What We Believe

December 3 Daily Devotional

Children, Obey ... Parents, Train

Charles and Norma Ellis

Bible Reading:

Ephesians 6:1-9

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
9And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.


Paul is still talking basically about the way in which we are to give evidence that we are filled with the Spirit, amplifying even more this factor of submitting to one another.

Children are to submit to their parents. But even as Paul says this he finds that he has to insert instructions to parents to bring up their children in the nurture of the Lord. They are to feed them on the Bread of Life, and to bring them up in the admonition and warning concerning the Lord and His judgment.

The teaching of submission is carried on through to the servant-master relationship. It is a teaching everywhere present in God's Word. God has set up some to be leaders and some to be followers. He has made some to command and some to obey. As the child learns in the home to submit and obey, he will be prepared to perform this role as student, as employee and as citizen. It may be that some day, according to the gifts given to him, he himself will fulfil the role of teacher, or employer or ruler, or of parent! Learning to submit to those whom God has placed over him is important now and also as preparation for a possible future role.

Indeed, it is a counterpart to his fulfilling the role of obedient child of God! To use the reasoning of John the Apostle, how can we obey God whom we cannot see, if we do not obey our parents whom we can see?

Being an obedient child will not come easily, even in a Christian home. Obedience needs to be taught around-the-clock, and the best teacher will be the parent who himself has learned what it means to be obedient to the heavenly Father.

We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."

Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.

Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.



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