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Posts Tagged ‘Nourishing and cherishing’

In my younger years I refused to make lists. Thought they were a waste of time, troublesome, definitely not my thing. Then I grew DSCF7591older and I’d forget things.

Trips to the grocery store became jumbled journeys, having to return multiple times for items forgotten. So I succumbed to jotting a few DSCF7575things on the back of an envelope as I headed for the aisles and found what I neglected to write on the list I forgot.

Books are written about lists. There are lists for everything. Grocery lists, ingredient lists, menu lists, to-do lists, password lists, Christmas card lists, address lists…blah, blah, blah. Our lives are consumed with lists. Lists to remember to make lists.

Why?

Because we forget.

Unmentioned things fall through the cracks as the clutter of our lives buries the important, allowing whatever screams the loudest to take control. And that’s the way he likes it! Clamor and chaos. Satan steps back, surveys the damage, brushes his hands and walks away. Satisfied with a job well done—according to his schemes.

Look around. What do you see?

And where is this enemy of your soul busiest creating this age old dynamic? Yep, in the church and in the home. Because of folks, just like me, don’t like lists nor margins. Folks who live life in the fast lane. Folks whose to-do list is always the longest.

Did you know God gave us lists?

One of the first God lists appears in the Book of Exodus. Uh-huh, the Ten Commandments. A list of ten things meant to be a yardstick to show Israel the error of their ways. Oh, that doesn’t apply to us, you say, we’re under the New Covenant. Grace.

Really?

We’ve been studying Ephesians (New Covenant grace related scripture) and you know what, I found—another God list. Yep, but expanded. Twenty-five life-changing instructions, commandments, statements where God said walk this way.

And if we obeyed (Oh, there’s that word again. Same word ancient Israel struggled with) …if we obeyed God’s lists, Satan would flee and America would be restored. And all twenty-five commands are about relationships.

I’ve simplified them and listed them in order and hope you’ll take the time to read my list, then go to Ephesians, verify, and question how many of these instructions you struggle to obey. Remember this was written to the Church at Ephesus—to a body of believers. And preserved for the Church today.

• Lay aside lying. Speak truth, each one with his neighbor. We are members of one another.
DSCF7593• Be angry, but don’t sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, because you give the devil and opportunity.
• Don’t steal. Work. Performing with your own hands what is good so you have something to share with those in need.
• Don’t speak rotten words, but speak words that edify and give grace to those who hear.
• Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who sealed you for the day of redemption.
• Put all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice away from you.
• Be kind to each other. Tender-hearted. Forgiving each other—just like Christ has forgiven you.
• There must be no immorality, impurity, or greed among God’s people.
• There must be no filthiness, silly talk, or coarse jesting among God’s people, but rather giving of thanks.
• Don’t be deceived with empty words.
• Don’t be partakers with the sons of disobedience. Walk as children of Light.
• Don’t participate in unfruitful deeds of darkness. Expose them.
• Walk as wise men, not as unwise men. Because the days are evil.
• Do not be foolish. Understand what the will of the Lord is.
• Do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
• Speak to each other with psalms. Let your spirit make a thanksgiving melody in your heart to the Lord.
• Always give thanks for all things in the name of Jesus.
• Be subject to one another in the fear (respect) of Christ.
• Wives, be subject to your own husbands—as to the Lord.
• Husbands, love your wife. Nourish and cherish her just like Christ does the Church.
• Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.DSCF7594
• Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
• Slaves (we could compare this to employee-employer relationships) be obedient to those who are your masters (according to the flesh) with a sincere heart.
• Masters, be good to slaves and give up threatening, knowing both their Master and yours is in heaven. There is no partiality with God.
• Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so you can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Are these easier to obey than the Ten Commandments? No. Are they impossible to obey? Not if you know them. So what’s the problem? We don’t know what God requires of us because our copy of the Word sits on the shelf, collecting dust.

If your husband, wife or boyfriend/girlfriend wrote you love letters and you refused to open and read them, how would you maintain that relationship? A relationship with God the Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit—requires time. Time to read, listen, understand, and know the Word of God.

There are no magic wands, no hocus-pocus, just relationships with God and with each other. Children growing to maturity in Jesus, in the Spirit, in the Church. Because—

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NAS).

Yes, those bought and brought by the blood are family. So Church, let’s “try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” by reading and remembering and practicing what Satan wants us to forget—nourishing and cherishing each other just as Christ loves the Church.

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