Friday, June 21, 2013


Why Is Life So Difficult? Sometimes I just wish I could die!

A fellow said, "You know, our dog is like a member of the family." 

And the man to whom he was talking said, "Which member is he like?" 

A woman was asked, "Is your husband a bookworm?" 

And she replied, "No.  Just an ordinary one." 

Down the stairway came a husband for breakfast and the wife said, "How would you like your egg?" 

            And he said, "Cooked." 

            And she said, "Well, how would you like it cooked?" 

            He said, "Well, I want one of them fried and one of them boiled and one of them scrambled." 

            So, she boiled one, fried one, scrambled one, put it before him.  He glared at it. 

            She said, "Now, what's the matter?" 

            And he said, "You've scrambled the wrong egg." 

Paul has been talking about what it means to be filled with the Spirit, and clearly, one of the fruits of the Spirit is love. But that love is only seen in relationship with other people.

The keyword that describes the effect of being filled with the Spirit is submission.


A.L. Huxley, the English novelist and critic, said, "It doesn't take much of a man to be a Christian--it just takes all of him." Henry Drummond, a Scottish pastor and friend of evangelist D.L. Moody, said, "The entrance fee to God's Kingdom is nothing; the annual dues are everything."

Romans 13:8 Paul says, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law"

Luke 10:27 Our Lord said to a lawyer who asked how to inherit eternal life,"... Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself."

1 Peter 4:8 "And above all things, have fervent[ektene] love among yourselves; for love shall cover the multitude of sins." Love has a way of throwing a blanket over someone's faults.

The kind of love that we see in the epistles of Peter and Paul is not a superficial love, but a genuine deep love. D.L. Moody used to say, "There are a lot of people who talk cream, but live skim milk." What Paul is talking about is not that skim-milk kind of love; he is referring to love that is cleansed of self-fulfillment and self-aggrandizement. We are to love in a pure way for the sake of Christ. Incidentally, to describe this kind of unique love, the New Testament used the Greek word agape and invested it with a new dimension of meaning previously unknown in the world. It did not use the word for familial love (storge), sexual love (eros), or affectionate love (phileo); it utilized a different word to describe the kind of love that only God can author.

But How Is This Principal of Love worked out in the workplace? How is it worked out with our kids?

We need to be filled with the Spirit in our wedded relationships, and in our family relationships and in our work relationships.

Being filled with the Spirit in these relationships means learning the art of submission.

Love to God means we submit our lives to Him.


Love to others means we submit in many of our relationships to one another. Ephesians 5:21.

Living a life of love means we cannot talk cream and live skim milk. It means we will submit to one another in our wedded life, and in our work life and in our family life.

"True love must leave the stage and walk the paths of real life" Barnhouse.

Love is specifically expressed by preferring others over ourselves. The attitude of humility is an essential ingredient in the life of the church is humility. Since we are to express the "comfort of love ... fellowship of the Spirit ... tender mercies and compassions ... in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (Phil. 2:1-4).

The idea of "preferring one another" carries the sense of leading the way: We're not to wait until someone else honors or meets our needs. We are to lead the way in honoring others, esteeming them more highly than ourselves. We are to be quick to give honor, respect, and help in meeting a need. That is the truest test of humility that I know about. Some people, however, get very angry and envious when someone else is honored. But just the opposite should mark a believer. We prefer others and take the initiative in bringing honor to others and meeting their needs.

There is a most interesting section in the Psalms, running from chapters 92 to 98. There is a recurring theme through these Psalms, testifying to the world that God is the only true sovereign and king, and that all other authority is simply delegated from Him. This concept of the overwhelming sovereignty of God allows us the head space to be able to submit to others who are in authority “as to the Lord” who has placed these authorities in our lives.

Psalm 92:8--"But Thou, Lord, art most high for evermore."

Psalm 93:1-2--"The Lord reigneth; he is clothed with majesty. The Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He hath girded himself; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old; thou art from everlasting."

Psalm 94:1-2, 10--"O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, show thyself. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth .... He who chastiseth the nations, shall not he correct? He who teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?" God is always exalted as the sovereign.

Psalm 95:3-7--"The Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hands are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh, come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."

Psalm 96:3-10--"Declare his glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols; but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the peoples; give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; fear before him, all the earth. Say among the nations that the Lord reigneth."

