Look for God's way in scripture
August 8, 2018
One of our relatives works a restaurant in another town and because we eat there often, we’re friends with several other employees. Recently while eating with our relative (we’ll call her employee No. 1), another employee (No. 2) came to the table saying she needed to restock something at the beverage service area, but she’d looked all over the stockroom and couldn’t find the supplies. Employee No. 1’s response was, “Are you sure? I thought we had plenty of that.” So, No. 1 goes to the stockroom and almost before No. 2 could finish saying, jokingly, “If she finds that stuff, I’ll kill her,” No. 1 shows up with an open-topped 5-gallon bucket full of the needed item. Apparently, it came in a familiarly marked box that No. 2 was looking for and which kept her from seeing the actual supplies in plain sight in the open bucket to which they’d been transferred for easier transport. I’m sure that wasn’t done as a trick on No. 2.
This incident brought a couple of things to mind.
First, churches in smaller communities like ours struggle with maintaining attendance numbers, not to mention experiencing any growth. There’re plenty of people around who don’t attend church, but whatever we’ve been doing to attract them and keep them isn’t working. Just like churches in larger cities where there are many distractions that interfere with church attendance, we must think outside the box for methods to reach others without changing the “old, old story” (1 Peter 1:23-25; Galatians 1:6-9). The Apostle Paul knew his audiences, Jewish or Gentile, and spoke on their level using whatever tactics he needed to get the “old, old story” across (Philippians 3:3-11; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 9:19-23; Romans 1:14-17). Although he was accused of trickery, Paul never used it because that’s Satan’s tactic, not God’s (2 Corinthians 12:11-18; 11:1-6; Acts 13:6-10).
Bias is one of Satan’s tactics of trickery. Just as No. 2 was looking for the supplies to be packaged in a particular way, we must be careful to not look for what we want to see in God’s word rather than looking for the truth (“the old, old story”) because that allows Satan to disguise the truth and mislead us (2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). We must set our heart on finding the truth (John 14:6; 8:31-32; Colossians 2:6-12)
Regarding Colossians 2:6-12, I think it’s interesting that Paul connected their (and our) baptism, as a work done on us by God, with fine sounding arguments, which now include teaching on salvation by faith alone that negates the requirement for baptism because we’re saved by grace and not any works WE do (Ephesians 2:1-9). Compare Ephesians 2:6 with Colossians 2:12, Romans 6:3-5, and Galatians 2:20-21. Interpreting scripture in light of the rest of the Bible to seek the truth will keep us from overlooking the truth and being outwitted by the deceitful schemes of the devil (2 Corinthians 2:11; 1 John 4:1-6; Ephesians 4:1-16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2:15).
What do you look for in scripture, your way or God’s way?
Leonard Lauriault writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]