Know Your Bible

VOL. 13                                                                                                                          July 6, 2014                                                                                                                            NO. 18



Children can influence their parents just as parents can influence their children. The following story about an imaginary couple may have been duplicated in the lives of many of our readers.

George and Mary were a wonderful couple as they began their life together. Throughout their youth they had received strong teaching concerning worldliness, and their conduct showed the effects of that teaching. They had been taught faithfulness in attendance, and they never missed a service for "anything.” In character and conviction, they were blameless.

This young couple failed, however, to instill into the hearts of their children these same convictions. Consequently, as the children reached their teens, they began to put pressure on their parents to let them do what all the other young people were doing. Gradually the will of the parents was broken down, and they began to permit their children to do things they never dreamed their children would ever do.

Rationalization came easy for George and Mary. "After all, the Bible is not specific in these matters," they thought. "The Bible says ' modest apparel ', but it doesn't define modesty." "And, they're only planning to go to the dance; they aren't planning to dance.” “We can't say ' no ' to everything, " they said.  When Junior began to show unusual athletic ability, the question of attending services became a problem. At first they took Junior out of games and brought him to midweek services, but then the team began to depend more and more on him. The play-offs came, and the team's only hope in the play-offs was for Junior to play. George and Mary gave in. And once they had given in, they had no more argument for the future. Junior never missed another game to "go to church."

George and Mary often found themselves on the defensive in Bible classes. They began to argue for their children's behavior. And, the more accustomed they became to their children's actions, the more innocent theirs actions seemed to be. Eventually, their own conduct became affected. They reached the point where they thought nothing of missing on Friday night during a meeting to see Junior play ball. Mary even adopted some of the daughter's dress habits, although remaining sufficiently "discreet" to stay in the good graces of the brethren. Yes, George and Mary are still in good standing in the church, and their change has been so gradual that many fail to realize that they are not the strong Christians they formerly were. What happened to George and Mary? Instead of bringing their children "up" in the nurture and admonition of the "Lord", their children brought them "down" in the nurture and admonition of the devil. "

Our children may do wrong, but they must not do wrong with our permission. We do not seek anger, but repentance. Parents, would your names fit in the place of "George" and "Mary" in the above story? 

—Bill Hall

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This seems like an odd question but God directed this very question to Moses. Moses was at the burning bush and God was giving him instructions on leading the Israelites out of Egypt. On this day Moses was full of excuses. In Exodus 3:11, Moses was told that he had been chosen to lead   this deliverance. Moses replied with an excuse in the form of a question, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” Moses was using his insecurities to avoid doing the job God had chosen for him. Shortly after Moses made another excuse in the form of a complaint, “Behold they will not believe   me.” He was overwhelmed by the job and was looking for a way out. God continually reinforces his decision in Moses. Moses tries once again to    get out of the job by informing God of his short falls, “I am not eloquent... I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” God answers Moses with our 

question in Exodus 4.


Exodus 4:11-12: “And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind?    Have not I the Lord?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

This statement is close to what we call sarcasm. God is letting Moses know that He understands fully the choice that He made. Moses has        continually told God that he is an inferior choice and that God has made a mistake. God through these two questions informs Moses that He is fully aware of who he is, what the people will believe and how good Moses can use his tongue.

We are very similar to Moses today when we do not do what God asks of us. We make similar excuses as attempts to be lazy. Let us look at our ability to study.

2 Timothy2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Excuses used for poor study habits: (1) I have never been a good reader. (2) I can’t remember scriptures. (3) I don’t know where to start. (4) I   am too busy to read.

These excuses are similar to those Moses made. Are we saying that God has made us inferior and we cannot accomplish what has been            commanded? Or maybe we are saying that He has given us more to do than we can handle. Let us redirect our focus now to attendance.

Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Excuses used for poor attendance: (1) I am not able to sit through a Bible class and the worship. (2) I am not able to get up that early on           Sunday. (3) It is too much trouble to get the children ready for services. (4) If I attend Sunday night I will not be able to get anything else done.

Likewise, has God asked too much of us? Did He cause us to be unable to get up, sit for two hours, or not get enough personal tasked               accomplished on Sunday? Has He blessed us with children so that it will be impossible to fulfill His other commands?

We could look at many more examples but the point has been made. I want to close by noticing how the conversation between God and Moses concluded. 

Exodus 4:13-14 (NKJV): “But he said, ‘O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.’ So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses. . .

Moses saw that his excuses where foolish before God. So the truth comes out, he is unwilling to obey.  Looking at the above excuses, we also  should be able to see that they are foolish when presented to God. The truth behind our excuses is summed up in the same manner; we just do not   want to do what is required of us. We can easily sit through a two hour movie, we get up before daybreak for work, and we get our children             prepared for school every day. We can remember hundreds or recipes, ball player stats, or gardening tips. We are capable of reading the newspaper  every morning or a three hundred page novel with ease. David says we are fearfully and wonderfully made and we will all agree, when it coincides with our personal desires.

God knows every hair on every head. He has not created an inferior being and then asked it to accomplish impossible tasks. Let us get to the    heart of the matter; we do what we want to do! God finished the discussion with, “Now therefore go...”. God will not be swayed by excuses, our jobs have been given, go do them.

—Verlin Cox

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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