Tag Archives: submission

Placed by God

People are positioned by God. We don’t always understand what God is doing with the placement of some people; however, everyone is “placed there by God.” He is the authority and He is the One who allows authority of some over others. As a result, we are expected to “submit to governing authorities.”

God has a great plan. We have seen a lot of great leaders in our lifetime, and a lot of not-so-great leaders. But our faithfulness in God does not rest on these people. We trust Him no matter who is in authority and no matter what is happening around us. Because of our trust in Him, we are able to accept who He allows to be in control of our workplace, our school, our church, our home, our city, our state, and our country. All authority comes from God. Accepting the leadership is accepting who He allowed.

Today, embrace who God has placed in authority. Aim to support your leaders, trusting in God’s plan. You never know how God will use the leader for His glory.

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” – Romans 13:1 [NLT]

Ephesians Study: Submission

[Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9]

21 – Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

  • To submit oneself
  • To be subject
  • To be obedient

21 – submitting – to one another

22 – submit – wives to husband

24 – is subject unto – Church to Christ

Must have the Spirit (see verse 18) – can’t do it alone

God puts people in position of authority

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

Different ways of submission

  • Submission to God (James 4:7)
  • Submission to government leaders (Romans 13:1-7)
  • Submission to church leaders (1 Peter 5:5)
  • Submission of wives to husbands
  • Submission of children to their parents
  • Submission of slaves to masters

Reason We Submit

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This is a fear that acknowledges that Christ is Lord of all, and everything is under His rule.

  • To Accomplish His Purposes
  • To Develop Godly Character & Grow in Wisdom

Even God submits

God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are equal. But they submit to each other to fulfill the Divine Plan. The Son submits to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). The Spirit submits to the Father (John 14:26) and the Son (John 16:13-14).

Submit Joyfully

  • Know & trust God’s great plan
  • Submission to human authority is submitting to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24)

 

Bible Study Questions:

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Submission”?

How does the world define submission? How is this definition different from God’s definition?

Romans 13:1 says that we are to submit to our government leaders. What makes this difficult? Why must we do this? When should we object if ever? How?

We read that within the Trinity there is submission. What does this mean?

What are the benefits of submission? How does submitting benefit the Church? What have you personally learned from submission?

Read Philippians 2:1-11. How does this passage tell us to submit? How did Jesus demonstrate this best?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Colossians Study: Godly Living

[Colossians 3:18-21]

As we run with Jesus, we continue to build godly relationships.

Godly living starts at home. If you aren’t living godly at home, you won’t succeed in godly living outside of the home.

Paul speaks about the importance of godly relationships in numerous letters.

  • Husbands & wives
  • Parents & children
  • Masters & slaves

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

– Ephesians 5:21 [NIV]

  • 18 – Wife put your husband first
  • 19 – Husband love wife
  • 20 – Children obey parents
  • 21 – Parents don’t be hard on children

Husband and Wife (Colossians 3:18-19, Ephesians 5:22-33)

Loving leadership equals mutual respect – Ephesians 5:21

Husband sacrifices (Christ like sacrificial leadership by husband will keep the ultimate good of his wife in view at all times)

Wife submits (honors & affirms his leadership, helps him exercise role in family)

He loves her. He wants the best for her. She knows this and she submits.

  • Wife does not practice absolute surrender – that is only to Jesus.
  • Wife is not naturally or spiritually inferior

Parents and Children (Colossians 3:20-21, Ephesians 6:1-4)

  • Children obey parents in everything as it pleases the Lord
  • Parents don’t provoke less they become discouraged and give up
  • Parents parent with firm loving guidance – not dictatorship
  • Parents encourage – children obey

Bible Study Questions:

1) Read Ephesians 5:31-33.

What does verse 31 say husbands should hold fast to?

Verse 33 says that the man shall ________ the wife and the wife shall __________ the husband. What does this passage mean?

Which command is harder or are they both equal?

2) The Bible says that the man is to love his wife and the woman is to honor her husband. How does love and honor go hand in hand?

3) Regarding parent child relationships, both have responsibilities. Parents are called to ____________ their children. Children are to _______ their parents.

4) How does encouragement and obedience go hand-in-hand?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

More Than A Story: Obedience

[The Vineyard Workers: Matthew 20:1-16]

Isaiah 1:19 – “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.” [HCSB]

God uses EVERYONE obedient to Him – Peter asks “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME”?

