2004-04-25 - The Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Life Series, Part 5
Examples Of Getting Life From God: All this is well and good but what does this mean on a day-to-day basis, to say that life comes from God and nowhere else? Husbands, this means that you must love your wives when they are unlovable.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25).
When you've come home from a hard day, and expect your wife to be considerate of your needs, but she isn't, how do you respond? If at that moment life comes from being treated as you should be, you fly off the handle. Please note: the issue isn't whether or not you're right! Maybe your wife is treating you badly. And it is ok to be hurt and disappointed. But if you fly off the handle, then you're saying that life comes not from God, but from being treated as you desire.
Paul said to love your wife, to put her needs first. Why? Because she deserves it? No, because of our reverence for Christ. We are called to love because of who Jesus is, not because of who our wives are. We are to love our wives because Christ loved us and died for us.
Doesn't that make it easier to love our wives? We don't love them because they deserve it, but because we desire to please God. And He certainly loves us, in spite of, not because of, who we are. That's great! We can love them, even if we don't like their behavior.
The same principle carries over to dealing with the kids. Paul notes:
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).
Life doesn't come from your kids making you look good, but from you raising them as God desires you to. This also means that you aren't called to raise Godly kids, but to be a Godly father. The final responsibility for your children's welfare is between them and the Lord. If you do the best before Him that you can, then that is all you can do. However, make sure it is the best, because you are accountable to Him, and I suspect that He doesn't buy the nonsense of quality time making up for the lack of quantity time.
This same principle carries over into other areas of our life. We are called to be the best slave ... I mean employee we can be, in obedience to the Lord.
"Employees, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. (Ephesians 6:5-8)
And we can only live this way if we live in the truth that life comes from God, not from the good or bad will of our bosses.
Understand that as we realize that as we live to please God not men, then we will truly be free to reach out in love to all we come in contact with, regardless of how they may respond to us.
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10).
Comments or Questions,