A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Paul Pearshall said, “Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “One thing and one thing alone keeps us from complete decay in this hour — the church, the true Church.”
According to this passage, joy is the first mark of a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit. The second mark is thankfulness or gratitude.
For the Christian, expressing gratitude is not just to be emphasized once a year on Thanksgiving, but every day and every hour of the day. It is especially important in the family where we become so familiar with our family members that we begin to take them for granted. We lose sight of how God has blessed us with each other. So, the Bible tells us that we ought to be “giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Regarding this verse, The Bible Exposition Commentary states, “Marriage counselors tell us that ‘taking each other for granted’ is one of the chief causes of marital problems. Being thankful to God for each other is a secret of a happy home, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the grace of thankfulness. How does a grateful heart promote harmony in the home? For one thing, the sincerely grateful person realizes that he is enriched because of others, which is a mark of humility. The person who thinks the world owes him a living is never thankful for anything. He thinks he is doing others a favor by permitting them to serve him. The thankful heart is usually humble, a heart that gladly acknowledges God as the ‘Giver of every good and perfect gift.’ Like Mary’s gift to Jesus in John 12, gratitude fills the house with fragrance.”
Now, it may not always be easy to be gracious toward each other in a husband-wife relationship or a parent-child relationship. But we can be grateful to God for each other and everybody else and everything else. “Giving thanks unto God and the Father.” God is the source of everything good in our lives, and even though He is not responsible for everything bad that comes in our lives, God will work it out for our good. So, we have no excuse for ungratefulness.
We should be thankful for everything at all times. Paul writes, “Giving thanks always for all things.” You might think that it is impossible for you to do that. How can you be thankful for everything at all times? The point of this passage, however, is that YOU alone are not going to do it. Rather, it will be the Holy Spirit living inside you, filling you, and controlling you. When you are filled with God’s Spirit, you will look at the world through His eyes. You will realize how blessed you are and how God is working in your life to bring blessings out of bad situations.
Adding to this point is the fact that we are to give thanks “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Albert Barnes wrote, “The meaning is, that we are ‘always’ to approach God through the mediation of the Lord Jesus. When we ask for mercy, it is to be on his account, or through his merits; when we plead for strength and grace to support us in trial, it is to be in dependence on him; and when we give thanks, it is to be through him, and because it is through his intervention that we receive all blessings, and by his merits that even the *** gratitude of beings so sinful as we are can be accepted.”
When you can think of nothing else to be thankful for, think of Jesus and the eternal blessings that we receive because of what He has done for us. It is His grace, His Spirit, and His power in our lives that enable us to face and deal with all of the people in our families and the issues that come up in our families as well as with others. He helps us get through every situation that we face. And for that, we can always be grateful.
One great preacher said, “The word gratitude comes from the same root word as grace. If we have experienced the grace of God, then we ought to be grateful for what God brings to us. Thank and think also come from the same root word. If we would think more, we would thank more.”
Revive the Family Prayer List
PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES
— Lanitra in Kentucky
help her as a single mom to raise her 3 children; provide financially for their bills and other household needs
— Edmund in Zielonka, Poland
help Edmund; his wife, Dorothy; their daughter, Ann; and their sons, Peter and Daniel, to serve You
give wisdom for learning in school to Daniel
provide work for Edmund and Dorothy
help Peter to find and follow Your direction for his life
bless Ann with a husband
— Freddie in Fairbanks, Alaska
help him to deal with his totally rebellious children
— Jimmie in Jacksonville, Florida
strengthen him and his family, help them to do right
— Anne Avei
help her to study your Word well
PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS
Statewide Leaders of the National Baptist Convention
Thurmond O. Echols of Virginia
Charles Emory of Indiana
Harold Fields of Utah
James Forney of New Mexico
William H. Foster, Jr., of Illinois
Gene Fowler of Mississippi
Darin G. Freeman, Sr., of West Virginia
Henry L. Fuller, Jr., of Michigan
Otha Gilyard of Ohio
C.S. Gordon, Jr., of Louisiana
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS
Carolyn B. Maloney
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.