Somehow, in our upbringing as children, and further onward down the journey, we learned to quote scriptures. The first verse, had only two words; it was our beginning in getting to know God’s word. As we began to grow up, we started hearing about the need for more intense knowledge about His ways. In particular, the words and scriptures spoken by the Apostles. In some of our groups, it might appear, that we knew more about what they said, than what the words of Christ were. That’s amiss.
I don’t think we’ll discuss in length, all the scriptures we know about doctrine, baptism and the God-head. Never think we are saying, that these things are not of utmost importance; they are. In this part of my journey lately, I have often wondered, just why is it, that we know so many scriptures about some things, and very little about others. I don’t want to suggest it was pick and choose. It could be, that those who instructed many of us, spoke with all the understanding they had at the time. We may have learned it, from those who came before us. There’s always more to be revealed.
How many scripture verses, can you quote about lifting up your brothers and sisters? I’m not sure we realize, just how many times the apostles preached this; all of them.
Encouragement, was a very high priority among those in the early church. Could it be, that the verse that turns more people off, or brings the most silence or disinterest, is that one about “bear ye one anothers burdens”?
Some have asked why I speak so much about what was in the prior days; they suggest it is living in the past. A truth may be, that if we could recall how it was in the beginning, we’d be quick to see that things we see in churches today, are perhaps, not right at all.
Times change; we all know that. But the Holy Ghost doesn’t. It seems clear, that the early apostles and prophets, knew what the followers of Christ would go through. They also knew, that the deeper you were used by the Spirit, and the more gifts you were given to manifest, the more great oppression and heart pain. If there was ever anyone who needed encouragement, it was these guys. I don’t know how we seem to get away from some of the verses they taught; such as the word “tender.” They taught us that we should be “longsuffering” toward one another; gentle and meek.
God gifted many of us with talents of playing instruments and also singing. Someone once told me, you already know you’re good; so why should you need a compliment. Oh, for a deeper walk in the Spirit, so that we could see beyond their face; those who try so hard to appear as though they have everything together.
As I have gotten older, I understand more and more, what that saying was, that what goes around, comes around. Sooner or later, if we do not see the need to compliment others, you won’t be receiving any yourself. Stay in that mode where we can’t find the true spirit of encouraging and lifting up others, and we can be sure, that at a point when we seriously need it for us and ours, it will not be there.
This “look at me” syndrome, that permeates so much in what we call our society and our church, has been very destructive. It has left loving and caring souls, pushed back, sidelined; struggling to keep their head up, and can’t find anyone to help them. This last day symptom of “lovers of themselves,” is here. And it is rampant.
Lifting up each other, is Christ. The fruit of the Spirit, is that which determines who is in the Spirit. One of the saddest things to me that ever happened in the church, was when people in dire need, felt they could not trust anyone there. I need lifting up. One of our callings today, is to search for people who need our help. Give them love; even if we didn’t get it ourselves. Be, a child of God.
~ Robert Blackburn