Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“...then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Deut. 6.12)
We live in a world that has forgotten our Creator. No wonder He forewarned us not to forget about Him (Deut. 6.10-19). While there are several reasons for this, consider the following two scenarios.
Scenario #1: Dinner must be cooked, the baby is screaming, kids have homework and practice, dad is grumpy from a long day at work. Everyone is tired. Everyone is ready to stop for the day. Sometimes it is never-ending. It’s time to relax.
Scenario #2: Life is great – no complaints. Everything is working in our favor. A recent promotion at work means big bucks, which is going to make life even easier.
Surely we can see how easy it is to forget about God in these two scenarios. We are either too busy or too blessed or both.
Fortunately, there are things in the Christian’s life that help keep God on our minds. A few of these things include the local church, the Lord’s Supper, our brethren, the Bible, the creation around us, and even pain and suffering.
Just imagine if our life was not full of pain, suffering, and affliction. Remember scenario #2? Would we ever look to God? Oftentimes wealth and an abundance of blessings harden our hearts (Matt. 19.16-26) where we cannot love God with all our heart (Matt. 22.37). David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word” (Psalm 119.67). Solomon wrote, “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God” (Prov. 30.7-9). See also Deut. 8.11-14. Like them, we too can forget what God has done for us.
Interestingly, when we forget God, especially as His children, we are testing Him. Read Deut. 6.16. How did the Israelites tempt God? By forgetting what the Lord had done for them and then requiring Him to prove His care for them! Read Exo. 17.1-7. After all God had accomplished they asked, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Additionally, when we forget God, we slowly but surely begin to neglect His commandments (Deut. 6.17; cf. 4.23; 8.11, 19). This causes us to go astray and practice all kinds of unrighteousness (see Romans 1). How often do we imitate these people? No wonder our Father is provoked with us at times.
Have you forgotten your Creator? When life is busy eliminate the unnecessary things that hinder our minds from focusing on God. When we are abundantly blessed look to God for thanksgiving. When we are suffering look to God for deliverance.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6.46, ESV)
In comparison with Jesus’ word above, let us also notice Jesus’ words elsewhere: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7.21) and “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15.8-9).
The religious world says we can be divided, we can practice a false religion, we can continue in sin, we can neglect to go to worship God, and we can choose to not be truly devoted to Him. However, as long as we claim “Christ as Lord” and occasionally tell people that we are “followers of Christ” or “believe in God” that we are “righteous” and heaven-bound. This is far from the truth. Jesus refutes these claims by teaching that we must not only call Him “Lord,” but fully trust and submit to His will in faithful obedience.
Are you one of the many who claims allegiance to Christ, and yet, upon honest examination of your life you know that your heart is far from Him? Let us help you learn about Christ and what it means to truly follow Him. Contact Bryan Garlock | Message us on Facebook | Call/text 903.308.4905
"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6.10, ESV)
A look through Scripture shows that the Christian family (brothers and sisters in Christ) are to care for one another (Acts 2.44-45; 4.32-37; 11.27-30, etc.). This is not to undermine others who are not Christians, but there are provisions put in place by God to help the needy saints first and foremost (1 Cor. 16.1-2). This is one way that God takes care of His faithful children as He has promised.
Now, as far as helping others, God sees to it that they are blessed too. His reasoning for that is so that they see Christians helping them and then desire to turn to God through the worthy deeds of saints (Gal. 6.10; Eph. 4.28; Heb. 13.16; Matt. 5.16, etc.).
So, we are to do good to all and especially to the household of faith because the household of faith has a family relationship that the world simply does not understand and never will. Family helps family first.
“…whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4.11, ESV).
There are many ways in which our speech can glorify God. Some of the ways are when we speak to God in prayer, in song (Col. 3.16), confess our Savior (Rom. 10.9), and speak to edify one another (Eph. 4.29).
In our text, simply speaking the oracles [words] of God brings glory to Him. When we as Christians speak His word in love we are glorifying Him. What a shame it is when we speak error or speak things contrary to His word! Everything we do, whether in our speech or in our service to Him and others, is to bring glory to God our Savior!
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…” (Heb. 6.1, ESV)
To be bear fruit as disciples of Jesus, we must grow in His word (2 Peter 3.18). It is only when we are growing and abounding in God’s word, faith, and love that we can “go on to maturity”. In fact, one of Paul’s purposes of preaching and teaching was that “we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1.28).
Why, then, do we not sometimes see growth in our life or the lives of other Christians? In Hebrews, the writer identified many reasons for a lack of spiritual growth. Let us notice a few of them.
Hebrews 5.11-6.6 reads, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
The Bible tells us that some had become dull of hearing (spiritual laziness in learning the word of God), had not grown enough (because they were stuck on a spiritual milk diet – the first principles of the Scriptures), would not allow the word to change them (where they could truly learn God’s will of what is right and wrong), and failed to “go on to maturity”, thereby leading some to fall away.
If we are not maturing in God’s word and if His love is not being perfected in us (see 1 John 2.5), then we are dull of hearing and are developing an unbelief that leads to falling away from God.
Can we help you grow to be a mature person in Christ? If you are not a disciple of Jesus, then first things first! Become a Christian by obeying the gospel and then let us help you. Contact us today! E-mail | Message us on Facebook | Call/text 903.308.4905