Ephesians 6:15

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Ephesians 6:15   


I want to start with the several verses that introduce this idea Paul is putting forth.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10-13.  He is telling us to put on the full armor of God for the following reason, that we can stand firmly against the powers of the enemy, namely the sly schemes of the devil. 

The next part of our armor is the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  The idea is that we will be prepared for any attack that comes our way.  A soldier in ancient Rome had to be prepared for battle when an enemy comes upon them.  He had to study how his enemy attacked and also when he went into defense mode.  He had to have studied their ways in order to be confident in his strategy.  In football, if a coach studies his opponents and finds a weakness in their offensive line, he will no doubt focus his attacks in that area in order to gain as much yardage as possible.  This is the idea here.  We must be ready for any attack of the enemy so that we can hold our ground. 

Back then, a soldier’s battle shoes were studded with spikes or nails, similar to cleats today.  This was done to help him keep his balance in combat.  It was well known that if he lost his footing and fell before his enemy, it would not matter how prepared he was for battle, the enemy now had the upper hand and  It would not matter all that much how well armored he was.  We must always be ready to fight the battle, to remain firm in our convictions, assist our brothers and sister in Christ when needed, and to spread the gospel when the opportunity arises. “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2.

We must be ready to come against the enemy’s attacks in order to protect ourselves and anyone else we defend.  We must be assured of the calling God has given us no matter how difficult it is.  “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:13-14.     If we have something negative happen to us and we are struggling heavily, we can stand firmly on His word where it says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

If our feet are shod with the gospel of peace, then no matter what happens to us, being fully committed to God and His ways, and understanding that we are saved and under the protection of Christ, we can be at peace.  Isaiah put it best when he said, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4.  Be steadfast and firmly footed in your confidence in God, for it is through this that peace resides.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 6:14b

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Ephesians 6:14b   


I want to start with the several verses that introduce this idea Paul is putting forth.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10-13.  He is telling us to put on the full armor of God for the following reason, that we can stand firmly against the powers of the enemy, namely the sly schemes of the devil. 

The next part of our armor is the breastplate of righteousness.  This idea is first seen in the book of Isaiah.  “He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.” Isaiah 59:17.  The idea put forth here is not simply works of righteousness done by men, although these are important and can be like a fence when rightly used against the reproaches and charges of the enemy, but rather graces of faith and love.  “For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8.

The breastplate covers the heart of the soldier.  This does not seem to mean the righteousness of God imputed to us when we make Christ our Lord and Savior which means our justification and the forgiveness of our sins.  “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.” Romans 3:21-22.  It speaks of our uprightness of character, loyalty in principle and action to the commandments of God.  To neglect what we know to be righteous action is to leave a gaping hole in our armor and to show that we really do not love Him as we claim.  “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15.  By the holiness of our conduct, and our consciousness thereof, we defend ourselves from being moved by the calumnies and reproaches of the wicked. No armor for the back is mentioned; we are always to face our enemies.

In closing, we put on the breastplate of righteousness by seeking God and His righteousness above everything else.  We make Him and His ways our dwelling place.   We delight in His ways and desire for them to become our ways.  When God reveals an area of change to us, we obey and allow Him to work through us.  And as we wear Christ’s breastplate of righteousness, we begin to develop a purity of heart that translates to actions.  Wearing it creates a lifestyle of putting into practice what we truly believe in our hearts, and as our lives become conformed to the image of Christ our choices become more righteous, and these Godly choices also protect us from temptation and deception.  “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3.  We need to wear the  breastplate of righteousness in order to gain the victory Paul laid out in 2 Corinthians.  “not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you,” 2 Corinthians 10:15.  We are destroying all falsity and speculations raised against the knowledge of God we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  When we quickly reject heretical ideas, idolatry, and the “counsel of the ungodly” (Psalm 1:1) and instead “keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”, we keep our breastplate securely fastened, prepared to take on the enemy by standing firm in the battle.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 6:14a

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Ephesians 6:14a   

“Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH” – Ephesians 6:14a

I want to start with the several verses that introduce this idea Paul is putting forth.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10-13.  He is telling us to put on the full armor of God for the following reason, that we can stand firmly against the powers of the enemy, namely the sly schemes of the devil. 

