When rebellious Jonah is rescued from the sea by a giant fish, he confesses that salvation is of the Lord, implying that God delivers people from trouble as he pleases. As we study Jonah’s prayer more closely, we will find both encouragement and correction for our own prayers in the midst of distress, especially as we consider the One whose cry for help went unanswered for our sakes.
The onslaught of our spiritual battle is fierce and never-ending. Attacks come from many directions and the fog of war often leaves us disoriented and seemingly alone. But God has provided us with impenetrable spiritual armor through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In our Savior, we may resist every evil attack and stand firm through the strength of the One who first stood firm for us.
In the last sermon, we saw that the time for Jesus to be taken up to heaven had drawn near, so he resolutely set out for Jerusalem (9:51). While many events and teaching opportunities occurred in the intervening time (9:52-19:1), we will look at several key episodes in Jesus’ life as he approaches and enters Jerusalem during Passion Week. These incidents will again highlight important themes characteristic of Luke’s portrait of Jesus the Messiah.
The end of Ephesians tells us we’re in the fight of our lives; a fight so fierce that no unaided Christian can prevail. But God has provided a sure defense through the shielding blood of Christ. Against such divine armor no attack can succeed. We take our battle stations by faith, resting in the strength of the One who forever triumphed on the cross.
How can you serve the Lord in a miserable situation? Whether in bondage to a slave master, an overbearing boss, or a difficult home circumstance, we find true freedom only in the One who forsook His freedom for us. Becoming Christ’s slave is actually the most liberating thing there is as we discover the hope, purpose, and power of serving the Master who set us free.
After an extended period of ministry in Galilee, Luke tells us that ‘As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.’ This is an important change in Luke’s narrative, and there are a number of important teachings packed into this event.
Parents and children have experienced tension since the very first parents and children! Sin disrupts all of our relationships, especially among those with whom we share close quarters. Thankfully, our perfectly wise Father is in the process of redeeming family relations through the grace of His perfectly obedient Son, Jesus Christ.
Most marital advice to men tends to either be dominated by guilt or diluted by man-centered tips and tactics. But God provides a better way in Ephesians 5. Believing husbands may reflect the grace of the selfless Savior to whom they have been joined by faith. Indeed, all Christians may find grace to serve others though the ultimate Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
For many people, the command for wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord seems highly problematic. Many wives view it as demeaning. Many husbands view it as excuse to be demeaning. Many single people view it as irrelevant to them. Many others are unsure of what it looks like in practice or why it’s so important. But God shows us in His word how all of our earthly relationships offer an excellent opportunity to reflect the glory of our selfless Savior as we grow together in His grace. In addition to offering practical teaching on marriage, Ephesians 5 gives us deeper insight into the love of Christ for His Church.