Acts 8:31 (NLT) The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
“Teachability” is a very valuable virtue. It requires humility but it’s also a path to greatness. It takes humility to admit lack of understanding, to admit need of help, to admit someone knows more than you do. Learning requires sincerity and resolve. It necessitates effort. The person in this story had a hard time understanding what he was reading, but he was reading nonetheless.
Having a know-it-all attitude is disadvantageous. Wise people understand: wisdom is a life-long pursuit; the truth is: it is an eternity-long pursuit. Our learning doesn’t stop when we meet the Lord face to face.
There is no greater source of wisdom than God’s Word. True: there are some parts hard to understand; it will take a sincere desire to learn for us to grasp truths God intends for us. We find it a big help listening to others who have also spent time and effort in studying His Word. We don’t deny personal responsibility; we have to read the word by ourselves; we have to study it; meditate on it; memorize it; live it out; share it. But we can certainly also learn from others. It doesn’t diminish our self-esteem when we do. We expand our horizon much greater by mining the gold from other people’s perspective. We recognize that we miss some important insights other people catch. We even learn from people of the world; they too have wisdom to share; they too are created in God’s image; they have undeniably good contributions. In some cases, we need discernment from the Holy Spirit to know whether what they teach is godly or worldly. It’s no problem because God is more generous with His Spirit guiding us, helping us, warning us, and leading us to the truth.
Dear heavenly Father—all loving and all wise, thank You for giving us understanding and insight—especially when it comes to vital spiritual truths. Thank You for giving us your Holy Spirit without Whom we would be spiritually blind. Thank You for making us a part of people who have the same access to Your Spirit—the Spirit of wisdom. Thank You for giving us opportunities to learn, to know more about You, Your Word, Your love, and a lot more wonderful truths we absolutely treasure. And thank You for the privilege and honor of bearing and sharing this treasure.
1 Timothy 6:3 (KJV) 3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness
We’re enjoying our lives as believers. That’s natural for people who’ve been richly given all things we need for our enjoyment. But we’re not without struggles. We have a very undesirable division going on in the beautiful body of Christ. The Lord Jesus prayed that we as the church be one as He and the Father are one. We’re still far from that reality. The issues and teachings dividing the church are disputable—non-essentials—as often referred to.
There are dangerous teachings though creeping in the church. I’m a personal witness to this. It’s rampant and it’s ongoing. The Scriptures teach us that the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus are in accordance with godliness—our Lord’s doctrine upholds godly living. But I’ve heard messages talking down on preaching about morality and good deeds. In trying to affirm the doctrine of grace—grace which we love and appreciate tremendously—they have condemned the wholesome doctrine of our Lord Jesus—godly living.
We teach godliness; other teachers consent not. Sadly, a lot of opposition comes from fellow Christian teachers. Truth is: it’s possible for believers to stray and follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:15). That’s why we’re encouraged to fight the good fight for the true faith, to hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called us… (see 1 Timothy 6:12). We don’t downplay God’s warnings: “Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good” (Titus 1:16).
God’s Word is replete with such examples of our Lord’s wholesome doctrine of godliness. Here’s just another example—just a short segment: “12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds” (Titus 2:12-14). This is our doctrine as people under grace. We don’t regret it; we don’t abhor it; we love it.
Acts 28:30 (KJV) And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him.
Paul was on house arrest—it was a house he rented himself. That “prison house” also became a “teaching house.” The house had the apostle kept in it, but the apostle had the Lord and the Lord’s Word in him. The place that represented bondage also became a house where many found freedom.
No one can fully imprison those born of God’s Spirit. Our freedom isn’t rescinded by geography. We’re free wherever we are. Our ultimate mission is to tell others about the Good News of Salvation found in our Lord Jesus, and to teach His commands to everyone. No person, no place, no time, nothing can stop us from accomplishing our mission. We of course use wisdom in all these. The highest purpose and greatest profitability of our resources–love, knowledge and wisdom, strength, finances are served in living out our ultimate mission. That explains our zealous willingness to be totally “poured out” for God.
Our dear heavenly Father, thank You for the freedom you’ve given us—freedom that no one and nothing can take away. May we as Your people always be excited for the privilege, opportunity, and honor of using our resources for their highest purpose—freedom/salvation of the lost, and growth of Your people.
Luke 4:44 (KJV) 44And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.
Jesus preached outside of the walls of the synagogues; He also preached in the synagogues. Implied: there were people in the synagogues who needed to hear the Good News.
