Ephesians 4:20-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 But you have not so learned Christ,
21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Do Not Grieve the Spirit
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27 nor give place to the devil.
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Heartaches happen. In time, all kinds to all of us.
--Perhaps someone you know has some heartaches now.
--We know of many, to pray for. To show kindness.
--People with heavy burdens. Illness. Sorrows.
--Our heart goes out in prayer in love for them.
Growing up in Texas, a neighbor family faced it.
--The older son ran away. Was missing a long while.
--He and his parents had a bitter disagreement.
--Didn't hear for months. Everyone was praying.
--Finally he returned. Differences made up again.
Years later in West Virginia a neighbor girl did so.
--Her two brothers and parents would pick on her.
--Often had quarrels. They did not go to church.
--Family didn't hear from her for a long time.
--One day she called me, from a home in Philadelphia.
--I counselled, and prayed for her, and her parents.
--My wife and I went to Philadelphia, took her home.
--I sought reconciliation to each other and to God.
--Everyone hurts where there are heartaches.
In Ephesians 4 we see some causes .. and cures.
--Heartaches do come, if we've "not known Christ."
--If we have not "put off" our "former conduct."
--Or have not "put on the new man" in godly living.
--Or not "put away lying„" Not "speak the truth."
--A few simple mistakes that can cause heartaches.
Troubles come if we "give place to the devil" (v 27).
--God's Word says, "let him who stole steal no more."
--"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth."
--How essential to keep calm, watch our language.
--And "do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God" (v 30).
--"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger ..be put away."
--These things have no place in Christian lives.
--Seek forgiveness. God's mercy, grace, and peace.
--"Be reconciled to God," and to one another.
Ephesians 4 ends with, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God forgave you."
--Forgiven, "born again" believers are His healers!
If your heartaches are few, or none, then thank God.
--Rejoice, for you are wondrously blessed.
There are all too many today shackled with heartache.
--They, or their children, are addicted to drugs.
--It is a dead-end street to endless troubles.
--It requires a tough-love approach - quit, if in it!
--Better, never try drugs. Say an emphatic - No!
--Drugs are worse than drink. Both are addictive.
--Both bring more than their share of tears to many.
--One can not win over sin, alone! We need the Lord!
--We need the Lord Jesus! The Holy Spirit within!
--Remember, "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18). And, "be kind one to another."
Christ-like kindness is a fine healer of heartaches.
--Kindness lends a hand or prayer for another's need.
--It is without malice. Or anger. Or enmity.
--But in love. In prayer. In forgiveness and help.
--You see this in the Gospels, in the life of Jesus.
--We are taught holiness, obedience, righteousness.
--Taught to lift up the fallen. Strengthen the weak.
--A song goes, "Let me be a little kinder, let me be a little blinder to the faults of those about me."
More souls are won with honey, than with vinegar.
--Christians should be healers of heartaches, without increasing them - there are too many, already.
Let me tell you about a player football fans remember.
--He is Craig Baynham, former Chicago Bears, all-star.
--Baynham writes of how he came to know the Savior.
--He was in college at Georgia Tech, he was.invited to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Rally.
--An evangelist was there talking about Jesus!
--"I thought I was already one of God's children, and some day, not now, I'd let the good outweigh all the bad. Meanwhile, I'd be out raising Cain!"
--That was all wrong, "I needed to be born again into God's family. We are all God's creation, but not all in His family, until we are born again in Jesus."
--The speaker told, of Jesus' cross, and resurrection.
--Said, "I saw the truth. I got in God's family!"
Instead of giving folks heartaches, as before, now he, Craig Baynham, a Christian, tried to relieve others. That is the difference Jesus makes. We should make.
--Thank God, more and more athletes and people, make!
How about you, friend? Where do you stand today?
--Are you "found in Him, not having our own righteousness, but that which is through faith in Christ"?
--Let's mark this verse in Philippians 3:9.
--To be honest, we don't have much "righteousness."
--We fail the Lord. Break His commands. We sin.
--We "miss the mark.. of the goal of Jesus Christ."
--We can all improve, and overcome most of our flaws.
--I have some - failings and feelings --I work on.
To be able to get along well with all, is God's gift.
--To "be kind ....tenderhearted, forgiving one another."
--And able to say the right things, in the right way.
--Let's have those good intentions, toward all people.
--A good prayer, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, 0 Lord, my strength and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14).
As you and I seek to live up to this, healing comes.
--God in His grace, heals of our sin, and heartaches.
--He can heal our hurts and troubled hearts.
--To heal broken relationships. Spouse or children.
--Of families. Of friends. Of neighbors.
--He can heal the cause of so many tears.
As parents do, God feels our hurts, when we hurt.
--He sees "the falling tear." Hears our soft prayer.
--The Lord loves us, far more than we can imagine.
--He longs to draw near. Hold us dear to His heart.
There are all kinds of heartaches. Which is worse?
--Estrangement from loved ones, or family, is,so sad.
--I've never experienced it. But I have seen it.
Some of you may recall Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey.
--You may remember they had one popular orchestra.
--On the radio. Made records. Were very well known.
---But in time, they had a big, angry, disagreement.
Too bad, brothers, so bitter, for so many years.
--Only back, together, as their dad was dying.
--Life is too good, too short, for such divisions.
Misunderstanding causes troubled marriages for some.
--Lack of true love and harmony cause sad heartaches.
--Can lead to divorce, which is sad for everyone.
--Especially for the children, leaving them confused.
--So, if at all possible, pray to stay together.
--To work at making each other happy, in love for God.
--And for one another, as once they were, to stay.
A family altar is needed, prayer, Bible, and worship.
--Strive for peace. Quick to take any blame.
--And as a peace-maker, God blesses, restore oneness.
--Put the Lord God at the head of all your family.
--Jesus said of God, "He sent me to heal the broken- hearted" (Luke 4:18). There's no One better!
What are the greatest heartaches? Death and grief.
--To lose a mate, a child, a loved one, or friend.
--No longer near. Or able to hear, "I love you."
--We need God's comfort, then, above all others.
--He is "the God of all comfort .. who comforts us."
--He is "able to wipe away our tears." Give peace.
--A priceless benefit of an "ever-present" Savior.
All the saved, one day, will be together in heaven.
--With no separation, no sorrow, and no sickness.
--Those in Christ, are with the Lord, "far better."
--Yes, "far better" than the best of earth.
--So let us be healers of heartaches, by His grace.
Joseph in Genesis had his share of heartaches.
--Disliked by brothers. Jealous. Sold him as slave.
--Lied to their aged father, that he had died.
--Joseph endured many hardships, and temptations.
--God elevated him as Prime Minister of Egypt.
--His brothers in years of drouth came to buy grain.
--He said, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to save much people alive" (Gen 50).
--That's the kind of life, and faith, to share.
--A loving, forgiving, God-glorifying, spirit.
--Do you know this God? A Savior who defeated death?
--He heals heartaches!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 853