Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 24 Number 8 August 2022
Page 5

Street Smart

Denny Petrillo

Denny PetrilloIn some circles, being street smart is the best kind of intelligence. Here one has learned the way of the city, where the dangerous people and places are. If you don’t know your way around, staying with one who is street smart may be your ticket to safety.

In Proverbs 2, a father had a heart-to-heart talk with his son, where it reads, “To deliver you from the way of evil…” (Proverbs 2:12). The father was concerned about whether his son was aware of the most important kind of knowledge and whether he had the work-ethic required to get that knowledge. He appealed to him to see the “treasure” (Proverbs 2:1) of being God-smart. God-smart is better than any other kind of intelligence.

Paul talked about people who claimed to know God, “but by their deeds deny him” (Titus 1:16 NASB). John talked about people who claimed to know God, but it was obvious they didn’t. How do we know? They didn’t keep His commandments (1 John 2:4). Paul told the Christians at Thessalonica that on Judgment Day God is going to deal out retribution to those who know not God (2 Thessalonians 1:8). As Solomon told his son, everyone needs to “discover the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:5). That sounds like good advice for us, too.

We spend our lives learning all kinds of stuff. We may know how to build a house or how to fix a car. We may know how to prepare a meal or how to sew a dress. We may know history, geography, philosophy or some other -sophy. We may even be street smart. Yet, nothing (literally) is better than being God-smart.

That kind of smart is better than street smart. Street smart may save your life today. God-smart will save your life for eternity.

Planting and Producing

Raymond Elliott

Raymond ElliottFarmers have planted the seed for this year’s crops as evident by the plants of various kinds now growing. Even we who have gardens annually anticipate the time when we can enjoy working the soil. It is also a wonderful experience to be able to enjoy vegetables from the garden. There is an age-old truth that we would like to bring to your attention once again, and that is, you always reap as you have sown. This seems very simple and elementary, but it is very profound.

In the study of the Parable of the Sower or Soils, as recorded in Luke 8, we learn that Jesus used the common and known to teach spiritual truths to those of sincere and honest hearts (8:10). Jesus said that the Seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11). God’s power of salvation today is the Gospel of His Son (Romans 1:16). The Word never changes. It will always produce after its kind. The soil is also most important because it represents the various kinds of hearts. If there is a failure in reaping, such cannot be blamed on the Seed, for therein is the God-given power to germinate and reproduce. James wrote that we should “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Peter declared that we have “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23). Wherein is the failure to produce? It must be in the soil or the heart of a man. Some hearts are like the hard ground, while others are like the stony or thorny ground. Please notice the following observations.

  1. In order for the Seed (the Word) to be effective and to produce, the soil (the heart – mind or soul) must necessarily be prepared in order to receive the Seed (the Word or Gospel). It is written that Rehoboam did that which was evil “because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord” (2 Chronicles 12:14). In contrast, we read of a faithful servant of God. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).
  2. The Seed (the Gospel) must be sown (preached). The Seed (the Word) must be sown (taught). This is the responsibility of sowers (Christians). Jesus commanded His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone (Mark 16:15). The more seed that is sown, the greater the harvest will be. Are we sowing the Seed of the kingdom as we should?
  3. The Seed (the Word) will always produce after its kind. In Genesis 1:11-12, we learn, “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” This principle is true in the moral and spiritual kingdom, too. The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

Whenever the Gospel of Christ is taught and obeyed, only Christians and churches of Jesus Christ are produced. One can be a Christian today just like in the first century by obeying the same Gospel of Jesus Christ. When a penitent believer is immersed in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, the Lord adds that person to His church (Acts 2:36-38, 47). The Word of God only produces Christians only!

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