We will start this series of verses with the first part of verse 14, which says “Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH.”  Ephesians 6:14a.  I am wanting to speak of each part of the armor individually which is why I am focusing on half of this verse.  The idea of girding is to fasten garments with a girdle or a belt.  There are several metaphorical ideas associated with girding the loins as seen by the Greco-Roman and Jewish world.  It could be the leather apron which was put on under the breastplate. Or it could be the belt from which the sword was hung.  This part of the armor along with the others, aside from the sword, are defensive in nature. 

Jesus said, “Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:5.  Truth is from God, through Christ, and is the defense we need to counter the attacks from the father of lies.  It is a crucial piece of defensive armor guarding our heart from deception.  If we do not know the truth, then how can we know if what we are told by the enemy is a lie?  We cannot, and thus we see the cause of many people who confessed Christianity but then fell away because they accepted some false teachings that lead them astray.  These teaching can appear to be biblical, however their goal is to trick us into walking away from the faith. This is why it is imperative that we spend time in learning the truth.  And we can do this through our leaders.  “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13.  And if we follow these teachings, we will then be equipped.  “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” Ephesians 4:14.

The devil wants to steal as many sheep as he can, therefore we must fill ourselves with  the truth of God so we can stand strong and firm to protect ourselves from his schemes.  And the only way we can know if something is false is if we know what is true.  I was given teller training at a Savings and Loan I used to work at.  When they taught us what to look for regarding counterfeit money, they did not show us all the way money looked false, but how real currency looked.  And this is how we need to look for false teaching as well.  We are to be so familiar with the truth that it is obvious what is not true.  So we must gird ourselves with the truth so that when the enemy tries to lead us astray, we will see it as falsehood and not be fooled no matter how fiendish he is.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 5:15

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Ephesians 5:15 

“Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,” Ephesians 5:15 

Paul here is telling the Church in Ephesus that they need to be careful how they walk, how they conduct themselves.  The idea in the Greek is a double idea expressed in one sentence.  ‘Take heed how you walk’ and ‘see that you walk circumspectly.’   The word ‘circumspect’ has the idea of looking around about on all hands, being every way watchful, wary and cautious in order to avoid any danger, discern any enemies before they affect you in any way, and ensure that everything we do is possible and legal.  And the word this derives from signifies correctly, accurately, consistently and perfectly. 

Going back a few verses we read, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:11-12. He begins here warning them not to participate in sin, but on the contrary, expose them for what they are.   And the best way for us to do this is to live in the light, to live this Christian life in the open so that all may see it.  As Albert Barnes put it, ‘By your life, your conversation and all your influence.’  Our lives should be a standing rebuke of a sinful world, and by living this way we should be ready to express our disapproval of wickedness in every form.  And Paul continues with, “for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” Ephesians 5:12-13.  Sometimes we cannot even talk about what is going on in this world, however, our lives lived as Christ calls can speak much more than any words could express.  Jesus called us the light of the world, and because we are the light, we expose the worldly ways for what they are, as sin.  And we, through the life we live should communicate to those in darkness, in sin that they should change their ways.  “For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14.

Coming to our focus verse, Paul is letting the Church know that they need to be careful how they walk.  To avoid the foolish ways of this world and live wisely as Christ requires.  And this relates to us today.  We need to be careful how we live our lives.  It is essential that we do not give into the temptations that are abundantly found in this world.  It can be easy at times to lose our focus and find ourselves acting as the world does.  The Christian walk has two facets.  The inward and the outward.  Our inward walk is focuses on our relationship with Christ, and our outward on our relationship with our fellow man.  And how we live our inward lives will denote how we live our outward lives.  Therefore, we must always work to strengthen our relationship with Christ so that we can avert any temptations to sin and remain the light in the world we are called to be.

Therefore, we must be careful that our focus is on Christ and His ways.  In doing this, we will be ready for whatever comes our way and can show this world the reality of our walk in Christ and show that life in Christ is infinitely better than the ways of this world.  We need to be watchful in everything.  Matthew put it this way.  “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.  

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 4:32

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 4:32

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32

This last verse in chapter four of Ephesians is extremely critical when it comes to not grieving the Holy Spirit, because this is critical in displaying how we are to treat others.  Verses 26 through 31 deal with what we are not to do.  We are not to sin in our anger, steal from others, speak unwholesome words, as well as being bitter, slanderous, and filled with malice.  Paul ends this chapter by giving several positive things we need always to endeavor to do.

