The Teacher and His Words

“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37)

In many churches, teachers are in short supply. Evidently, many who have the Spirit-given gift of teaching are not using it as they should. On the other hand, a Christian must never assume the role of teacher without clear leading from above. As the teacher of the early Jerusalem church wrote, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1). Christ taught in our text that by our words we shall be judged and either justified or condemned. Since for “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36), how much more so will the words of a teacher be scrutinized, especially a teacher of the Word of God.

Another reason one should be slow to don the cloak of a teacher is that even a teacher finds it hard to live up to his own teachings. “For in many things we offend all [better, ‘we all stumble’]. If any man [stumble] not in word, the same is a perfect man” (James 3:2). Speaking of the Jewish teachers, Jesus instructed His listeners to do what their teachers said, not what they did (Matthew 23:3), and then He condemned hypocritical teachers with seven stinging “woes” (vv. 13-33).

The proper use of the teaching gift perhaps yields greater honor than most but also greater condemnation if error or hurt creeps in. The church does need all the gifts and should not neglect any genuinely Spirit-given gifts of its members.

Nevertheless, one might contemplate the aggressive, anti-creationist stance taken by many professors at evangelical churches, colleges, and seminaries today, teaching theistic evolution, the day-age theory, framework hypothesis, etc., and wonder if Christ’s reference to the “millstone” around the neck might apply (Luke 17:2). JDM


 From The Insitute for Creation Research

What’s It Worth To You?

Marred in the Master's hands

(29) And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field and he was faint: (30) And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage, for I am faint: therefore was his named called Edom. (31) And Jacob said, Sell me this day your birthright. (32) And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? (33) And Jacob said, swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. (34) Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25: 29-34)

In order for us to better understand the absurdity of Esau selling his birthright. We must first understand what the birthright is and what it represented…

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How Forgiveness Frees Us, Day 1

Today’s reading is drawn from Genesis 33:4-11.

The last time they had seen each other, Esau was plotting to murder his brother, Jacob (see Genesis 27:41-45). As the years passed, Esau learned to embrace forgiveness. And once he had forgiven his brother, he no longer demanded repayment or restitution. Esau had made the choice to set Jacob free from any remaining debt.

Nothing promotes reconciliation more than forgiveness. To forgive someone means to let him or her off the hook or to cancel a debt owed. When we refuse to forgive someone, we still want something from that person, and even if it is revenge that we want, it keeps us tied to the person forever.

Refusing to forgive a family member is one of the main reasons people are stuck for years, unable to separate from their dysfunctional families. They still want something from their family. It is much better to receive grace from God, who has something to give and to forgive those who have nothing with which to repay their debt. This ends the suffering because it ends the wish for repayment that is never forthcoming, and which makes the heart sick because the hope is deferred (see Proverbs 13:12).

If we do not forgive, we are demanding something our offender does not choose to give, even if it is only confession. This “ties” the person to us. If we come from a toxic family situation and have been waiting for something before we can forgive, we need to let go. If we cut loose the ties, we will be free. We will be free in forgiveness.

 Bible Gateway

The Marriage and Family Life Reading Plan, Day 3

Today’s reading is drawn from Exodus 12:26, 1 Corinthians 13:11, and Ephesians 6:4.

Focus on the Relationship

One day I asked the students in my sixth grade Sunday school class, “Do you guys know what a clean kitchen looks like?” They all started laughing and said, “Yeah, we know what it looks like.”

“So” I said, “Why don’t you do it?”

They all replied, “We like to aggravate you guys. We like to get to you.” It is fascinating that by age twelve our children know what they ought to do, but they try to be obstinate. They may begin to look something like adults, but they’re not. We have to remember we’re raising children, so we shouldn’t be surprised when they act childishly. They have to be taught the significance of important things, because they won’t get it on their own.

First Corinthians 13:11 says that maturity involves putting away childish things. As parents, we need to first teach our children basic life skills, and then train them through demonstration and practice. If they get something wrong, we gently correct them. But if they are stubborn or rebellious, we may need to discipline them while making sure we are not provoking them to anger (Eph. 6:4).

When we assign chores and then follow up to make sure they’ve been completed, we need to inspect what we expect. We also want to make sure we don’t lose our relationship with our child. If we get so angry that we begin to sever that relationship, then we, as the adults, need to remind ourselves of what’s really important.

Bible Gateway