“Then Peter chimed in, ‘We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?’ Jesus replied, ‘Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.’” – Matthew 19:27-30 [MSG]

“Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”- Matthew 20:15-16 [NIV]

1) This parable is not about salvation or eternal life

Salvation is not earned by works

Ephesians 2:8-9“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” [NASB]

Titus 3:5-6He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.” [NLT]

2) This parable is not about rewards for service

God rewards differently

1 Corinthians 3:8 – “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.” [ESV]

LABORERS WHO BEGAN AT 6AM FAILED TO BE THANKFUL – SELF-SERVING ATTITUDE

We all will receive great rewards for following Jesus (see Revelation 22:12)

OBEDIENCE – act of obeying, words or actions denoting submission to authority, dutifulness

  • Obedience expresses faith in His wisdom and love. (Hebrew 11:6)
  • Obedience expresses hope in a future blessing. (Mark 10:29-30)
  • Obedience expresses love (John 14:15, 2 John 1:6)
  • Obedience glorifies God (Matthew 5:16)

Bible Study Questions:

1) In this parable, we read about a Landowner, Laborers, a work day, a Vineyard, and the end of the work day. What do you think these people/things represent?

Landowner –

Laborers –

Vineyard –

Day of work –

End of the work day –

2) Those who were hired last were unworthy of what they received. They were receiving a day’s wage despite working less than a day’s work. They were paid first. They were treated equally.

How does this resemble God’s grace?

What reminds us of our unworthiness?

3) Those who were hired first were paid last. It was their opinion that they were treated unfairly though they were paid an equal amount and given exactly what was agreed upon.

Why was it difficult for these workers to accept God’s grace towards others?

What made this an unfair transaction (from their vantage point)?

4) Before this parable, Peter asks what the disciples will gain for leaving everything behind. Jesus twice speaks of the Great Reversal. Those who are first will be last; those who are last will be first. It wasn’t about the difference of the reward. We should all be thankful.

How can we obey with an attitude of gratitude? What does this look like?

What should be our motivation of service?

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

Crinkling Plastic

As I turned around to head out the door and walk my sister out, I told the dogs to stay. Max and Marci both stopped and stood at attention. They immediately obeyed my words and I continued onward to see my sister out. But as I was opening the door and saying goodbye, I could hear a crinkling of plastic. I knew that although Max had remained where he was and obeyed my command, Marci went over to the garbage on a scavenger hunt because her Master turned her back.

There are a bunch of Maxes and Marcis of the world. Sometimes we are one and then sometimes we find ourselves as the other. It is easy to obey at some moments, more so than others. But we are to obey every time. Our obedience should not change because of situations or circumstances. With God, His back isn’t turned. I don’t know if we forget His eyes see the crinkling plastic before human ears would hear it. Or perhaps we think that some things aren’t so bad as others—we must obey this list of “written in stone” items like “don’t steal” or “don’t kill” but there is a separate list of “not so important” things that are negotiable.

Obedience isn’t a word we like to hear. It means that we submit to authority. It means we might not do what we necessarily desire. As you walk with Christ, you will find obedience comes a little easier. Yes, it still may be a challenge, but there’s a greater desire to do God’s will and follow His way as you grow. You start to want what He wants. You start to see that His “rules” are for your benefit. Yes, God wants what is best for you. And when you realize that and when you fall head over heels in love with Jesus, you want nothing more than to walk in obedience.

“But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.” – 1 John 2:5 [NLT]

Take Off Your Shoes

Moses was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Exodus 3:5). Joshua was told to take off his sandals for he was standing on holy ground (Joshua 5:15). Holy means set apart or sacred. One of my favorite passages references Isaiah’s commission. Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on His throne and He is in complete awe and reverence as he hears the words, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” He knows he is unclean. He knows he is undeserving.

It is important to approach God with fear and awe. The fear is not the fear we consider when we typically speak of fear. When Proverbs 1 speaks of the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom, it doesn’t mean we are frightened as we are when watching a horror movie. Fearing God means that you have a fear of disobeying and displeasing God which would result in judgment and a disconnection from Him. It is about reverence and submission. God is holy and exalted above all. It is approaching with humility.

