WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 23, 2020
TOPIC: WHAT ARE PEOPLE LEARNING FROM YOU?
BY T. O. BANSO
“You learned about God’s grace from Epaphras, whom we love. He works together with us and is a faithful servant of Christ for us” (Colossians 1:7 New Century Version).
People learn from you by what you say and do. They listen to you and learn; they also observe what you do and learn. In a way, everyone is a teacher! What are you teaching others through your speech and actions? What are others learning from you?
It starts from the home where the parents are the first ‘teachers’ sometimes assisted by the other older members of the family. This is before the child starts being taught in the church and in the school.
As a father or mother, what are your children learning from you? Someone said his mother taught him how to worry. She was a great worrier! To her, not to worry over any matter shows a lack of seriousness. But the Bible tells us that worry achieves nothing.
Luke 12:25-28 says, “And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?” (New King James Version).
But this person learnt worrying from his mother. He had to unlearn that. Compare that person to Timothy whom Paul said had the genuine faith, which dwelt first in his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5).
The Rechabites learnt from their ancestor, Jehonadab, not to drink wine. Not even Prophet Jeremiah, used by God to test them in order to teach the Israelites a lesson, could make them drink it (Jeremiah 35). What are your children learning from you?
Some people learnt lying, violence, anger, etc from their parents. For instance, Athaliah, wife of Jehoram (or Joram), son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah might have learnt wickedness from Jezebel, who, most probably was her mother; the Bible describes her as the daughter of Ahab king of Israel.
Athaliah’s husband, Jehoram, reigned for only eight years before he died. His son, Ahaziah, succeded him but died after only one year on the throne. When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she desired the throne and consequently ruthlessly murdered all her grandsons.
Only the infant, Joash, escaped; Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash, hid him and his nurse in the bedroom. He was hidden with her in the house of the LORD for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land. But in the seventh year, the high priest, Jehoiada, brought out Joash, put the crown on him, and declare him the king.
Consequently, the guards removed Athaliah from the Temple to avoid defiling the Temple with her blood and killed her (2 Kings 11:1-16; 2 Chronicles 22:10-12; 23:1-20). Like mother, like daughter. Just like her mother did in Israel, Athaliah introduced Baal worship in Judah. What are your children learning from you?
Epaphras founded the church at Colosse. He was like their pastor. Apparently, after being converted at Ephesus, he took the gospel to Colosse. Writing to the Colossian church, Paul told them, “You learned about God’s grace from Epaphras, whom we love. He works together with us and is a faithful servant of Christ for us” (Colossians 1:7 New Century Version).
The Colossian church learnt from Epaphras God’s grace. Pastor, what are your members learning or have learnt from you? Salvation, holiness, sanctification, faith, reverence for God, etc.? Or have they learnt lying, deceit, fake prophecy, manipulation, immorality, etc. Obviously, no pastor learnt from Christ the list of the evil things I mentioned.
Paul said, “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24 New King James Version).
What are people learning from you? Who did you learn them from? Paul told the Philippians, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9 New King James Version). Obviously, he could speak confidently that way because he was following Christ. He told the Corinthians to imitate him, just as he also imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
God said the Israelites mingled with the Gentiles and learned their works (Psalm 106:35). If you’ve learnt some sinful practices or things inconsistent with the Bible, repent of them now and obey the Word of God. You should continue with the right things you’ve learnt and learn even more right things. “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (2 Timothy 3:14 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: My children and other people will not learn evil things from my words or actions. My words or actions will not teach them evil practices. My children and other people will not learn evil practices from me. Holy Spirit, help me to continue with the right things I’ve learnt and learn even more right things.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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