Tomorrow is week four of our series called Relate: Walking in Love. In this series, we’ve seen that in order for relationships to work in the context of the church we must fulfill our calling to make disciples. Part of this is done by building relationships. Furthermore, we saw that building relationships into ones where we walk together in love means that we must change. Last week, we discovered that the way we build relationships by changing is through imitating God.
This week we are going to learn that when we allow the Spirit to help us imitate God (our vertical relationship) we can start loving other people (our horizontal relationships) by yielding to their needs. Take some time to read Ephesians 5:15-33:
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
For Sunday: Ask the Lord to prepare your heart to receive this message about how you can love others by yielding to them. How can you put others first through the power of the Spirit working in your life?
Think about the areas where you need to ask the Spirit to enable you to yield to others. Do you need to yield your thoughts to biblical wisdom? Do you need to yield more to the Spirit and kill the desires of the flesh? What about your marriage relationship? Are you yielding your ground to your spouse?
Through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He has made us capable of yielding to others in a way that puts their needs above ours. The other person becomes more important to us than ourselves. Jesus modeled this by laying his life down for mankind. Through Him, we are called to do the same so that Jesus is glorified and His work is magnified.