“What Am I Still Lacking?”

Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler

When we begin reading the account of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22), we read of one who seemed to be a good man with a good attitude who showed a lot of promise in becoming a disciple of Christ. Notice the good qualities we are told about this man:

  1. He was spiritually minded – He was interested in eternal life and came to Jesus in order to find out how to obtain it (Matthew 19:16).
  2. He was religious – When Jesus listed some of the commandments that he needed to keep, the young man said, “All these things I have kept” (Matthew 19:20).
  3. He was interested in improving his service to God – After affirming that he had been keeping the commandments that Jesus mentioned, he asked, “What am I still lacking?” (Matthew 19:20).

Unfortunately, despite the promise that he showed initially, in the end he “went away grieving” (Matthew 19:22), presumably because he was unwilling to do what Jesus told him to do – sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him (Matthew 19:21).

We need to be like the rich young ruler in the sense that we desire to grow and improve our service to God. However, unlike the rich young ruler, we must also be willing to do the work that is necessary to improve or fix what is lacking in our lives.

We might ask the same question as this man: “What am I still lacking?” Let us notice some things that might be lacking in our service to God so we can see the areas in which we may need to improve.
Continue Reading

The Application of Wisdom: Character (Part 2)

Notes on Proverbs

In addition to the lessons we can learn from the seven abominations, there are other character traits that one will gain from his pursuit of the wisdom that comes from above.
Continue Reading

"They Have Obeyed Their Father’s Command" (8/17)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Jeremiah 35-37.

The Lord told Jeremiah to go to the Rechabites, bring them to the house of the Lord, and give them wine to drink (Jeremiah 35:2). This was not an endorsement of the consumption of alcohol, but there was a point to this. Notice the response of these men to the offering of wine:

We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, not to drink wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons or daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; and we do not have vineyard or field or seed. We have only dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and have done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us” (Jeremiah 35:8-10).

These were grown men (evidenced by the fact that they had wives and children). They were free to make their own choices about drinking wine, dwelling in houses, and tending to fields or vineyards. But their continued obedience to the will of the earthly father indicates a deep respect for him, especially since following these instructions would mean living a very different lifestyle than their fellow countrymen.
Continue Reading

Like a City Without Walls (6/17)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Proverbs 25-26.

Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit” (Proverbs 25:28).

Building walls around a city was a “great and extensive” work (Nehemiah 4:19). So why is it that so much time, effort, and resources would be used to construct these walls? It is because the walls had a very practical and necessary purpose. They were to help protect the city in the event of an attack.

Understanding the purpose of the city walls is essential to understanding this proverb from Solomon. One who cannot control himself if vulnerable.
Continue Reading

The Older Women Must Teach the Young Women

Mother, daughter, and baby

In many ways, our society’s norms and values are quite different from those found in the Bible, particularly in regard to the role and responsibilities of women. Paul instructed Titus to teach the older women about what they were to teach to the younger women. These lessons are still needed today.

Older women likewise are to be… teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2:3-5).

Paul mentioned seven lessons the older women were to teach to the younger women. Let us consider each one briefly.
Continue Reading