God Leads Us Along

1. In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.

Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

2. Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

3. Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.

5 April 2020 AM – Ephesians 4:29 – Family – Scott Childs

Welcome: Welcome to our Sunday morning online church service. Today we will begin with the hymn, God Leads Us Along, p. 298. The words are also in the sermon notes online. Sing along.

Before we open the Word, let’s pray

Introduction: The present time of lock down due to the Covid-19 virus is a time a great stress for many. Income is limited. We cannot go out as usual. Home schooling is stressful for those unaccustomed to it. Tensions in the home and marriage increase. These pressures tend to make us less patient and more irritable. For this reason, we need the reminder found in Ephesians 4:29. (Read) To edify is to build up. It is to promote spiritual growth in wisdom, piety, happiness, and holiness. Edifying is the opposite of corrupt communication.

Transition: This morning I want us to examine five things that you can do to help you edify your family members.

The “E” in EDIFY is to…

1.        Enhance Spirituality
a.         Water rises no higher than its source
1)         You cannot get water to flow up without a pump. That fact about water is also true about edifying. You cannot build up others any higher than your present state.
2)         When God commands that your words be good and edifying, that first challenges you to examine your own hearts. You must be spiritual before you can build up others. (Galatians 6:1) “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” You cannot edify others if you are not spiritual.
b.         Keep your spiritual life strong
1)         The more stressful and hectic life is for you, the more vital it is that you keep close to the Lord.
2)         Have you allowed busyness to rob your daily Bible study and prayer of time and quality? If so, slow down, take a deep breath and ask God to help you rearrange your priorities. Of Jesus it is written in Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Paul wrote, (Ephesians 6:10) “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
O  You cannot edify others without being spiritual yourself.

The “D” in EDIFY is to…

2.        Disarm Artillery
When you have had a stressful day, your spouse is touchy, the kids are irritating you, there are more concerns than there are solutions, your blood pressure is rising, and you feel like getting angry, that is when you need to disarm your artillery.

a.         Your flesh is against edifying others
1)         Tension and stress increase the temptation of your flesh to react with corrupt communication.
2)         When problems and fears occupy your mind, your thoughts often focus on yourself rather than the needs and feelings of others. Selfishness, anger and a sharp tongue become your artillery used against those you love most.
b.         You must disarm your fleshly artillery
1)         The next verse in our text gives you a convicting reason for disarming your artillery. (Ephesians 4:30) “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” If you attack instead of edify, you grieve the Holy Spirit who indwells you.
2)         If you have been acting selfishly, speaking sharply or getting angry, what does God expect you to do? Well he gives you the answer in Ephesians 4:31. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” You must lay down your weapons.
3)         Here is a helpful physical distressing exercise. Lay flat on your back with your knees up. Slowly breath in, hold it for six seconds and slowly let it out. Repeat this at least six times. To spiritually distress, follow Philippians 4:6-8.
O  Disarming your artillery prepares the way for edifying.

The “I” in EDIFY is to…

3.        Initiate Harmony
a.         God expects you to live in harmony
1)         The apostle Paul wrote these words to the Church in Rome, (Romans 12:18) “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
2)         Paul also wrote this to the Church in Corinth, (2 Corinthians 13:11) “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
3)         If you have used corrupt communication (whether unkind words, sharp tones, selfish demands, or angry outbursts), the harmony in your home has turned to discord.
b.         God wants YOU to initiate that harmony.
1)         As hard as it may be, YOU need to initiate the restoration of harmony. This is a unilateral duty – a one-sided duty.
2)         Here are three of God’s steps to initiate harmony.
a)          Admit that your corrupt communication was sin. Admit it to yourself. Admit it to God.
b)         Confess it to God. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confess it to those you hurt. Others may not be as quick to forgive as God is, but if you are genuine, they usually will.
c)          Forgive those who have mistreated you. (Ephesians 4:32) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
O  You aid edifying when you initiate harmony.

The “F” in EDIFY is to…

4.        Fortify Fidelity (Strengthen your faithfulness)
a.         The devil increases temptation during stress
1)         One of your most vulnerable times is when you are tired, stressed, worried or discouraged.
2)         The devil will may tempt you to be dishonest, to lie, to cheat, to steal, to worry, to be immoral, to look at filth, or just to be grumpy and unkind.
3)         The devil also wants you to make rash and foolish decisions during times of stress.
b.         You must choose to remain faithful
1)         Choose to remain faithful to God. Make that choice before the stress pot boils over. (1 Corinthians 16:13) “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men Act bravely like men, be strong.”
2)         Determine to be faithful to God’s Word. Determine now to do right till the stars fall.
3)         If married, be faithful to your spouse. Fulfil your marriage vows faithfully. Keep your mind pure in every way.
O  To edify your family, you must fortify fidelity.

The “Y” in EDIFY is to…

5.        Yield Obediently
a.         Edifying others is a sacrifice.
1)         It requires that you yield your time, your wishes, and your energy to build up others.
2)         You could demand your rights or selfishly ignore others, but instead, you choose to yield your rights and your time to build up those you love.
b.         To edify, you must obey God’s role for your life.
1)         We read in (Ephesians 5:21) “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” God spends the next 21 verses explaining how we are to yield one to another.
a)          Wives are to be submissive completers (Eph 5:22-24)
b)         Husbands are to be loving leaders (Eph 5:25-33)
c)          Children are to be obedient (Eph 6:1-3)
d)         Fathers are to be godly mentors (Eph 6:4)
e)         Employees are to work as servants of Christ (Eph 6:5-8)
f)           Employers are to treat workers fairly (Eph 6:9)
2)         God designed these roles for our good. You cannot edify or build up those around you if you do not yield to the role God has for you.
Conclusion: Read Eph 4:29. Review points. Have you been edifying your family this week? Ponder the acrostic E.D.I.F.Y. Let it help you remember things you can do to build up your family members. Choose to edify even when life is stressful and fearful. If you do not yet know Jesus as your Saviour, contact me and let me help you.     Pray