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An Urgent Need

We have plenty of information today. It is right at our fingertips and soon on the tip of our tongues—best prices, odd facts, how-to videos and theories on everything from who shot JFK to whether or not man has been to the moon. We are curious creatures, and our curiosity can lead us down an endless rabbit hole.

We also have countless ways to entertain ourselves. The world is full of pleasures. Some are sinful in themselves and others are innocent until we go too far with them. In either case, Christians are becoming more and more “choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life” (Luke 8:14).

We must take control of this situation. We need to get back to old-fashioned Bible study in our individual lives, our homes, our Bible classes, and our pulpits. It’s time to get back to the basics in this modern age:

  • Read the Bible. Read it to yourself. Read it to your children at the dinner table and at bedtime. Read it thoroughly in Bible classes of the congregation. If you are a preacher, tell the church to open their Bibles as you read to them. Gus Nichols once said that preachers are often so busy giving their comments and telling stories that God can’t get a word in edgewise in sermons. Today preachers try to be sages, philosophers, therapists, social reformers, political commentators, comedians, good ol’ boys and intellectuals instead of men who boldly proclaim the gospel. In Jesus’ first recorded visit to the synagogues in Nazareth after his baptism, He read from the Scriptures (Luke 4:16-19). In His last days with the disciples after His resurrection, He expounded the Scriptures to them (Luke 24:27, 32, 44-45).

  • Memorize Scripture. Contemporary educators sometimes look down on memory work, stressing that young people should learn how to figure out things for themselves instead of learning to repeat a set of words. How has that approach worked out? Now we have a generation of people who don’t know the difference between a boy and a girl. Of course, there is more to education than simply memorizing. But people, especially children, need the right information first in order to have a basis for drawing conclusions. The first-century Jewish historian Josephus said that Jewish parents instilled the Scriptures so thoroughly in their children that they could recall them as easily as they could recite their name. Don’t let anyone make you feel that memory work is a waste of time.

  • Quote the Bible. Everyone quotes someone these days—a famous leader, a successful businessman, a sports legend, a war hero or an influential religious figure. Religious people are excited to repeat a wise saying they read on Facebook or hear from a preacher. Some of these are good and true, but what happened to quoting the Scriptures? Our idea of “Famous Quotations” should come from the Bible first. Look at just a few of the many times Jesus cited the Old Testament—Matthew 4:4-7, 10, Matthew 9:13, Matthew 13:14-15, Matthew 15:4, 7-9, Matthew 19:4-5, 16-19, and Matthew 22:32, 37-39, and 44. Parents, preachers, elders and deacons, Bible class teachers and Christians in general need to do this more.

People’s minds are running in all directions. It is up to Christians to be different and make a difference.

Kerry

West End church of Christ bulletin article for May 8, 2022

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