The Perceptive Householder

CC BY-NC, bittermelon, Flickr

CC BY-NC, bittermelon, Flickr

Something I do customarily is reread my essays and think through the lessons in them. That might seem strange to you, but it is incredibly consoling and affirming to my faith. In fact, I think it makes good sense.

If my writing reflects what I’m discovering in my walk with Christ, those chronicles exist to encourage me because they tell the story of Christ’s and my friendship. Moreover, they are tools with which I can appraise my growth, and they will forever testify of God’s faithfulness to me, helping me to trust him in the future.

Until recently all of these writings were simply buried in my computer. Then it occurred to me, What good is that? Could they not edify someone else?

What’s in Your Pantry?

Matthew 13:52 says, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” I love this verse…so eloquent and probing. It is also descriptive of the task of any minister or Christian worker—and us faith bloggers, too.

There are layers of insight in this verse. Jesus focuses us on the householder and his contribution, which is his wisdom about the kingdom. What we have to offer others (our treasure or deposit) is all we have learned and ascertained about God through his word and our experiences with him, insight about his past involvement in our lives—even while we were in sin—and things he currently teaches us. It is an exquisite concept.

How encouraging it is to know that every experience we have is capable of serving a need in someone else’s life. Today with one person we may need to share how we met the Lord years ago; tomorrow with another we may need to relay how God’s grace is helping us right now overcome a personal struggle.

“Things new and old” (NKJV), a revealing expression, indicates a bounty of wisdom that should characterize believers and their capacity to serve other’s needs.

Tongue of the Learned

Those “instructed concerning the kingdom” (NKJV) are disciples and if disciples, then stewards. We not only possess a trove of goods to offer others, we also have the facility, by virtue of our training (and ongoing discipleship), as well as the authority to perform as stewards, such as to provide, govern, protect, and defend.

Don’t let that be strange to you. Your knowledge of Christ right now can nourish and sustain, bring accountability, and protect and defend through prayer and guidance—those who are our Christian brothers and sisters and equally those currently in the clutches of sin and evil.

As stewards we work on the behalf of Christ. We labor for the Lord; the souls to whom we minister belong to him. We endeavor to claim all for the kingdom of God. The apostle Paul, especially in the Pastoral Epistles, presents to us a clear example of how our full ministry serves God’s purpose.

So if you haven’t gotten the message yet, Jesus is speaking directly to each of us saying, “You are without excuse: you have something to contribute.” It’s easy to feel like we’re novices and don’t know enough Bible or don’t compare to other strong Christians. But none of us get passes here.

Of the kingdom we’ve been instructed and for the kingdom we must share. What God teaches us must flow through us. Although there is much similarity in our experience with Christ, none of our experiences are alike. Because of that we have an obligation to one another as brothers and sisters to share what we uniquely possess of Christ to build each other’s faith. We don’t withhold helpful knowledge from our natural siblings; we shouldn’t do it with our spiritual ones.

Fit Christians

None of it will do any good, however, if we don’t bring these lessons, experiences, reflections, and illuminations out of the storerooms and share them. “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thess. 5:11).

An African preacher spoke in my college chapel service exhorting us all to be “fit” Christians, not “fat” ones. The point was not to constantly ingest the word but never exercise it.

How you feel called to exercise the word is not the important thing. What is important is that you be active with what you possess. The lessons in your life, rich as they are, belong to others besides you.

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5 thoughts on “The Perceptive Householder

  1. Thanks! I wasn’t sure if I should “bring out of the storehouse the new treasures I’ve received from the Lord.” After reading your post, I know that I am doing the right thing.

    This was very good. I’m adding it to my “keepers” – and will reblog on Sunday, if that’s okay with you. 🙂

    \o/

  2. “Fit” but not “fat” – so true! Many Christians love to ingest the Word – they roam the internet looking for Christian podcasts and sign up for seminars. But they fail to exercise their faith, to get out there and share their experiences, knowledge and the gospel with others.

    Obeying God’s laws is good. But “…but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)

    • You know, I need to reactivate in many ways myself. It’s really amazing how much more we receive when we are constantly giving. That’s interesting because it’s the miracles of the fishes and loaves all over again: what we offer he uses, but he also adds to what we offer. I love the scripture you added. Thanks for reading.

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