Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3346

Jump Start # 3346

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

  There are two small words in our verse today that are very important. They are the key to this passage. In many ways, these two small words are some of the hardest words in the Bible to fulfill. Combined, these two words are made up of a total of six letters, but what powerful, powerful implications they demand. What are these two little words? “JUST AS.” Husbands love your wives, JUST AS Christ also loved the church. Not only are these two words found in our verse, but they are used twice before this in the Ephesian letter. Paul says to forgive, JUST AS God in Christ has forgiven you (4:32) and walk in love JUST AS Christ also loved you (5:2).

  It’s one thing to love your wife. It’s one thing to forgive another. It’s one thing to love others. But when the qualifier, “JUST AS” is attached, it brings a whole new meaning and depth to those passages. Consider:

  FORGIVE JUST AS GOD HAS FORGIVEN YOU. How many times has God forgiven us? Never does God say, “Not again!” Never does God say, “I’m tired of forgiving you.” Never does God say, “When will you ever get your act together?” Yet, here we are and someone says something mean about us, and we declare that we will never forgive them and we will never forget it. What happened to the “JUST AS” part?

  LOVE JUST AS CHRIST LOVED YOU. There have been times when we weren’t very loveable. There are times when we’d rather be with the pigs than with God. There were times when we never thought about God. Yet, He never stopped thinking about us. And, here comes that person who asks if they can talk to you after services. You sigh. You complain. You search for any excuse to get out of doing that. You want to go home. You want to do what you want to do. And, somehow the “JUST AS” was forgotten.

HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES JUST AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH. Do you realize that there is not one thing we have to do that Jesus didn’t first do. We have to go to worship, someone says. Jesus did that. We have to be good. Jesus was perfect. We are supposed to pray. Jesus did all the time. We have to give. Jesus gave it all. Rather than being demanding, Jesus was the example. Jesus showed us what we are supposed to do. So, at the end of a long day, tired, sitting in your chair, husbands, we start barking orders for the family to come and take care of us. What about the JUST AS part?

  Those are tough words to keep up with. Imagine someone saying, I expect you to putt a golf ball JUST AS a professional golfer does. A lot of pressure and most of us would fail. I want you to paint JUST AS an artist paints. I struggle with stick figures. I want you to cook JUST AS the chefs do on TV. That would trouble most of us. How about play an instrument JUST AS a famous musician?

  Forgive JUST AS. Love JUST AS. Love wives JUST AS. And, the comparison is not to one of the apostles. I want you to be dependable like Peter. I think we could do that. The Peter who sank in water. The Peter who denied. Got that. We can do that. I want you to believe like Thomas. You means, doubting Thomas? Oh, we can do that. We don’t have to see the nail prints. We believe. But it’s not one of the apostles. It’s not you or me. It’s the Lord. Forgive as God forgives. Love as God loves. Love wives as Christ loves the church. It’s perfection that is placed before us. God never messed up on forgiving. There was never a time when He should have forgiven but He didn’t. The same with love. God always loves. He loves so much that the Bible says, God is love. There are moments when some of the disciples wanted to call down fire from Heaven and burn people up. Not God. There were times when the disciples wanted to send people away. Not God. Always right. Always perfect.

  And, that’s what we are facing. That’s our goal. It’s not just the honor roll, it’s straight A’s. It’s not just winning the game, it’s pitching a perfect game. How can we? How can we forgive like God? How can we love like God? He never messes up and we seem to always mess up. He knows just the right thing to do and we, too often, do just the wrong thing.

 I think the answer before us is in the Lord’s invitation in Matthew. Come, take My yoke, and learn from Me. Come. Take. Learn. That’s how. That’s how we open our hearts to love others. That’s how we extend grace and forgiveness to others. On our own, we can’t do this. But, having spent time with Jesus. Having learned. Having seen. Having taken on His heart and mind, we can.

  These Ephesian “Just As” statements are not intended to be impossibilities. Rather, through God and with God we can. We can forgive those who have hurt us so terribly. We can love the unlovable. We can give our all in a marriage, just as Christ gave His all to our salvation.

  JUST AS…six letters, but what powerful statements they are.