Psalm 97:1, 5-6--"The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice .... The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory."

Psalm 98:2, 9--"The Lord hath made known his salvation, his righteousness hath he openly shown in the sight of the nations.... he cometh to judge the earth."

Daniel 4:32--King Nebuchadnezzar is told, "They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; they shall make thee to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." Nebuchadnezzar thought he was invincible. He thought he had obtained his kingdom by his own power and wisdom. But he was going to learn a lesson by becoming a raving maniac and living like an animal with his hair growing like a bird's feathers and his fingernails like eagle's claws. He learned that God gives and takes kingdoms according to His will.

In God’s material created universe, the world, the universe around us, there are ordinances of God, expressed in law and in government.  The spheres that swing around our central sun do so according to a prescribed ordinance of God.  They are governed by laws that can you meticulously calculated.  An astronomer could forecast an eclipse of the sun thousands and thousands of years in advance.  And not miss it by the shadow of a second. 

            All of God’s universe is governed by God’s ordained authority.  Weights, measure, gravitation, the displacement of water, the atomic world, the electronic world, all of this world is a manifestation of the carefully ordered law and government of God.    The same divine authority inherent, ordained is found in social order and in all human life.  There is inherent in society, law and order.  God put it there.  It is ordained from above. 

The powers of government and law are ordained of God.  Now, we find that authority of God in the home and in the workplace. Paul wrote in Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Rom 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

The early Church fathers also reflected Paul’s conviction that the authority of God is also found in the government. Justin Martyr

There was a man who lived from around A.D. 100 to 163 by the name of Justin Martyr. He is well-known among theologians. In his First Apology he said, "Everywhere, we, more readily than all men, endeavour to pay to those appointed by you the taxes both ordinary and extraordinary, as we have been taught by [Jesus.] ... Whence to God alone we render worship, but in other things we gladly serve you, acknowledging you as kings, and rulers of men, and praying that with your kingly power you be found to possess also sound judgment" (chap. xvii). That should be the Christian's attitude. We give our worship to God, but we'll support our government also.


Tertullian was a Carthaginian theologian who lived from around A.D. 160 to 230. He wrote, "Without ceasing, for all our emperors we offer prayer. We pray for life prolonged; for security to the empire; for protection to the imperial house; for brave armies, a faithful senate, a virtuous people, the world at rest--whatever, as man or Caesar, an emperor would wish" (chap. xxx). He knew the emperor was called by the Lord to his office. Tertullian had the right attitude, even in a time when the empire was hostile toward Christians.

Peter says, "Having your behavior honest among the Gentiles, that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." How can we get unbelievers to glorify God? Peter says, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king, as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men" (vv. 13-15). How you behave under the authorities in your country or city will demonstrate the legitimacy of your faith in Christ to that society. That is why we are to submit to whoever is in authority over us.


Paul list for us three areas of life where there is the highest potential for conflict and social disintegration. In The Wedded Life In The Family Life In The Work Life

Submission In Our family Life

Parental, domestic, home authority is constituted of God.  In the 6th chapter of the book of Ephesians, Paul wrote: “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth.” 

            Quoting there the fifth commandment in Exodus 10:12: “Honor thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise.” Of the ten commandments, the first one that has with it a reward is number five.  Honor thy father and thy mother.  It is a divinely constituted authority that God placed in the home.  Children, obey your father and your mother. 

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord." The key to the whole command is "in the Lord." As we saw in regard to the wife, who is to submit herself to her husband as unto the Lord, so it is with the child to the parent. Children are to obey their parents, for Christ's sake.

This word obey is, literally, the Greek word "stand under." It means to be under another's authority, and it is used in many places in the Scriptures as a military term. It is the same word that would apply to a soldier in obeying his orders. It means to follow orders. To put it very practically and plainly, it says to children, "Do what your parents say."

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. {Eph 6:4}

It has been pointed out that this word translated Fathers could well be translated Parents because it includes both the father and the mother

That is the way a father subjects himself to his children -- by deliberately avoiding the things which make a child rebel. "Provoke them not to anger." The word for anger here is not the common word which describes irritation or temporary upset, for obviously in any home even proper discipline can sometimes make a child angry. Children are not mature, they do not always react as they ought, and even necessary discipline will make a child angry. This word is not saying anything against that. The word used here means "anger which results in a rebellion." It is the word from which we get our English word paroxysm. "Fathers, do not provoke your children to the place where they completely lose control and break out against authority."