We are to be kind and tender-hearted to each other.  We are to be courteous and polite to all we meet and interact with.  True Christianity does not make us rough, crabby, or sour.  Neither does it make its followers violate the proper rules of social contact.  Our goal should be to make others happy by being kind to others.  There is nothing in Christianity that speaks of being foul tempered, rude, repulsive or in anyway negative.  First of all, why would anyone want us around if we are?  All we do is damage possibilities to minister to them in their lives.  And if we are interacting with an unbeliever, there is always the possibility of destroying the chance to lead them to Christ.  Also, we are not to hold a grudge against anyone.  Paul in his letter to the Colossians says it this way.  “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:12-14. 

God has called us to be compassionate to all people, just as God was compassionate toward us.  In the book of Romans we read, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.  We all have sinned, there is no one, except Christ Himself who has been or is perfect.  We all have wronged God.  However, what did God do?  He sent His son into the world to pay the penalty for our sins.  He paid the price we could not pay.  And through the death of His Son on the Cross, we have forgiveness.  All we have to do is accept it by accepting the work done on the cross and giving our lives to Him.  And we need to forgive all those who have wronged us, just as He has offered forgiveness to us because we wronged Him. 

It is important that we show the same love God showed us to all others we come across.  What better picture of love can we show to everyone we meet.  We may be surprised just how incredible our lives will become as we imitate Christ in the love He shared to this world.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 4:31

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 4:31

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” – Ephesians 4:31        

Now, as Paul wraps up this section of Ephesians, he again speaks on how we are to treat each other.  And this comes after the verse that speaks of grieving the Holy Spirit.  Hence, this speaks regarding things that would be considered as grieving Him.  When we look at this verse, we see what Paul apparently sees as a major problem regarding actions of Christians, that being how we treat each other.

Let us look at these items mentioned by Paul.  He first speaks of bitterness.  There are several ways to look at this however, I will look at one which falls perfectly in what Paul is speaking about.  First, when someone is angry and unhappy because they cannot forget a bad thing that happened in the past.  As an example, feeling bitter toward someone in your school who won an award you really wanted and felt you deserved over the other person.  Bitterness occurs when we are either unable or unwilling to forget something we deem wrong.  We must put all things negative away and not think about them anymore.  Paul writes to the Church at Philippi what we are to think about.  “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8. As you can see, bitterness is not included in this list.

Next is wrath.  This has the idea of passionate anger which lasts for a period of time which is opposed to being tender-heartedness toward the person we have wrath against.  Anger is similar to wrath but is more of a lasting resentment.   There is really nothing positive that comes from this.  In fact, a writer of Psalms says the following, “Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.” Psalm 37:8.  And James writes the following, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20. 

Next, we have clamor.  The idea here speaks of a loud and confusing noise, especial from people who are so angry they just shout and yell at each other.  It also refers to making a demand, yelling loudly over and over.  It speaks of a noisy outcry from a person or group of people in a loud and harsh matter.  Next, we have slander, which is essentially speaking in a bad or injurious manner which could cause others to look negatively at the person being spoken about.  And finally, malice.  This is a step beyond slander in that it is not just words spoken, but also deeds.  An example is when you hate someone to the point of desiring revenge or harm.

These are all things we need to watch out for in our dealings with others.  We cannot claim to love others if we engage in any of these actions or thoughts about them.  All of these are actions that can cause us to grieve the Holy Spirit.  We must always look at ourselves and give up those things that are ungodly.  In Lamentations we read, “Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the LORD.” Lamentations 3:40. And also, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me and lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24.  Let us call out to God and ask Him to remove these wrongs from us, that we may live according to His ways.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 4:30

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 4:30 

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30     

I want to begin this discussion by illustrating the concept of grief.  First, we grieve when someone we love passes away.  This past January, I received a call from my aunt that my mother had died.  She had been ill for some time; however, it finally took its toll.  I had been separated from her for years, with her living in Washington State and myself residing on the U.S. east coast.  But our separation grew as she refused to talk with me: and it seems this was due to mental and physical issues that affected her behavior.  I flew up there for the funeral, and I learned that she had broken off communications with practically the entire family.  However, I was saddened by this, and it was nice to speak with family and old friends who comforted me.

However, there is a second type of grieving that can be just as difficult.  The best way to describe this is through an example.  A father is called down to the school by his son’s teacher.  She informs him that her son has become very unruly.  He steals from other students, and fights with many causing much injury to them.  He brings him home and tells him he is angry at him for all this bad behavior.  However, because he loves him so much, it hurts him so much to hear about all his son has done.  He is grieving over knowing who his son has become. 

