How Not to Walk, Part 18 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #264)
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 4:30:
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Kay Arthur said, “If you don’t plan to live the Christian life totally committed to knowing your God and to walking in obedience to Him, then don’t begin; for this is what Christianity is all about. It is a change of citizenship, a change of governments, a change of allegiance. If you have no intention of letting Christ rule your life, then forget Christianity; it’s not for you.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “There are three people that live in me and three people that live in you: the one I think I am, the one others think I am, and the one God knows I am… and it only matters what God says I am.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Peter Cartwright, a rugged Methodist itinerant preacher, was ideally suited to evangelize the rugged terrain of Kentucky in the early 1800s. His large, square shoulders and considerable strength were sometimes used to subdue the “rabble-rousers” in his meetings, and on many occasions he thrashed the worst rowdies that disturbed his preaching. His creed was to “love everybody and fear nobody,” which means that he saw nothing wrong with boxing a troublemaker so long as it was done in love and not revenge. Cartwright was converted in the “overflow” of the Cane Ridge Revival, then gave impetus to its further spread, becoming identified as one of its leaders.”
Often, in the church, we ask God to send His Holy Spirit or to fill us with His Holy Spirit. This, He has already done. The Holy Spirit came to live inside of each of us when we received Jesus Christ as Savior and became new people in Him. In most cases, the problem is that we do not feel the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We do not feel the closeness with God that we used to feel.
This type of feeling is caused when we grieve the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul writes to us as new men and new women in Christ, “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” The word “grieve” means to offend, to make sorrowful, or to make uneasy. The Holy Spirit does not leave us when we grieve Him. However, just as an offended family member may not want to be around us or speak to us, when we have offended or grieved the Holy Spirit, it will feel as though He is giving us the cold shoulder.
We grieve the Holy Spirit whenever we, as new creatures in Christ, act according to the old ways of the world and the flesh. Have you ever been frustrated when a child, an employee, or someone under your authority or guidance does something that you have taught them repeatedly is wrong? They know what is right, and you know they know what is right because you taught them. So, you feel extra offended when they do not live according to what they know. That is how the Holy Spirit feels when we do not live in accordance to what He has taught us.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “The Holy Spirit is happiest in an atmosphere of love, joy, and peace, for these are the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ that He produces in our lives as we obey Him. The Holy Spirit cannot leave us, because He has sealed us until that day when Christ returns to take us home. We do not lose our salvation because of our sinful attitudes, but we certainly lose the joy of our salvation and the fullness of the Spirit’s blessing.”
It should be our ever-present goal to live in such a way that the Holy Spirit is never grieved. He is one Friend whom we should strive to never offend.
Lyman F. Brackett wrote:
In Thee, O Spirit, true and tender,
I find my life as God’s own child;
Within Thy light of glorious splendor
I lose the earth-clouds drear and wild.
Within Thy love is safe abiding
From every thought that giveth fear;
Within Thy truth a perfect chiding,
Should I forget that Thou art near.
In Thee I have no pain or sorrow,
No anxious thought, no load of care.
Thou art the same today, tomorrow;
Thy love and truth are everywhere.