Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Each and every one of us have something worth remembering.  Such things are sung about, written about, and taught to us through formal times of instruction or simple experiences of life.  Among those things written about you will find exhortations from God's word intended to help us remember teachings of utmost importance.
     Peter speaks of this in his second letter to the brethren (2 Pet. 3:1,2), as he exhorts them to remember the words spoken before hand by the holy prophets, as well as commandments set forth by Christ through the apostles.  Many times we don't want to hear what is being said.  Reasons for this attitude will vary but what is taking place is a rejection of God's word.  
     When you need words of comfort to whom do you turn?  When you need strength to whom do you go?  Again, answers will vary, but for the most part the answer will not be the Lord.  This is why Peter was writing this second letter.  To remind the brethren of what they heard and the source of that teaching.  These were not mere thoughts of men, but the words of the Lord.  The purpose of these words was to impart a source of encouragement, edification, and and admonition.
     Yet even the words of our God are sometimes not enough to keep us anchored to Him through faith.  We often go our own way, drifting away from our source of safety and comfort.  We end up fighting battles on our own.  All because we don't remember what can be found within God's word.
     A passage of Scripture familiar to each one of us is Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it" (NASB).  This passage relates to us there is something worth remembering.  When a child is raised to know the word of God, there is a seed planted that may not always bloom to produce fruit when we think it should.  Sometimes it seems to take longer for some to mature in the knowledge of God's word than others.  Times of unfaithfulness may also result, but there is always that ray of hope when a seed is planted.
     This is not to say that we condone sinful behavior, but once that seed has been planted, it is up to the individual and God concerning the fruit that will come.  We simply pray.  We cannot lose hope for we never know what the future holds.  That training in godliness is never really forgotten was shown to me in our last visit to the nursing homes in Leitchfield.  As we were singing the songs, I noticed an elderly woman singing along.  She held no songbook.  She sang the words from memory.  The  training and teaching from years past were evident.
     Once we learn something we never fully forget.  What becomes important is what we are teaching.  We may desire for our children to have the best education money can buy, but if we are not instilling God's word into the hearts of our children, then we have robbed them of the most precious education available to man.  And this teaching has very little cost.
     If we want the best for our children then we should strive to provide them with a knowledge of God's word.  As they grow they may encounter various trials but they will always be aware of the anchor available to keep them from drifting.  When life gets hard they will always look back at the teaching of their youth and acknowledge this is truly something worth remembering.  Rodger

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


In new window


     Anyone who has raised a family knows full well what the inside of a doctor's office looks like.  Whether or not it is your desire, you're going to see a doctor at some point in your life.  While some take great pride in never having gone to a doctor, others will see a doctor quite often.  Physically, we are different when it comes to health issues.  Spiritually, we are the same.
     In Luke 4:23 it is written, "And he said to them, "'No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me'", 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well'" (NASB).  Jesus goes on to say that no prophet is welcome in his own home town.  Strange as it seems, when people know you they don't often give you the same respect or courtesy they might give to someone else.  You would think with Jesus it would be different, but it wasn't.  Jesus had been talking about the healing He was about to perform,  as the Scriptures of the Old Testament recorded would happen, and Jesus said the passage quoted from Isaiah (61:1), was now fulfilled in their hearing (vs. 16-21).  Obviously, the people He spoke to had their doubts.
     People are strange.  They can go to the doctor and listen to the diagnosis, take the prescription he (or she) hands out, and leave, sometimes giving no attention to what was said or having the prescription filled.  Perhaps not so strange is the fact we do the same thing on a spiritual level as we do on the physical.
     In writing to the young man Timothy, Paul tells him to "prescribe and teach these things."  The 'things' refer specifically to what was mentioned previously in the context of the letter.  Paul talks about the falling away of some from the faith (4:1) because of deceitful spirits (teachers) and doctrines of demons (false teachings).  After listing some the false teachings, Paul tells Timothy to point these things out to the brethren (vs. 6) by sharing the sound doctrine he was following.
     When Timothy is told to 'prescribe' these things, it is literally meant to keep commanding these teachings.  The prescription is not just something Timothy or Paul have devised, it is the teaching of God we are to be following.  Concerning interaction with older people and widows, Paul tells Timothy to prescribe these teachings as well.  God's commandments go beyond what we like to refer to as doctrinal issues, to our everyday life and how we are to conduct ourselves toward others (5:1ff).
     While it is true that some doctors may over prescribe, the Great Physician knows just what we need.  So if we would simply follow the prescription set forth by Jesus in His word, and then apply what we are taking in, we would find ourselves a lot healthier spiritually.  That in turn, would go a long way in helping a feel better physically.  If we long to be the mirror image of our Savior so as to reflect the glory of the Father, let us follow Jesus and act not on our own initiative, but on what the Father reveals in His word.  So the next time you sit down and open your Bible and begin to take in what God would have you to know, remember you are in reality filling the prescription God has provided you.  When followed correctly, you will find that prescription is just what the doctor ordered.  Rodger