I Have Watched You
I have watched you in complete wonderment. We have been studying Hebrews since the first of the year and it does not appear that you have tired of it at all. Not only that, some of the lessons have had to go a little long because they did not have a breaking point. Yet, you never complained. I have not heard the first one.
This could be because you are so polite. Or, it could be that you are feeling fed and nourished. I haven’t noticed you asleep, so I know it cannot be that. I choose to believe that you are receiving something through this study that you find enlightening and useful.
We have set out on a quest over the last two years to build our faith. There is trouble out there on the horizon. I do not know how far away it is, but it is coming. The demographics of our world are changing and from the looks of things, we are not going to like it. It is not just this country… it is the world. I don’t want to get paranoid here. I just want to be cautious.
No matter what comes or goes, faith is still our best choice in life. It has to be cultivated and kept. It has to be groomed and fed, and I am so proud of you for taking that road.
I’ve talked with a few other preachers about what they are doing and what we are doing and most of them have commented that their people would never stand for that kind of long and strung out sermon material. I suspect that is true. It is much easier to hear a four point didi and not have to be challenged with much. That’s not to say that there is not a place for the four point didi. There is… sometimes.
I am excited because you are learning to see the difference between the critical and the important. All of it is important, but not all of it is critical… and seeing the difference is sometimes a challenge.
It amazes me how much the problems we face now are so very much like the problems our brothers and sisters faced back in the Bible days. They are dressed and packaged differently, but they are about the same none the less. If the truth be known, they had it a whole lot rougher than we do… and they survived because of their faith.
A little fluff and rah-rah is fine sometimes. It’s kind of like eating ice cream. It is fun to eat ice cream every once in a while, but if you eat it all the time you will swell up, get fat and lazy. It is not good for you nor to you. But, taken in moderation, ice cream is great… so is a little rah-rah.
Churches today are having a plague that is moving across this country. People want to feel good. They want to go to church and step out of the front door onto a cloud. There is nothing wrong with that in moderation. But a steady diet of that will spiritually starve a church to death. We would be nothing more than walking bags of skeletons. I seriously doubt that we really want that. We might be poorly nourished and dying on the vine, but, man would we feel good.
I watch you. I’ve watched you grow. I’ve watched you probe for yourselves. I’ve heard the questions and the statements that reflect these things. And when I do, I thank God for what I see and hear. I can never take you where you need to be. All I can do is clear a little brush here and there until we can find a trail on which to walk. And if we don’t find the trail, we will just keep cutting brush until we come out somewhere.
I watch you. I hear the reflections of things you learn in the prayers that are prayed and the words of encouragement that come from you to others. I know you are growing and developing into something different from the norm. I want that for you. I never want you to be proud or arrogant, but humble and submissive.
Learning things does not lift us up above others. It lowers us, teaching us that we don’t know as much as we thought we did. It teaches us to be patient with others because someone was patient with us. And, it teaches us that every time we think we have reached the top, we find ourselves on the bottom again and again. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
Well, I for one am proud of you. Have you arrived? No Sir! Have I? Certainly not! But I know this, we are moving in a direction toward light. And, if we continue to move in that direction, we will see and know less darkness… and for that I am grateful.
I guess you would call this a love letter. If you see it that way, so be it! As students, I have one aspiration for you. Whether it be me or another, the greatest compliment you can ever pay a teacher is that you excel beyond them. That is my hope and prayer for you concerning my work among you. If you do this, I will die a happy man. If I die before you get there, I’ll still die a happy man.
Always think for yourselves. Search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are true. Pray without ceasing and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the object of our growth!