"Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
A friend once told the poet Coleridge he didn't believe in giving religious instruction to a small child. He insisted that every young person must have an open mind when he chooses his faith. Without replying to this statements, Coleridge invited his visitor into the backyard to look at his garden. The man was surprised to see that part of it was badly in need of attention. "Why, you have nothing here but weeds!" he exclaimed. The poet answered, "I didn't wish to infringe in any way upon the liberty of this plot of ground, so I gave it a chance to express itself and choose its own product." The guest got the point!
The application is obvious. If a youngster is permitted to grow up without spiritual training and loving discipline, he will develop wrong attitudes and bad habits. Our text in the King James Version reads, "Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it." This is a solemn injunction with a wonderful promise. But a more literal translation is, "Train up a child in his own way, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Stated like this, it is a strong warning. If a boy or girl is allowed to follow his own wilful desires, he will remain a selfish person all through life.
It doesn't really matter which of these readings you give to Proverbs 22:6, for they are two sides of the same coin. A child needs both biblical teaching and wise correction. Without them he will develop aimlessly like an uncultivated garden! You must plant the seeds and pull out the weeds! (H.V.L)
Then shape their lives while they are young,
The children change so fast;
Quickly they harden in the mold,
When plastic years are past. (Nicholson, alt.)
Rearing children is like drafting a blueprint; you have to know where to draw the line.
Our daily Bread, RBC ministries, Copyright (1974), Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted permission)
N.J. Hiebert # 2276
What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
And when ye stand praying forgive." (Mark 11:24-26)
Are any of us cherishing an unforgiving spirit? It will prove a great hindrance to our prayers being answered. And the same thing will probably happen if we keep for ourselves what should be given to God. There is no man so poor as the man who is always saving. It is well to remember the words of the wise king: "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." And while it is always true that God in His grace deals with us far above what we deserve, yet in government He deals with us very much as we deal with Him and with one another, With the merciful Thou wild show Thyself merciful; with an upright man Thou wilt show Thyself upright; with the pure Thou wilt show Thyself pure; and with the froward Thou wilt show Thyself froward." (Psalm 18:25,26) (C.H. Brown)
N.J. Hiebert # 2277
"A Lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Peter 1:19)
Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, came to earth to bear away our sins. After the carnage of the cross, He was still the spotless Lamb of God. In an attempt to save a patient's life, a surgeon removed a malignant tumor. The effort was in vain, but in the process he nicked his left hand with a scalpel. Six months later, the doctor noted a mass growing on his left palm. It proved to be a cancer identical to that of his patient. Christ bore out foul sin upon Himself but did not, and could not, become infected by it. Today we worship a Lamb who is spotless, peerless, glorified. (D. Logan)
N.J. Hiebert # 2278
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans . . .thou art neither cold nor hot . . .
and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable,
and poor, and blind, and naked . . ."
Knowledge is not faith, and principles are not power. It is a mistake to think the one or the other, however much the Holy Spirit may use the knowledge of the Word and principles of truth for our guidance and blessing. The Laodicean element, alas! so rife on every hand, is what we have most to dread. And while Laodiceanism is lifeless profession - "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" - the spirit of it is indifference to Christ and His claims; and it may - alas, does - cast its blight over true saints of God. Many of God's children are suffering in their souls from lack of spiritual acquaintance with God's mind as revealed in the Scriptures of eternal truth; but this is not the root of the palsied state of a large number of those who profess to be God's saints. God be praised for those who know, on the infallible authority of His Word brought home to their hearts by His Spirit, that they are "sons of God" by faith in Christ Jesus, and abound with praise and thanksgiving because of it. (H.H.S.)
N.J. Hiebert # 2279
An oversight - (bishop - from Greek - EPISKOPOS - one who watches over)
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof ... neither as lord over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear ..." (1 Peter 5:2-4)
The natural man transforms oversight into a place of authority
The spiritual man performs oversight as a place of responsibility
The natural man in oversight leaps over others and seeks to rule them
The spiritual man in oversight stoops below others and seeks to serve them
The natural man, when challenged, insists on oversight
The spiritual man, when challenged, persists in oversight
(Le Lien Fraternel - Mediation 118)
N.J. Hiebert # 2280
"We love because He first loved us. . . . And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loveth God love his brother also." (1 John 4:19,21)
When Eve was taken out of Adam, she had no will divergent from his - I speak of the time previous to sin coming in. So in the church, Christ's body, there is but one will, and that is Christ's. Practically there is no way of peace save in the putting off the old man and putting on the new. Then there is no opportunity for discord: there is one will only, the will of Christ, and that will is love. When the Lord Jesus gave a commandment (and His commandment is the expression of Himself) it was, "Love one another as I have loved you." There is no room for discord where Christ's will rules. . . . We never do fully come to peace until we come to the one body which is Christ's body. "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body." The church is taken from Christ, and is ruled by His will. I believe that is the force of the Headship; the various members of my body move at the dictation of my head, and so the will of Christ rules the body, and where love rules there can be no discord. Where discord exists saints are not walking in love. (Helps for the Poor of the Flock)
N.J. Hiebert # 2281
"Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
What is prayer, but the breathing forth of that grace which is breathed into the soul by the Holy Spirit? When God breathed into man the breath of life, he became a living soul; so when God breathes into the creature the breath of spiritual life, he becomes a praying soul: "Behold, he prayeth," (Acts 9:11), said God of Paul to Ananias. Praying is the same to the new creature, as crying to the natural. The child is not learned by art to cry, but by nature - it comes into the world crying. Praying is not a lesson got by forms and rules of art, but flowing from principles of new life. (William Gurnall - The Christian in Complete Armour - Gleaned form the complete work published in 1665)
N.J. Hiebert # 2282