To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
Depending on the circumstance, submission can be positive or negative. When it’s imposed, relationships are corrupted and people are wounded. (That’s one reason we condemn slavery and human trafficking.) But when submission is voluntary, it becomes a beautiful expression of love—which is what characterizes followers of Jesus.
Consider the relationship between God and His Son. The Father didn’t demand Jesus’ death for our sins—Jesus chose to lay down His life (John 10:17-18). This willing and active participation in God’s plan bears no resemblance to the forced obedience we typically imagine when we think of submission. The same is true for us: The exhortation to yield to one another (Eph. 5:21) is an invitation to exercise the freedom God has given us. And in that way, we experience fellowship with Him.
What kind of relationships would we have if loved ones forced us to serve them, or if God forced us to worship? Thankfully, He’s given us a choice, and each time we yield to Him—or to family and friends as appropriate—we taste true freedom.
Think about it
• Knowing submission is a freedom we’ve been given, how are you inspired to exercise it this week?
Bible in One Year: Matthew 22-24