How strong are the relationships in your family? What are your holiday gatherings and special occasions like when the family gathers together? Is everyone on “pins and needles,” worried about what happens if they bring something up they’re not supposed to? Instead of one big happy family, some families find themselves entrenched in a constant state of cold war – with occasional skirmishes breaking out that only exacerbate the problem. God’s word is not silent on this matter. His way is best and it will work every time.
I. EPHESIANS 5.18 – BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.
- 5.18 – This is the key principle that all the rest we will discuss this month rely upon. It sets the stage for any successful relationship.
- The prohibition of drunkenness is not the main point.
- The positive command of being filled with the Spirit is where Paul’s emphasis lies.
- Colossians 3.16 – is a great parallel.
II. EPHESIANS 5.19-20 – THE RESULT OF THE SPIRIT FILLED LIFE:
- 5.19 – Where there is life devotion to God there is praise.
- 5.20 – The giving of thanks.
III. EPHESIANS 5.21 – A HEART THAT SUBMITS:
- 5.21 – the application here is generic. Submission – “to rank under.”
- Principle is all over the NT:
- 1 Corinthians 16.15b-16 – be subject …. to every fellow worker and laborer.
- Hebrews 13.17 – Obey your leaders and submit to them…
- 1 Peter 2.13 – Be subject…to every human institution.
- 1 Peter 5.5 – …you who are younger, be subject to the elders.
- James 4.7 – submit yourselves therefore to God…
- John 13 – Jesus – love each other as I have loved you…
- Philippians 2.3-4 – consider others as more important than your own self.
IV. WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT?
- Self-centered pride. Selfishness is at the root of every marriage difficulty; addiction; emotional/physical/mental abuse; distressed relationships with children.
- Selfishness is behind unforgiveness, grudges, and counting of offenses.
V. HOW DO WE BEGIN?
- Ask: Am I committed to being controlled by God’s Spirit?
- Am I filled with joy/happiness? Or, am I cantankerous, unkind, and ungracious?
- Is my heart filled with joy so that I am a pleasure to be around? Am I thankful?
- Will I invest in the lives of those around me and do what pleases them?
- Only the power of the Spirit can overrule selfishness and produce joy.
- Will you make the commitment?