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Daily Devotions

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Submit To Other's Needs // Saturday, September 27

Posted: Saturday, September 27

One Year Bible Reading Guide:

Isaiah 51:1-53:12
Ephesians 5:1-33
Psalm 69:19-36
Proverbs 24:7


Verse of the day:

…submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21)


Submission. Don’t you just love that word? There’s something about it that makes us bristle. It doesn’t conjure up pleasant thoughts or happy feelings. Instead, we correlate this verb with nouns like dictator, despot, or tyrant. Our minds recall megalomaniacs like Hitler, Pol Pot, Gaddafi, and Amin. I wonder if the reason why we have a hard time living out this God given command is because we don’t understand it and we rarely see it modeled well.

The Greek word Paul uses here for submit comes from two roots words: the first is “to place under” and the second is “to put in order”.  Originally it was used as a military term meaning “to arrange or line up under command.” In non-military use (as it is here) it meant “a voluntary attitude of cooperating with, assuming responsibility for, and carrying the burden of another.”

In its immediate context, this revolutionary command actually challenged the Roman patriarchal culture of the day where the eldest male made every decision within his extended family. He owned everything within the family to the point that, if he wished, he could sell his children and grandchildren like property. Paul blows this self-centered mindset out of the water and simply says, “Submit to one another.”

And then Paul takes it a step further and injects motivation by stating how we do this: “out of reverence for Christ.”  Other translations use the word “fear” for reverence. Reverence for Christ keeps us from carelessness.  This kind of reverence implies that our careless words and actions can actually hurt our Savior and may even jeopardize our relationship with Him.

Let’s follow the model of Christ and submit to each other’s needs. Let’s showcase what Godly submission looks like in our family, friendships, and community. This is not about becoming a door mat but rather being a strong, caring, selfless, reflection of Jesus Christ.


Pastor Mark McKinstry // Missions & Christian Education Pastor