Welcome to this week's ToGather.church!

All of us at Heartlight.org and VerseoftheDay.com want to wish all of our dads a happy Father's Day. Even if Father's Day is not celebrated today where you are, we still wish the best for all our dads. In addition, we want to celebrate Juneteenth and remember the importance of the liberation of all people from slavery.

We earnestly and regularly pray for strong men of faith to live as godly fathers, husbands, and/or sons in a world that seems to tear them down and pull them away from God and their families.

In addition, our hearts break knowing that race-based slavery and prejudice, socio-economic slavery, and sexual slavery still exist in our world. We join the apostle Paul in praying that our churches can be the place where the values of God's Kingdom and his righteous are lived and celebrated:

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28).

We look forward to the day when "a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb" worship together, honoring Christ and loving each other in glory (Revelation 7:9-12).

Our passage for ToGather.church comes from Ephesians 5:25-26, which is the Verse of the Day:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy...

Today, rather than zeroing in specifically on just the husband's role, we will use Ephesians 5:21 as the focus verse to help us see that Christ must be at the center of everything we do, think, say, and are:

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

This is the orienting verse for Paul's inspired call in Ephesians 5:21-6:9 for us to live in mutual submission to each other to honor our Lord Jesus. There are three sets of relationships where Paul addresses our responsibilities:

  1. Husbands and Wives.
  2. Parents and Children.
  3. Slaves and Masters.

We submit to others in our relationships to honor and reverence Christ as Lord. We do not base our treatment of others on their treatment and respect for us. Jesus becomes our example and guide:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).

Phil's video message and the songs of our full worship video that follow emphasize our responsibility to place Jesus at the center of everything in our lives. We choose to follow our Lord's example and submit our desires to the needs of others. We want to lead others into a closer and holier relationship with God.

Phil's video message challenges us to follow Jesus in a lifestyle that realizes the way up is really to bend in service to bless others, following Jesus' example when he had all power yet washed the feet of his disciples before going to the cross (John 13:1-17).

Phil's Message for This Week

When we put Christ at the center of everything in our lives, we:

We choose to put Christ at the center of everything!
  • We seek to bless others as Christ did.
  • Love others and submit our will to meet their needs.
  • Live to bless and lead others into a deeper and holier relationship with God.

Full ToGather Worship Video

The full worship video celebrates Christ as the center of all we do, say, think, and are. We offer ourselves in complete surrender to Jesus as Lord and commit to serving others. Demetrius chose our songs and the rest of our worship in Communion, prayer, and blessing to help us commit to serving others as Jesus did to bring them to God.

We pray that God blesses you and the Spirit fills you as we celebrate the gift of Jesus' triumph over sin and death! Please join us in the full ToGather.church worship video:

We close with this blessing Paul shared with the followers of Jesus in Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:14 Message):

The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you. [Amen.]

Special thanks for the use of images related to Jesus' ministry from The Lumo Project and Free Bible Images for use in both ToGather videos.