Today, the world wants to destroy what the Bible says. If we do not continuously yearn to learn more what what the Bible says, we will be destroyed by a lack of knowledge.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.–Hosea 4:6
Israel had broken covenant with God, worshiped other gods, and had changed their glory into shame. The lack of knowledge of God leads to ignorance about God and to demonic deception, spiritual darkness and eventually destruction as the fruit of our own ways. Let me be clear. . . information does not save anyone. Only a relational and covenantal knowledge of God by faith is redemptive and can save us from deception and destruction.
So why do we need knowledge?
Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”
First, seeking knowledge is how we build a relationship with God. It is how we learn more about him. Just as when I was dating my wife, I wanted to find out more and more about here. What her likes and dislikes were. What made her happy and what made her sad. This is no different when we are trying to find out about God. We find out what pleases him and what displeases him.
Second, knowledge alone will not save our souls, but it does build a foundation. That foundation is built on what God expects out of us or his commands. His desire for our lives and biblical events that have occurred. We learn of his love and grace for us. Knowledge helps us when we struggle, when we feel tempted; we know better even though our thoughts tell us differently.
If we’re not consistently seeking knowledge, just as Hosea says, we will be destroyed. I talked about knowledge being like a foundation, our home’s foundation will need maintenance and care over the years so it does not crumble and become destroyed. Our spiritual knowledge needs continuous maintenance, i.e. refreshing or expanding on what we know. The world wants to destroy what the Bible says. We need to make sure we are always seeking knowledge to ensure we have the truth and to also expand on our knowledge. The world wants to eat away at our beliefs. If we do not consistently go to our standard (the Bible) to check to see what the world says compared to the Bible, our spiritual life will be destroyed.
Sometimes you have to get dirty if you want to get the job done right.
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.–Proverbs 14:4
We’ve heard everyone say, “there are pros and cons to it.” This is kind of how I look at this verse. Oxen are a sizable expense, they cost a lot to feed, you have to clean out their stalls, you have to have shelter for them, and so on. On the other side of that oxen make plowing a field much easier and you can get it done faster, you can haul heavy loads with them, and use them for multiple other jobs.
Many times in life we don’t do something because it’s going to take some extra work, we’re going to have to get dirty. What we don’t always see is the benefit of that extra work or getting dirty. Or we say it is cheaper to buy this tool but if we bought a little bit better tool it wouldn’t break on us. I have a buddy that is always buying cheap tools. He mocked me for buying a $150 drill. I’ve had that drill for 10+ years, he has went through 6 drills. Guess who has actually paid more money in drills? My buddy has.
Sometimes we need the right tool for the job. I remember when I was working on the deck and pulling up the top boards to replace them. There was a nail in the post that was attached to the top board on the deck. My reciprocating saw was in the back of the garage behind some other stuff that would have to be moved. So I grabbed the crowbar and a couple other tools that were easily accessible and tried to remove that board. It didn’t work, and eventually I gave up and got the reciprocating saw. Guess what? I had the right tool and quickly cut the nail and was able to remove the board.
That’s what we do a lot of times, we try to go the easy route and we end up wasting more time than if we got the right tool to do the job. Cutting corners does not get us anywhere except regret. Sometimes we just need to get dirty to have the right tool.
This also goes for our spiritual life. Having the right tools to help us grow in our spiritual life is key. Buying the right books and study materials are key. Don’t just buy junk, because you get what you pay for.
Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior. Almost all of us in our life will at some point be giving discipline.
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.–Proverbs 13:24
Discipline is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a very good thing. It is what causes us to change. In no way do promote beating your child. I personally am a firm believer in giving spankings, but there is a right time and a wrong time to do it, and a right and wrong way to do it. You have to be in control of your emotions.
Giving discipline does not only apply to children, but to everyone that we may be in charge of or mentoring. Nobody likes to discipline someone, or if they do, there probably needs to be some soul searching. But discipline is a necessary act at times to correct behavior. In fact, it’s an act of love, because we want to correct the other person’s behavior. Sometimes that person’s current behavior can be dangerous for themselves and needs to be changed.
When we have to give discipline we should always do it as quickly as we can to the event that needs to be corrected. It should be given when we are in control of our emotions. When discipline is given, it should always be explained why it is being given. There should be communication on what needs to happen for it not to happen again. Last, there should always be follow up.
We receive discipline from God because he loves us. It is no different than us correcting our children, subordinates at work, or ones we are disciplining. He wants to keep us from doing wrong, from going down the wrong path. We always look at when someone gets onto us, as them being mean, but in reality, it’s them loving us so that we don’t get hurt. God loves us and only wants the best for us, so if he’s disciplining us, it is to correct our behavior so that we become better. It is not for his enjoyment.