not to pick out individual verses willy-nilly to suit ourselves and build doctrines around.

Ephesians 5 v 22 is not a verse to be used in isolation to yield and use when you want your wife to do something (and I know husbands do this; it was a verse I used to use for this very purpose many times in the past).

1 John 1 v 9 is a similar verse; this has had a whole doctrine built around it, when it is the only post-cross verse in the whole of the Word that could seem to say that we need to ask God for forgiveness on a continual basis.

By rightly dividing the whole Word of God we can see that 1 John 1 v 9 does not actually mean that, but people use it in isolation and out of context to suit their own religious and legalistic purposes.

Yes, the Word of God is to be used to show us how to live and how to conduct ourselves, and that includes how to behave within all relationships including marriage.

But it must be used appropriately and in context, and only after being rightly divided with other parts of Scripture.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word, thank you that it can be used to help us live our lives; help us today Lord, through your Holy Spirit, to rightly divide it appropriately in all situations”.

Ephesians 5 v 22 and 25…..Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord……Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it