A series of homilies on Ephesians.
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 (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.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:1-3:
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
A.W. Tozer said, “Until self-effacing men return again to spiritual leadership, we may expect a progressive deterioration in the quality of popular Christianity year after year till we reach the point where the grieved Holy Spirit withdraws — like the Shekinah from the Temple.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong!”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Many cities in Scotland reported phenomenal awakenings. The Haldane brothers, James and Robert, preached to large crowds in major cities, and pastors such as Thomas Chalmers won many in their region for Christ. While the established Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian body, initially opposed the revival, before long Presbyterians themselves also reported the blessing of God in their churches.”
As we begin to consider what it means to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” we would do well to turn our attention once again to the fact that this command is coming through a “prisoner.” Yes, Paul is in jail. He is, in fact, in jail for doing what he is telling us to do.
Speaking of himself, Paul says, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord…” Even though Paul was bound by Roman chains and had a Roman guard 24/7 and was in the city of Rome, he was not a Roman prisoner. He was not even a Jewish prisoner. He considered himself a prisoner of the Lord. He had not been jailed for disobeying Rome or for disobeying Jewish law. Paul had been jailed for obeying Jesus Christ. He is letting us know in no uncertain terms that our obedience to God — our walking worthy of our calling — may indeed result in suffering and pain on this side of eternity.
John MacArthur said, “By mentioning his imprisonment he gently reminds his readers that he knows the worthy Christian walk can be costly and that he has paid considerable cost himself because of his obedience to the Lord. He would not ask them to walk in a way in which he had not himself walked or pay a price that he himself was not willing to pay. His present physical circumstance seemed extremely negative from a human perspective, but Paul wanted his readers to know that this did not change his commitment to or his confidence in the Lord.”
Paul did not view being a “prisoner of the Lord” as a negative thing. Paul had not been forced into the Lord’s army. He had not been forced to serve others and preach the Gospel. But his Damascus Road salvation experience opened his eyes to the truth about Jesus Christ, and now he could not imagine living any other way. He was a prisoner, he was a slave, he was held captive by his duty to Christ. Earthly discomforts could be endured as long as he walked worthy of his calling.
Lina Sandell wrote:
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
Ever to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Until with Christ the Lord I stand.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Just pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. I will be sharing more on the matter of salvation in the next segment of our service which starts in about 5 minutes.
Revival Prayer List
PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
— Doreen in Malawi
be with her and her family
— 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
bring religious freedom to 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
PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS
Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Leaders of the Church of the Nazarene
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE
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 including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. 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.
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’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.