Ephesians 5:22 – 6:9 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by David Lee, Gracepoint Austin

Application:  According to Apostle Paul, what should under gird all of my relationships?

What needs to under gird all of my relationships is Christ’s example of love and self-sacrifice for the church.  That means, likewise, I need to give up my body sacrificially when it comes to the people in my life whom God has called me to love.  For example, as a husband my duty and responsibility is to love my wife as I love myself (v. 28) by limiting my own options and putting her needs before my own.  Though Apostle Paul’s examples in this passage appear to focus a lot on the nuclear family, it is clear that his charge is to be applied in all relationships because of the model Christ set before us.  In John 15:12-13 Jesus says to His disciples, “My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  What a contrast to the world’s perspective as people tend to love only out of excess or when expecting to receive love in return.

Paul used the ancient Greek word agapeAgape describes a different kind of love. It is a love more of decision than of the spontaneous heart.  “Agape has to do with the mind: it is not simply an emotion which rises unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which we deliberately live.” (Barclay) Agape really doesn’t have much to do with feelings – it has to do with decisions.  The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another.  It is a love that loves without changing. It is a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting re-payment. It is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. It is love that loves even when it is rejected. Agape love gives and loves because it wants to; it does not demand or expect repayment from the love given. It gives because it loves, it does not love in order to receive. (David Guzik commentaries)

As I think about my own testimony I can’t help but recount all the acts of agape love that has been poured out onto me through my leaders.  So many of them freely gave up their time, money, and energy for me even though there was nothing I could really offer them in return.  They just simply gave because of Jesus’ call to love others just as He laid down His life for the church.  Personally, I know how difficult it is to love because I look at my own life and how I am still so self-centered in many ways, looking after my own needs before the needs of others.  Additionally, I have a hard time loving people because I often fail to draw from the well of God’s love which is infinite and perfect by nature.  Instead, I attempt to love others through my own love which is so limited and inadequate because of my many faults and sins.  Reading such verses that call me to sacrifice myself can appear quite daunting.  However, I know that as long as I imitate and reflect on the love that I’ve received through Christ, and from those who have gone ahead of me, I too, can begin to love others.  I need to start off by taking small steps of denying myself and changing my scope to focus on the needs of others, and meeting those needs.  As God has given me the immense privilege of serving Him in Austin, I want to make it my commitment to love people with the model He set before me through Jesus who freely laid down His life for the sake of others.

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One Response to “Ephesians 5:22 – 6:9 Devotion Sharing”

  1. richl says:

    Thanks for the sharing!

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