|Vol. 15 No. 7 July 2013||
In Acts 20, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders. He wanted them to travel down to Miletus to visit with him before he left for Jerusalem. He knew that this was the last time he would ever see them.
He told them that they knew he had served the Lord with humility. They knew he had labored among them with many tears and temptations. Then, he told them that he had ‘kept back nothing that was profitable’ to them. He had taught them publicly and privately.
The words ‘kept back nothing’ in verse 20 pertain to a sailing term. It referred to taking in the sail. This was done most often in heavy winds of a storm. Paul was saying he never pulled back from teaching the truth. No matter how heavy the pressure was against his teaching, he continued to teach and preach what was profitable. In other words, he always taught the truth. He was never intimidated to the point of withholding proper teaching. Paul kept his ‘sails’ wide open.
We should always keep our sails wide open when teaching and preaching. The truth is greater than anything man has. The teachings of the Bible are profitable. We need to teach all of the truth, not just part of it. In order to be able to teach the whole truth, we must study and learn it first.
Study your Bible. Learn all that you can. Teach it to others, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
My son’s girlfriend, Kari’s sister-in-law lost her sister, Susan Griffies, this past Wednesday. It is a devastating loss of a young wife and mother of twins who are nearly three. Her husband is the youth minister of the Highlands Church of Christ in Lakeland, Florida. He is originally from Prattville.
She went in to try to have some pressure released from a vein in her brain. It was supposed to be a simple surgery. Instead, the vein collapsed and she had a fatal stroke. Wednesday morning, they had to make the decision to take her off of the machine because she had no signs of life. The pain for the family and friends is unbelievable. It makes the Bible verses seem so much more real: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14).
We need to appreciate the many blessings we have, especially our loved ones. A while back I started our kids (including in-laws and possible in-laws) reading a text before I go to bed. I do not want a single day to go by without them knowing that I love them. They say basically the same thing every night, that I love them, and hope that they have a good night. Yet, it is important to me for them to know. I know that I have been blessed so much with my family, and I can only imagine the pain that losing any one of them would cause. If something happened to me, I would want them to know that they were on my mind every day, and that I always loved them.
Sometimes there are not answers to the question, “Why?” Why would a fine young Christian wife and mother be snatched away from this life? Why do two little ones have to grow up not knowing their mother’s touch and love? I don’t know why. I am not sure that there is really an answer to why. Sometimes bad things just happen. God has not promised us that nothing bad will happen. It is natural to ask why. However, the fact that bad things happen does not reduce the love of God. God has promised to be there for us when the bad things do happen. If we will lean on Him, He will help us to make it through. We need to lift each other up, with prayers and encouragement. We need to pray for the families: the Griffies and Prichard/Lester families. If we know anyone who is affected by this loss, we need to offer them encouragement. We need to pray for and encourage anyone that we know who is going through hard times, sickness or loss. We must be a caring people if we are going to be the people of God.
We need to realize that life is short and uncertain. We need to live every day to the fullest. We need to always serve the Lord, love our families and give ourselves in service, because there is no promise of tomorrow for any of us. We need to be ready for eternity every day.