Yes, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us and when we repent we are forgiven of our sins. Yes, the veil has been torn and we can approach God once again. But it is important that we still approach God with fear and awe. The song says you have a friend in Jesus, and you do, but that is to be treasured not stomped on. When you approach God in prayer, in church, wherever—don’t take it for granted. Focus on Him. Remember He is holy and you too are to be holy. May your heart be filled with a passion and desire to worship, to truly worship Him, with all that you have and all that you are, each and every day.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ’Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’” – Isaiah 6:1-5 [NIV]

 

God the Co-Pilot

As I was taking my evening walk, I noticed a collection of license plates including some vanity plates showcased on an old barn. One of the plates said, “God is my co-pilot.” I do not like that phrase. I believe if you consider God a co-pilot, then you have misinterpreted things.

A co-pilot is a second pilot of a plane, a relief pilot to take over if the pilot needs assistance. If the pilot is around, he or she is in charge. If that is how you see God, then to you He is simply there for when you mess up or need help. If you see God as your co-pilot, He helps you steer through life when you give Him the controls.

God should be in the pilot position, in charge of the plane – your life. See we are not even co-pilots—we are the plane. God directs us where to go and we should go. The problem is we want to be the pilot, who lets God do some things when we aren’t so interested, or we want to be the co-pilot, jumping in when we think God’s plan won’t be what we really want. Only when you fully submit to God and allow Him to direct your path, will you find true happiness and peace in life. Today, look at your life. Decide. Are you trying to be the: Pilot? Co-pilot? Or are you the plane, allowing God to bring you to new heights?

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” – Psalm 37:5-6

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The Bitter Taste of Discipline

I do not like the taste of grapefruit; however, I read many articles claiming that it would be beneficial for my health so I decided to start drinking grapefruit juice daily. The problem is that I cannot stand the taste. The first time I had some of the juice, I could not even force it down; it made me sick just tasting a sip of the juice. But I knew that it would be beneficial to me so I continued to drink it daily and still have a glass every morning.

Something that leaves a bitter taste in most mouths is discipline. People don’t generally like to be disciplined. Who wants to get a write-up at work for being late? What child wants to be grounded? Yet discipline can help us to grow as well as to correct our behavior. Discipline is for a reason. Discipline is for our best. Yet we have become a society against discipline. People are able to buy themselves out of a punishment. Children are un-grounded thirty minutes later because a parent “feels bad,” doesn’t want the child to get a complex or doesn’t feel like taking the time to enforce the punishment.

It is no different when it comes to the Lord’s discipline. We do not like discipline. We complain about our circumstances. There are situations we go through that are to help us to be holy as God has called us to be as His children, and we don’t recognize the discipline or don’t wish to accept the discipline. Proverbs 3:11-12 states: “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (NIV). God loves you so much that He doesn’t want you to be living in sin. He set you apart for a reason. You can choose to ignore or you can choose to submit. Submission will lead you toward the goodness, to holiness, to life.

Read Psalm 39 and see how David reacts to discipline.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

– Hebrews 12: 7-11 [NIV]

The Cup of Obedience

Last night I was giving my son some medicine and it was really interesting. I handed him the cup. He looked at it for a bit. Then he asked me what was in the cup. I informed him that it as medicine for his cough and stuffy nose. Then he took the medicine.

It reminded me of when Jesus was in the Garden praying. In Luke 22:42, Jesus said, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Your will be done.” It just reminded me of when we are handed cups in life. Perhaps God does not hand us the same cup that Jesus was dealt, but we are still handed cups.

God has a purpose for our lives and when we decide to ignore that, and we think we know something better…. When we read His Word and we decide we are going to disregard it… It’s sort of like we are refusing the cup over and over again.

Pretty much, you’re handed the cup and you look at it….

“What’s this going to do to me? I don’t know if I like it. Do I really want to do that? I don’t know.”

Then you find something else, and say that it is better than His plan. Even when your plan is falling apart, you still think that your plan has a chance.

God says, “Here’s the cup.” You think your friends or family know better.

God says, “Here’s the cup.” You don’t think it looks good. There has to be something better out there for you.

Sometimes, God says, “Here’s the cup.” You then partake but you want more. You are not satisfied.

When we are in obedience with God, it’s not a one time thing where we accept Jesus and then we are finished. Every day we need to be submitting. Our lives are like a puzzle in a box, with all of those many pieces. We are not submitting every piece of our life to God. Sometimes we hand Him our leftovers. We like to hold back pieces. Every day is a new day where we must submit each and every piece.

What we need to do is to be in full obedience and accept God’s will for our lives. It’s hard and it’s something that we must do daily, but there’s no better way!

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” – Luke 22:42 [NLT]