He’s Talking About Devotion Fathers, bring them up

He’s Taking About Discipline Fathers, , bring them up in the discipline

He’s Talking About Direction Fathers, bring them up in the instruction of the Lord.

Submission In Our Work Life

5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

A maid once gave this testimony: “Now that I know the Lord Jesus, I always sweep under the mat. Before I was saved I swept around it.”

At the time the apostle wrote this letter it has been estimated that one-half of the population of the Roman Empire were slaves and many of them were Christians. 60,000,000 slaves. As we look back upon twenty centuries of history, slavery has been largely eliminated in the world, and the force that did it was Christianity. But is was by another principle, not by direct attack. As we have ample evidence of today, direct attack only serves to perpetuate strife and violence and even to increase it. Rather than by direct attack, the bringing in of the concept of love and mutual submission has made slavery reprehensible. Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire begins with these words:

While that great body (the Roman Empire) was invaded by open violence or undermined by slow decay, a pure and humble religion gently insinuated itself into the minds of men, grew up in silence and obscurity, derived new vigor from opposition, and finally erected the triumphant banner of the cross on the ruins of the capital.

Work Obediently "Be obedient to those who are your earthly masters." This is the same Greek word that occurs in Chapter 6, Verse 1, with regard to children. "Children, obey your parents." It means to follow orders. It is a military term, and it means that Christian employees are under obligation to those who hire them to do what they say. It is really very simple. Do what the boss says, obey him.

Work Respectfully "with fear and trembling." The fear and trembling is not to be directed toward the boss! He may be an ogre, he may be an unjust man, but no Christian is ever exhorted to be a trembling, spineless, chinless individual toward the boss. The fear and trembling that is mentioned is to be directed toward himself. It is a healthy recognition of the danger of a Christian going along with the philosophy of those around, and acting as they do, thus destroying the possibility of God working through him and the power of God being released in that situation. It is fear and trembling lest we abort the greatest force of all in these situations of strife and difficulty.

Work Sincerely "in singleness of heart, as to Christ." What does "singleness of heart" mean? It means without divided loyalty, freedom from the tension that is created by conflicting loyalties. In other words, settle it once and for all in your mind that you are not there merely to please the boss, you are there to please the Lord.

I heard of a farmer who had several boys. He worked those boys extremely hard around the farm. One day one of the neighbours pointed out that it wasn't necessary to work the boys that hard in order to raise a crop. The farmer, quietly but firmly responded, “I'm not just raising a crop. I'm also raising boys.”

Work Wholeheartedly , "... but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart." Our work should be done whole-heartedly because we understand that we are working for the Lord. In Colossians 3:23 we read, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” 1Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” There's a story about Sir Christopher Wren, one of England's greatest architects. Approximately three centuries ago, when he was building St. Paul's Cathedral, he was said to have taken a walk among the workers, most of whom did not know him. To one he asked, “What are you doing?” The man replied, “Anyone can see I'm cutting stone.” He put the same question to another and was told, “I'm earning five shilling two-pence a day.” He moved on and asked a third, who replied, “Why, I'm helping Sir Christopher Wren build a great cathedral to the glory of God.”

Christian Masters (6:9)

The Christian faith does not bring about harmony by erasing social or cultural distinctions. Servants are still servants when they trust Christ, and masters are still masters. Rather, the Christian faith brings harmony by working in the heart. Christ gives us a new motivation, not a new organization. Both servant and master are serving the Lord and seeking to please Him, and in this way they are able to work together to the glory of God.

He must be submitted to the Lord. “Your master also is in heaven” (Eph. 6:9).

He must seek their welfare. “Do the same things unto them.” If the employer expects the workers to do their best for him, he must do his best for them. The master must serve the Lord from his heart if he expects his servants to do the same. He must not exploit them.

Employers are to submit to their employees.

In the parallel passage in the letter to the Colossians the apostle puts it this way: "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly," {Col 4:1a RSV}. That is what this means.

Are you being submissive to God and to those relationships that God has put in your life? Or are you living in stubborn unrepentant pride?

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