This second example shows how we grieve the Holy Spirit.  I love the way Charles Spurgeon puts it, and I think this describes it wonderfully.  “for grief is a sweet combination of anger and of love. It is anger, but all the gall is taken from it. Love sweetens the anger, and turns the edge of it, not against the person, but against the offense.”  (From the Sermon “Grieving the Holy Spirit” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, October 09, 1859).  God loves us so much that it grieves Him to see us acting in ways He has taught us not to engage in.  And just as the father loved his son, who did horrible things in school, did not reject him, neither will God reject us.  We may reject Him and walk away, but He will not reject us.   

Isaiah describes an example of this.  “For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.” So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy, He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.” Isaiah 63:8-10.  God, who declared Israel his people saved them, and in His love, declared them His people.  But then they rebelled against Him, grieving the Holy Spirit.  After this, they remembered His mercy of old and they cried out to God.  “Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation: Where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained toward me.” Isaiah 63:15. And how did God answer?  “Thus says the LORD, “As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,’ So I will act on behalf of My servants in order not to destroy all of them.”  Isaiah 65:8 Those who remember and come back, God would act on their behalf.

When we purposefully act in ways that are found in Ephesians 4:25-29, we grieve the Holy Spirit, just as Israel did in the above example in Isaiah.  We must remember that because the Holy Spirit enters us at salvation, we are sealed by Him through the Holy Spirit.  “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Romans 8:9 and because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the possibility of grieving Him.  However, He loves us so much, He will work to bring us back to the relationship we had before we grieved Him.  He has not rejected us, but if we do not repent and become who God has called us to be, we will have rejected Him.  I encourage you, and pray heartily for everyone including myself, that we give ourselves wholly and completely to God, desiring to be who He wants us to be, and committing to live a life of complete obedience to God.  This will help us be pleasing to God and refrain from grieving Him.  It is a beautiful way to live and honor the God who created us, loves us, and saved us so we can be with Him for all eternity.  What more could we possibly desire?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 4:29

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 4:29 

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29     

In this verse, we see another area that Paul is telling the Church to avoid.  He calls them ‘unwholesome words.’  The word ‘unwholesome’ is the translation from the Greek word sapros which has the idea of words that are rotten, worthless (either literally or morally), bad, corrupt.  (From Strong’s Greek Concordance.) 

Some words that were acceptable in the past are not so now.  We need to be careful how we use older words where the meaning has either changed or has another meaning added to it.  As an example, think of the word “Tablet”.  It used to mean a flat piece of stone, clay or wood that has writing on it.  This definition still applies; however, a new meaning has been added to it, that being a general-purpose computer designed to be taken from place to place.  Another classic example of a word where its meaning has changed is found in a classic Christmas song, “Don we now our gay apparel”.  This word with its new definition will not have the same meaning to someone who is older.

We also must be careful that we do not speak in a way that can cause injury to a person’s name, fame, or the interest of another.  This includes gossiping or running down other people.  For instance, you see someone walking down the road and say things like, “Wow, he has no taste in clothing”, or “She is so ugly, no one would want her”. 

Now, these are just a couple of examples.  However, the general idea is we should not speak in any way that is obscene or anything that injures virtues, uplifts vices, or speaks negatively of anyone, including God.  Our speech should be full of grace and positivity.  “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6. 

Everything we say should always be said in a way the brings glory to God.  Any negative or profane words that come out from us, who are Christians and seen as such by others, will be looked at as hypocritical.  If we speak in an uplifting manner, never using words or phrases that can be interpreted as negative or profane, we can minister grace to those who hear us.  They will be encouraged and open to hearing the truth we speak about. 

If there is anything we are in the habit of saying that does not meet this criteria, then we need to pray that God will help us change the way we communicate with others.  The main thing is, as stated above, that everything we say should glorify God the Father, Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit.  This will go far in helping our brothers and sister in Christ grow in the faith, and lead those who are not to see the reality of our faith and be open to accepting it.  Is this not our purpose here?  

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 4:28

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 4:28 

“He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.” – Ephesians 4:28       

Paul now speaks in our focus verse regarding stealing.  Back in this time period within the pagan community, theft was a common practice, mostly because there were many who found it difficult to provide for themselves and their families.  This practice of pilfering was almost common practice back then.  No property was safe which was not guarded or locked up so that it was inaccessible.  Sounds like today in some ways. 

