Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.
My heart broke as I read today’s passage (Ephesians 5). Today Paul is talking about relationship and how we are to relate within the church. Paul shares these thoughts…
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love”
“Live as Children of light”
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the father for everything”
“Submit to one another out of reverence”
In the church we are to live in harmony. We are not to get into quarrels with each other. We are not to get in quarrels with the world. We are to be light, we are to be love, and we are to be peaceful, praising God in one accord. We are to submit to one another.
Then Paul begins a discussion of how wives and husbands are to treat each other. In the middle of that discussion Paul uses the church as an example. This is where my heart broke. Read carefully the word of Paul …
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
What have we done my heart cried out! Does the church we know today, does the church we see in history resemble the church that Paul described Christ giving to us? I do not think so. Over the course of time our human hearts, minds, and hands have really blemished the church. Over time we have sent men on Crusades who have done some wicked things. Over time the church has persecuted people to death for witchery. Over time the church has spilt into many different groups because of arguments over doctrine and understanding. Over time man has thrown into the mud something pure, beautiful, and holy. My heart breaks for what man has done.
So how can we restore the church back to the purity that Christ presented her with? We can begin by applying the passages listed above; be imitators of God, Live as Children of light, praise God together in one accord, and submit to one another.