by Stan Mitchell
“Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying …” (Matthew 5:1-2, ESV).
I had been teaching Henry about Christ for around six weeks, every Monday night when he announced he was being transferred to a city about eight hours away. I told him he still had a lot to learn, and he agreed, so about a month after he settled in his new home, I agreed to travel down to the southern part of Zimbabwe and meet him. We would have Friday night, Saturday and Sunday for intensive Bible study. I was thrilled (what preacher wouldn’t be?) with his eagerness.
Little did I know.
That Friday afternoon I arrived at his house. There was Henry, waving his straw hat from the front verandah, and Marion, his pretty wife. But when I walked into his living room … there were close to thirty of Henry’s neighbors and friends, Bibles open, hearts too, also eager for an intensive study of God’s word.
I thought to myself: “Something like this may never happen again. You had better take advantage of it, and do them justice!”
I think of Peter, arriving in the home of a gentile centurion, and finding himself surrounded by a crowd of eager, hungry men and women (Acts 10:24).
likewise I think of the Lord, a multitude ranged around him on a mountainside, faces eager, lives in need of godly teaching, hearts open to what he would say.
It’s a humbling experience, there’s no doubt about that.
So many people eat nothing but spiritual Hostess Cupcakes and twinkies, junkfood that is undoubtedly sweet and a momentary delight, but hardly nutritious. You could starve on emotional food like that! Even those who don’t realize it in fact crave the real thing, the sturdy, nutritious word of God taught in its fullness.
Those of us who provide the nutrients should ensure that it is balanced, nutritious, and from the Lord. Nothing less will do.
by Stan Mitchell