|Volume 23 Number 1 January 2021
Martha Lynn Rushmore
How do you measure things? Do you use gallons, pints, cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces, pounds, tons, inches, feet and miles? These are the kind of measurements we use in the USA. Other parts of the world use the metric system. These are meters, liters, kilograms, grams, and kilometers, etc. I do not know much about the metric system.
Different countries have different ways of measuring. It can be confusing to someone new visiting. If I were to bake a cake, I would need to know what standard to use. With God’s Word, we have one standard and one standard only, the Bible.
Isn’t it wonderful, we have one standard with the Word of God, the Bible? Even though it was written thousands of years ago, it is still timely. It took 1,600 years to write the whole Bible, the Old and New testaments. There were approximately 40 writers. Amazingly, there are no contradictions in the Scriptures. God gave us His Word, and He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God’s Word does not change, and neither does He!
Unfortunately, man does change and has also tried to change the Bible. Therefore, we must be careful which translation we use. There are many so-called Bibles that teach false doctrines (e.g., Good News for Modern Man, NIV, paraphrases). Be careful to choose a reliable translation of the Bible (e.g., KJV, NKJV, ASV, ESV).
Those from the Reader’s Digest magazine went through the Bible and cut out what they did not want in it. So, now we have the Reader’s Digest Bible, too. God did not give them or any of us the privilege or the authority to condense the Bible. In Revelation 22:18-19, we are told not to add to or take away from the Word of God. Additional verses of Scripture throughout the Bible teach likewise.
Fortunately, for us, we have Christ and the steadfastness of His Word. Let us look at what the Bible says. Jesus built one church with His death on the cross. He told us this in Matthew 16:18. Upon Peter’s confession, that Christ was the Son of God, Jesus was to build His church. This church has always been in existence since it began on the day of Pentecost following the ascension of Jesus, in Jerusalem, when Peter and the other apostles preached the first Gospel sermon and about 3,000 souls were baptized (Acts 2:41, 47).
Here are some passages of Scripture that tell us there is one church or the body of Christ.
How do you and I as Christian ladies, wives and mothers measure up? Are we faithful Christians? Does Christ see us as faithful? What does the world around us see?
We must be faithful to Christ and His church. Our main objective as Christians is to grow and become as strong and as faithful as we possibly can. We need to study (2 Timothy 2:15), we need to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and we need to be faithful by giving of our lives for Christ (Revelation 2:10).
Teaching. Have we grown enough to be teachers? You may say, “No, I cannot teach.” I say, “Why not?” Your first obligation is to teach your children at home. I know you can do this. They are much younger than you. You know more Bible and everyday living more than these young ones.
I feel you can also teach ladies’ classes in your home congregations. You say, “No way.” I say, “Yes, way!” Why do I say this? These ladies are your family in the Lord, maybe your physical family, too, and they are your friends. You know God made us. We do not all know the same things, but we all know different things. We can all help each other learn. You don’t have to talk the whole class time. It is good to have open discussions in class. We can all learn from each other. We do not have the same thoughts on all subjects.
Sisters, here is an opportunity to help you and the church to grow. This is one way to be a great example for other sisters who do not feel they can teach. Bring them into class with you as a helper. Then, let them do the songs and later teach lessons to the little ones when they are ready. Please, do not push your helpers, but encourage them. Lady teachers are always needed to teach children’s classes. These young ones need and want Bible classes. They love to sing and to hear Bible stories. What do you think? I have much confidence in the ladies of the churches.
There needs to be a rotation of teachers who have been teaching for years, so all teachers have an opportunity to sit in an adult class and learn from others. We need to have the meat of the Word. While teaching young ones, we are teaching them the milk of the Word. You can volunteer to teach the young ones or ladies’ classes. This will help the church to grow. It will give the weaker Christians an example to follow.
We are told the older women are to teach the younger ladies. In Titus 2:1-5, the men are given instructions on behavior, and then, we ladies are instructed to teach the younger ladies. In verse 3, it says “likewise,” meaning for ladies to have the same qualities as are given to the men in this Scripture. We should all want to have good Christian characters and traits such as: sober, reverent, temperate, sound in the faith, to practice love and to have patience. We are told that we are to be reverent, in good behavior, not slanderers, not given to wine, teachers of good things, to admonish the younger ladies to love their own husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good and obedient to their own husbands.
So, ladies, how do we measure up? Are we working to grow in the Lord daily? It does not have to be something great, just something we have grown in a little. We take one step at a time when walking. Therefore, our growth should be one step at a time.
