March 7, Sunday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was originally posted on May 25, 2013.  Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.). 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend  

“Radically Relating to Those Around Me”

Ephesians 5:21 (ESV)

Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Upon reading the entire Ephesians 5, you will immediately see how what Paul addresses in that chapter is so relevant to dealing with the basic remedy for relational conflicts in our day—this, all based on Ephesians 5:11.  He will apply this principle to relationships between husband and wife, children and parents, and slaves and masters (employer/employee) in the verses to come.  In each case, the remedy is always the same: submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.  

If we have any desire at all to be part of a solution to the issues surrounding us today, we must go back to the cause of all human strife.  We often want to get the greatest satisfaction out of life, maximizing our potential for success and joy.  Sooner or later, in our attempts to develop ourselves and gain satisfaction, we will collide with someone or something that is attempting the same thing and getting in our way.  So we will insist on our rights and others will insist on their rights where clashes are inevitable.

But Paul changes the whole pattern for Christians by introducing two radical factors that alter the whole situation.  First, Christians must never forget that in every relationship in life, another person is present: It is not merely a problem of what I want versus what you want, but in every relationship, the apostle reminds us, a third Person is present—the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Second, when we are at odds with another person, recognizing Christ’s presence even amid conflicts can help us to recall what He has taught us; that it is only when we forget ourselves and devote to another’s fulfillment that we will find true grace and satisfaction.  Jesus says: For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25).

It becomes, then, a question of priority.  You cannot have your rights by insisting upon them, but you can have them only when you seek to give others their rights.  Do you dare to try this radical principle right where you live?  Are there certain ways that we are insisting on our rights within a particular relationship that might go against what v. 21 addresses?

Prayer:  Father; I thank You for Your word that searches and cuts deep within me, and lays bare, hiding nothing.  Help me to be considerate, and to submit to others out of reverence for You. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Acts 24

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