May 2019

What Do You Think?

          “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

          What do you think? With the above Scripture before us, we pray for God’s revealed Word to keep us on the right track: humbled, and knowing that we will be incomplete, lacking, and/or just plain wrong when we go beyond, or do not accept, what God has said. There are many examples of our thoughts in conflict with God’s Word. There are many diverse teachings, understandings, and interpretations (doctrines), even when we all the use same Word as the source. We are Biblically urged to pursue the behavior of the Bereans who were Divinely complimented: “Now these Jews (the Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they receive the Word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

          At a SHINE Preschool chapel in the week following Easter, I had two plastic eggs. One had little stones in it, and the other had popcorn kernels. I asked, “What do you think is inside these eggs?” They said, “Candy.” A logical answer based on their experience. When I opened them, they were disappointed. I explained, “It is good for us to examine things carefully. The rocks are not good for us to eat and the popcorn needs further work.” Some thoughts that I did not share with the preschoolers are that some teachings should be immediately discarded and others are beneficial with further work. That work can be someone experienced with theology furthering our understanding, as we are always mindful that we are in submission to God’s Word.

          The next SHINE Preschool chapel, I had the same two plastic eggs. This time one was empty, showing the great joy of Easter, the empty tomb. The other egg had metal trinkets with a Christian’s response to Easter: “I love Jesus!” When I rattled them and asked “What do you think is inside?” I again heard “Candy,” but others said “No, rocks in one, and popcorn in the other.” I shook one egg at a time. One had no sound, and the other did not sound like rocks or popcorn. One child, perceiving the metallic sound said, “Money.” I complimented them for being observant and applying previous experiences. I finished the lesson proclaiming the joy of Christ’s empty tomb--He is Risen! and our response--He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!

          What do you think concerning Scripture? People from almost every walk have some previous exposure. We receive instruction and expect the same truth from all sources. The deceiver, father of lies, Satan, is on the prowl and does his wicked woe in order to have false ideas about what to think circulating among mankind. We are to be careful where we receive our information about God’s Word.

          Let us be persistent in letting God’s plain Word stand as it is presented. Humbly approach Scripture; it is God speaking to us. We are to be submissive to God’s Word, His ways, and His thoughts. We dare not move into a judgment seat as we receive what God has said. Always be alert if a teaching tries to lead us to think God’s Word does not mean what it says. Examples: “This is My body” (Mt 26:26, Mk 14:22, Lk 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24) or “God our Savior…desires all people to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4).

The Lord be with you,              

Pastor Sam Wiseman