It’s How, Not If
I heard a song on the radio recently that caught my attention. The lyrics considered the idea that the important thing about life is how someone will be remembered instead of if an individual will be remembered. Though the song considers common facets of the physical life, the topic creates an impactful spiritual question for consideration. Will you be remembered for…
Sweet or Bitter Words?
The Bible is full of instruction on the type of words we should use. “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24 NKJV). “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). James instructed Christians to control the tongue (James 3:1-12). His conclusion of the matter states, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (v. 10). Jesus said our words will judge us (Matthew 12:36-37). Our words will also be remembered. What kind of words will others remember from you?
Building Up or Tearing Down?
Ephesians 4:29 encourages Christians to use their words to edify others. In Galatians 6:2, Paul commanded Christians to “Bear one another’s burdens.” In 1 Timothy 5:13, he condemned women who spend their days stirring up trouble as busybodies and tattlers. Proverbs 18:8 explains the harm done by talebearing. “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly” (KJV). Will you be remembered for supporting others?
Wisdom or Foolishness?
Many verses in Proverbs compare the wise and the foolish (e.g., 10:8, 14; 12:15; 13:20; 29:11) and recommend wisdom (e.g., 1:5; 9:9; 8:33). Christians are instructed in James 1:5 to ask God for wisdom. James later declares that wisdom is demonstrated by “good conduct” (3:13). Jesus compared those who were obedient to His words to wise house builders and the disobedient to foolish house builders (Matthew 7:24-27). Will you be remembered as wise or foolish?
Fairness or Favoritism?
James 2:1-4 describes a situation in which Christians treat rich brethren with respect but demonstrate disdain for poor brethren. In verse 9, those who show partiality are condemned as sinners. The phrase “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” appears several times in the Old and New testaments (Leviticus 19:18, 34; Matthew 22:39; Galatians 5:24; etc.). If we fulfill this command, we will treat all people fairly and with respect. There will be no room for favoritism that defies the love we are commanded to have for one another (1 Thessalonians 4:9). How will others remember the treatment they received from you?
Unity or Contention?
Jesus prayed that His disciples would have unity (John 17:20-21). Paul earnestly desired the church at Corinth be unified, and he condemned the contentions prevalent among its members (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). The works of the flesh include emotions, words and actions that cause strife (Galatians 5:19-21). Paul instructed the Christians at Philippi, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit [“strife or vainglory” KJV], but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3). Will others remember you as one who tried to hold things together or one who tried to tear things apart?
Wealth or Poverty?
The world places an emphasis on the gathering of possessions, calling it wealth. The Bible defines wealth in a much different way. Jesus told the church at Laodicea that though they thought they had abundant wealth, they were in fact “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). True wealth is stored in Heaven by the faithful, while true poverty is reserved for those without God (Matthew 6:19-21; Revelation 2:9). “There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches” (Proverbs 13:7). Will you be remembered for your wealth or poverty?
Doing or Hearing?
James directs Christians, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (1:22). The younger brother of our Lord further explained that one who hears but does not do is like one who looks in the mirror then turns away, forgetting about what he saw in the mirror (vs. 23-24). It does no good to use a mirror to find dirt on the face or hair out of place, then to walk away without fixing anything. A young ruler heard from Jesus what was lacking in his life, but he walked away without doing anything (Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23). Will others remember you for doing God’s Word?
Being Faithful or Lost?
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). The obedient and faithful will enter the narrow gate (Revelation 2:10), but the disobedient will enter the broad way (Revelation 21:8). Will you be remembered as faithful to God?
Changing or Remaining the Same?
If you were remembered for your words and deeds as of this moment, would the remembrance be pleasant or painful? As you consider your life at this point, are you satisfied? It is not too late to change. Paul reminded the Corinthians that they had changed. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Will you be remembered as willing to make changes when needed?
In John 13:15, Jesus stated that He provided an example for others to follow, and Peter reinforced this idea in 1 Peter 2:21. The apostle Paul noted in several places that he was an example for other Christians to follow (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9). Paul instructed Timothy to live as an example to others (1 Timothy 4:12). A Christian should behave in such a way that others can follow his or her example. The Hebrew writer stated that Abel’s faith still speaks to us today, though he has long since died (Hebrews 11:4). Like Abel, our example is what others will remember. There is no question about it — someone will remember you. The important question is, “How will you be remembered?”