June 21, 2011

Jeremiah 31:34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the LORD.

The thing that jumps out at me from this portion of a verse is that until the fulfillment of the promise in verse 33, of God writing His Law on each person’s heart, each person should be teaching his neighbor, saying “know the Lord.” At this point there are millions who do not know the Lord, so it is imperative that those who do know Him, teach them. This is what the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is all about. I run into so many people who think they are unqualified to teach anyone about God. If they know Him at all, they are a big step ahead of a lot of the people around them! “Social security” in the kingdom of God is superb, but it is very different from what we know in the world today, because no one is expected not to work. Churches are filled with “pew warmers” because of the false dichotomy of clergy and laity, the pros and the amateurs. Everyone has a different job description, but everyone has a job. There is no unemployment in the kingdom of God! Those who aren’t working are either ignorant of what their job is, or they are skipping work.

This has certainly been a major issue in my life, particularly for as long as I have been a pastor. The irony of it is that there is nothing more rewarding than being used by God to communicate His truth to someone, yet people run from it. My job is to equip them to better be able to share their faith and the truth of God, but that’s not to be like putting them into Saul’s armor. The boy David wisely knew that it didn’t fit, and would get in the way more than it would help. (1 Samuel 17:38-39) Most of the “personal evangelism” systems I’ve seen have been very much like that. I am to deepen each believer’s personal knowledge of God and His Word, and then help them see how they can apply and communicate that in their own environment to their family and friends. I don’t live in their home, and I didn’t grow up with the same cultural mindset they and their neighbors did. I need to give them information, and I need to be a channel of courage and determination to them. I can’t generate those things in them, but God can do it through me. When that happens, they will be disciples indeed.

Father, thank You again for this period of discipleship training You have us in. Actually, that’s a description of the life of every believer, but some accept the training better than others. Help me be a good disciple and lead others to do the same, so that together we may be powerfully effective in Your kingdom, bringing in many, many more, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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