Now, we are not to believe that thievery was a common practice within the first century church.  However, since many converts were from the pagan communities, it is not surprising that Paul would spend time in preaching against the practice.  The first thing he tells them is that they must stop if they are still stealing.   He states this as a point of caution.  If someone has long been in the habit of practicing any sin, they are prone to falling back into it again.  As an example, think about the problem of excessive drinking.  Someone who was a practicing alcoholic in the past but now drinks no longer, has to be careful that he does not fall into this practice again.  The same can be said for people addicted to drugs, and as Paul talks about, stealing from others.

He then says that instead of stealing from others, seek the means of living in an honest manner.  In essence, find a way of getting what you need aside from by dishonest means.  They were to work hard so that you could themselves acquire legally what they need.  They need to give up taking from others that which they can get for themselves.  As he wrote to the church in Philippi, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. We can always trust Him to meet our true needs.

And he ends this by stating when they go out and work, they are to share with those who are in need.  They are not just to think of themselves, but also think of others who need help in making ends meet.  I like the way the theologian Albert Barnes puts it.  Paraphrasing, he says “a considerable number of people cannot labor to support themselves due to being either too old or young, or they are crippled, sick or laid up in bed.  If those who are working do not share with them what they have, they very well could perish.  Based on this, we should desire, in our labors, to provide for their needs.” 

We, as Christians need to follow this verse.  We must not steal, in any form.  This means in regard to things, ideas, dignity, or any other way.  We should work to get what we need and want, not take with no remuneration.  And when we do work, let is take the opportunity to help those who are truly unable to work to address their needs.  This will help by not allowing them to fall into temptation to steal in order to take care of themselves and their family.  Meeting the needs of the needy is often more important than purchasing a new unnecessary item.  We would like help if we were in need. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 4:26-27

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 4:26-27 

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.       

We all, I am sure, have been angry with a brother or sister in Christ.  It could be for various reasons, but we need to be careful how we react to these situations.  In reading this, Paul is not saying that anger is a sin, but it is our response that can be sinful.  Note the phrase, ‘be angry, and yet do not sin.’  Anger at sin is not wrong.  And displaying displeasure for a bad action is not sinful either.  We should be unhappy with actions or deeds that are not for the glory of God and the good of others.  However, we must be careful that we do not go beyond what is of a Godly manner.

This same idea is expressed in the psalms, where we read, “Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still. Selah.” Psalm 4:4.  This is a writing by David in response to ungodly people who are acting against the way God desires.  “O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to Him.” Psalm 4:2-3. This is probably referring to Absalom and his men, whom he calls ‘sons of men’ responding to their situation of human feelings and passions, far from how God would desire them to.  This could very well refer to David’s rank and the desire of them, in their rebellion, to rob him of his position as king and reduce him to a lowly position.  What David was telling them was, just as Paul said, be angry but do not sin.  If they think they have a cause to be angry, they should not let it carry them to rebellion against God and their king.  He was chosen as king by God, for them to rebel against him was to go against the will of God, which is sin.

We may disagree with someone about something, or we may not like what someone has done, but we must be careful how we respond.  Again, we can be angry, but it must not take us to a sinful response.  Unfortunately, we are not perfect, but we must not go to sleep angry.  If we do get angry with someone, we must address it quickly so that we do not carry it for days or more.  We should not go to sleep with any unkind or unchristian feelings.  We must go to God and pray that we can resolve it quickly,  If we allow the anger to fester, it may produce malice and revenge.  This prolonged temper cannot bring about peace of conscience or the approval of God. 

And lastly, we must not allow the devil to take this anger and use it for his purposes.  He will strive to influence us through our anger and irritation of spirit to take our mind off of the ways of God to address them via our own fallen desires.  He will work to get us to gossip and spread our anger to others and help us to feel somewhat better for the opportunity to tell others what someone did to us.  This is not good and will not end well.

Things are going to make us angry: we live in a fallen world and we are not perfect.  Again, anger in and of itself is not wrong.  It is our response that can bring us to sin.  However, we must understand that no one is perfect, not even ourselves.  I am sure I have made people angry for things I have said and done.  However, as we want people to be gracious with us when we wrong someone, we should do the same when other wrong us.  Remember what Jesus said, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 7:12.  Do we want someone to be gracious to us when we slip up?  Then we need to be gracious to others when they do.  Make things right as soon as possible, then move forward and live as God desires.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.