Saturday, April 26, 2014


Bobservations Column
by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

As parents train up their children, there comes the time to entrust them with a level of responsibility. It is the measure of the efficacy of our parental training and its effect on our children. Every generation does it for the next one following.

Without this relinquishment of parental control, we might never know what our children have learned, and how well they, in-turn, learn to adapt godly values to new situations they will inevitable encounter.

Today’s reading in Luke exemplifies Jesus’ training of the Apostles, and their taking the Gospel out into nearby towns and villages. They return and report back to Jesus of what they accomplished in their short travels. Jesus’ training of them had gone well. He empowered them, and sent them, and they returned after their first successful missionary journeys, as nearby as they were.

Much later on, in Acts 1:8, Jesus tells them that they will again be empowered to go out and be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth. Jesus completed the Apostles’ training in three and one-half years.

Our Psalm today, #81, is a Psalm of judgment. Specific to a Jewish Feast Day, it reminds us of how easily we can be distracted and not do the things God has given us to do, even as we celebrate His feasts! For the Jews, they would not hearken unto the Lord God. Asaph writes this song about God’s promises, and ultimately the rejection of them.

In grace, God let them go their own way, yet He did not forget His chosen people. Though they lost favor with the Lord, they did not lose His love. He taught them, trained them, and sent them out. They came back empty handed, and in worse shape than before, compounding their trials with their own iniquities.

Things have not changed in the 3,000 years since Asaph and David penned the Psalms. It is said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expect somehow a different result from our efforts. History will repeat itself until we learn God’s lessons, take His training to heart, and perform that which we have learned at His feet. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he shall not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6) God treats us as His children, with teaching and training, and with the encouragement to train others. The ball is in our court in this generation. But let’s not forget the most important thing: Empowerment from on High !

It was the Holy Spirit Who preceded Jonah going into that wicked city of Ninevah!

Let’s not forget this part of the lesson! Empowerment already given!

“But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit…He shall teach you all things, and remind you of all that the Lord has spoken.”
~ John 14:26 paraphrased

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