Summary: Part 03 of Lesson 09 of the Follow Me Series
Followers Are Good Stewards
Part 03 of Lesson 09 of the Follow Me Series
1 Tim 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Our key verse for this series of studies on ‘Follow Me’ has been 1 Tim 3:14-15. The reasoning behind this is as followers of the Living God, there is a certain manner in which we ought to conduct ourselves in and out of the house of God. The church is a living organism and belongs to the Lord. Therefore, each of us ought to know how …to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, 1 Th 4:4. That is, our body is sanctified unto the Lord so that all that is accomplished is to honor Him.
I recall many years ago my parents giving me explicit instructions: “Behave yourself!” I was told this several times at church, and each time I left home on excursions with my friends, that commanded went with me: ‘Behave yourself!’ There was not doubt in my mind what my parents meant. I still carry those solemn words with me today: “Behave yourself!”
The instructions on proper behavior were started very early in my life. There was seldom any doubt in my little mind as to what was or was not bad behaviour. I knew the consequences of improper behavior: correction.
Prov 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Foolishness was bound in my heart. I got it as an inheritance from my dad. My dad got it from his dad, who got it from his dad. This foolish inheritance, handed down from Adam, is bound in all our hearts. Even the new birth will not rid us of it. What the new birth does is it gives us our only avenue of controlling those foolish impulses that can get us in more trouble than we can get out of in this life.
If moms and dads do not deal with the foolishness bound in the hearts of their children, that foolishness will manifest itself at every opportunity. The only way to address it is for dedicated parents to beat it out of us. (Perhaps that is why my dad was often heard saying, “If you do not behave, I am going to beat the devil out of you!” Ü
A righteous respect of authority instilled in our hearts at an early age from our parents will carry over into our Christian life as well. Does it guarantee that each of us will always make the right decision? No, but for those of us that attempt to follow the Lord, the work accomplished by our parents in the areas of conduct, exhorts us to have greater respect for God’s words in our heart and in the application of His precepts and principles in our daily existence.
The key to us becoming faithful followers of the Lord is love, discipline, and obedience. If our parents did not put those redeeming qualities in our life at an early age, and if one is accustomed to doing things according to that song “My Way,” their maturing process in the Lord may be one of difficulties. It can be done through loving the Lord more than self, and by exercising self-discipline so that obedience to the words of God are second nature. If we fail to be faithful followers, then as our parents righteously punished us for bad behaviour, so also will our heavenly Father, Heb 12:6.
There is an old law that states something to the effect: “Two matters can not occupy the same space.” A classic example is two cars meeting head on in an intersection. The injuries and damages suffered are in direct relation to the impact of the objects.
This same concept is true in spiritual matters as well. The bible tells us that a man cannot serve two masters. He will hate one and love the other, Mat 6:24. As injury was inflicted by impact in the car crash at the intersections, so also will harm befall the person attempting to serve two masters. This injury may be physical or it may be spiritual. Regardless, the pain will be real.
From that passage in Proverbs relating to foolishness being bound in the heart of child, an important spiritual precept is learned and that precept is: ‘if we do not remove foolishness from our heart, we will be hindered in bringing forth the good treasures placed there by our Creator.