Going out to all the world and preaching the Gospel rings very loudly from our pulpits and that’s very good, but it will be a huge negligence on our part if we forget that there are people sitting on the chairs or pews Sunday after Sunday who still need to be preached to.
It’s important for us to declare God’s message of salvation to the lost. Most of them do not come to our places of worship. We go where they are. We also recognize the obvious truth that not everyone who gathers together with us for worship and the preaching of the Word is a believer.
There have been many times when I heard testimonies of our very own church people share how they got saved long after they’ve started attending our church gatherings. Praise God for that. That’s why we preach the Good News and we teach God’s principles; we evangelize and we disciple. We do this when we gather together as a local church in a particular place, and we do this when we part ways and go as individual churches to our personal spheres of influence—our own “worlds,”—our own mission fields.
At times, it’s worthwhile preaching to the “choir;” so let’s continue preaching in our “synagogues.” There’s a big probability that some of those in attendance may be with us bodily—geographically, but not yet a part of us as a church spiritually.
Psalm 86:11 (KJV) 11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
Having a humble and teachable heart is essential to living in and for God. Having a pure heart is essential to fearing God’s Name.
We desire to follow after our precious LORD. The way we do that is by knowing His Word, His ways, and His will. This comes through spending time with Him and His Word. We can’t honestly say we’re living in obedience to Him if we don’t know what to obey. Else, we’ll be hypocritical, and that’s not the kind of heart we want to have. We want to keep our hearts pure before God; that’s one of the ways we honor God, and honoring Him is what we want to do.
We’re grateful to God because He teaches us and is willing to teach us. He’s always waiting, willing, ready to pour our His wisdom to us. So we come before Him, with sincere hearts, with loving fear of Him, with open hearts and minds, we fill ourselves with His precious truths.
1 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV) 10Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
We desire to effectively and efficiently disciple our brothers and sisters in Jesus. We want to do the best we can to help each other grow in our walk. And spending time with each other is essential to this. Discipleship somehow works better when our disciples see us and are able to not only read and hear about what we teach, but see how we exemplify our teachings. They see how our beliefs transform us from glory to glory.
We all still need to grow. Each one still has this “gaps in faith” that are slowly filled through continuous learning of the Word. God has provided us each other. God is an omniscient Father desiring to teach us, instruct us, lead us and guide us. He left us with the written Word and sent us His Holy Spirit as more than sufficient helps in this. He wants us to live the best life we can live—one that’s fruitful, growing, and powerful,
We need divine guidance. Forks in the road are everywhere; convincing voices abound; it’s very easy to stray from the straight and narrow. We humbly admit: as long as we’re on earth, even to the best of our abilities, we’ll continue having blind spots—gaps in faith. It’s just right that we first and foremost humble ourselves and receive faithful instructions from those our loving Father provide as our disciplers. Then freely we give what we freely receive. As we’re helped decrease our faith gaps, we help others to do the same. Altogether we grow in our doctrine and practice. Deceptions come, hardships hit, but we remain straight and strong.
Genesis 49:33 (KJV) 33And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.
Before he passed away, Jacob pronounced blessings upon his sons and commanded them some. He’s one of the most named patriarchs—often mentioned in identifying our Lord. We hear it often written or said: “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” With this nobility, he’s still just a man; with his humanity, he was godly, and that matters. He acknowledged God, and passed that knowledge on to his children.
We all share in this appointment with death, at different times, and different ways—except those who will be alive when the Lord Jesus returns. We’re all given this wonderful treasure of time. We have great opportunities to fill it up with good and beautiful things, great experiences and memories. The part we’re entrusted to occupy is very different from each other. Some find theirs more difficult than others. Not all are born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
With all the differences and similarities, we are all blessed with opportunities to be a blessing—to invest in other people’s lives, dreams, and destinies. We don’t always receive all we pray for; we don’t always get the life we aim for, but we all enjoy God’s undeserved and priceless blessings—the most precious of which is He Himself. He is the greatest “Possession” we ought to not miss and the greatest “Legacy” to leave to our children and others. We obviously don’t own the most luxurious palaces in the world—we don’t need to, but we, as treasures of clay, are possessors of the greatest Gift all of us have or ought to have. He’s the Gift that keeps on giving. With the golden but limited time and space we and our children have, we fill these sacred endowments with the most and best: Him. We continue learning, living, and teaching. And the Gift goes on.