A man once remarked to Samuel Coleridge, as they walked in his garden, “I do not intend to teach my child any religion. He can choose for himself when he is old enough.”
Coleridge replied, “That is a marvelous idea! I believe I’ll try that in my garden. I will just wait and see what wants to grow, instead of planting.”
His shocked guest exclaimed, “But weeds will take it.”
Replied Mr. Coleridge, “Weeds also will grow unbidden in the heart of a child without proper spiritual teaching.”
God, from the beginning of His dealings with man, has demanded service. Thus, it is not necessary to do something bad to be lost; doing nothing also brings condemnation. When Jesus pictured the judgment in Matt. 25, separation of saved and lost was determined by: “Ye did it ye did it not.” He did not name murderers and thieves and liars in that passage, just those who neglected to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the oppressed. Neglect in many areas of life endangers all of us.
Train up a child in the way he should go. Proverbs 22:6. Parents have grave obligations to children. When Jesus returned to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary, the Book tells us: “He advanced on wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52. Parents, then should provide for their children in four areas of life: physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual. It is ridiculous to provide for their intellectual development by sending them to school, then wash our hands of any obligation for spiritual training. Both are necessary. God’s commendation of the faith of Timothy - 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15, “…was that faith dealt first in thy grandmother, Lois, and in thy mother, Eunice. And that from a babe thou has known the Holy Scriptures, which is able to make you wise unto salvation.” Col 1:9 - “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
Parents must mediate on God’s word day and night and teach their train their children how and set the proper example. Ephesians 6:4 –
“ Ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath; but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.” Just as surely as fathers provide shoes and food for their children, they must provide spiritual training. Genesis 18:19 – “I know that Abraham will command his children and his household and they shall keep the way of the Lord. Children deserve the right example in the lives of their parents and other church members. In 1 Kings 15:26 the Bible says that Nadab did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father and in his sin.
There must be the right example set by Christians to our family and to the world. Proverbs 14:34 - “RIGHTEOUSNESS exalted a nation; but sin is a reproach to any nation.” Actions speak louder than words. MORAL actions and examples will determine the course of life of others. Matt. 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” All people need to do is neglect the church, and it will die. Christ loved the church, and Christians are the church. Ephesians 2:19 – “Ye are fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God and one body in Christ and severally members one of another.” Therefore, we should have the same care one for another.
Love and real concern for others do not just happen in the church. These things must be cultivated with love and concern with humility. Too many people neglect the needs of the church, then the weeds take over. Let us learn to put the church first, as Jesus said in Heb. 10:25 – “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together. 1Cor 16:2 – “Give liberally and cheerfully.” With love for the church, which means love or other members, being constantly cultivated, you will help the growth of the church and prevent the weeds of Satan from taking over.
What despair David must have felt like many today when he penned Psalm 142 – “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me, NO MAN CARED FOR MY SOUL.” There must be many today in the depths of sin who feel the same way David did. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Because Christ cares, He willingly went to the cross for us. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. So, must we. We must care enough to see them and teach them. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Mark 15:15-16 – “Soldiers at the foot of the cross did not care at the suffering of Jesus. They simply sat and watched him there. Matt 27:36. The gospel of Jesus is the power of God unto salvation. Rom 1:16.
Please come and join us for worship at Piney Church of Christ, Rhinehart Parkway, Spencer, Tennessee, at 10:30 a.m., Sunday.