Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)
That was not the verse used in Sunday morning’s worship service, but it could have been. Monty Martin’s message was about the family and not giving a place to the devil, taken from the chapter before:
Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27 KJV)
He spoke about the meaning of “give” – δίδωμι in the Greek, which denotes to deliver, grant, bestow. A decision one makes to offer power to another. What we’re not to give is “place” – τόπος a space limited by occupancy, a room, a home. And what we are not to give place to is the devil – διάβολος specifically, Satan; perhaps we would recognize it in our alphabet as diablo.
Bro. Martin’s message gave me copious notes, but my mind traveled a bit ahead of his first verse, and I thought of the men in my life who are embodied in:
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28 KJV)
Yes, including that first part. When we are not in God’s will, we are stealing from Him. You don’t think so? The Bible confirms this to me:
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (Malachi 3:8 KJV)
I have seen the men in my life cease robbing God, turning their labor – both physical labor providing for their loved ones and laboring in the church as teachers, helpers, servants to others – into giving to those in need. I am grateful to have the opportunity to see this across four generations – my father, husband, son and grandsons. I’ve seen it in my sons-in-laws, too.
Before their acceptance of Jesus Christ as their savior, their love of family was evident, but not in the same way as afterward. Not with Jesus’ love for the church. Not with God’s love for His children. That comes when God’s love is in us.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:15-16 KJV)
When we give a place to the devil, we have to take that piece of ourselves from God. It is possible to keep pushing Him away, giving away more place, until He is standing outside our door, as He said of the Laodiceans:
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 KJV)
Remember this church?
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Revelation 3:17 KJV)
It can apply to people, too, when they think they “have need of nothing.” We always have need of God and His word. I thank Him for the men in my life who know this and show it in their immediate families.