Forthright Magazine

‘I hate every wrong path’

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¶ Commenting on Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer in Matthew, the writer says in the Oxford Bible Commentary:

One can embrace death because one hopes it a good (so Plato’s Socrates) or one can resist it because one thinks it an evil (…). Jesus does neither. Although he recoils from death, or at least crucifixion, his course is fixed by the will of God, and this overrides whatever beliefs or feelings he has about death. For Jesus the issue is not death but submission to the divine will: ‘Thy will be done’ (p. 880).

Might every follower of Jesus adopt the same course for life!

¶ Here’s a fine little outline for teachers and other messengers of truth, based on Ps 119.104: “I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.” Through love and obedience we find the way to:

  1. A sound mind (understanding, grasping and discerning the truth).
  2. Reliable emotions (hate).
  3. Right living (path).

The points are from J.A. Motyer, “Psalms”, New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, p. 569.

¶ A few weeks ago it was a pleasure to host a hundred men and women (and 20 children), in two simultaneous events in the same location, for an all-day mega-training. Six speakers in each event held our attention in an intensive study. The men spoke to men about preaching; the women, about teaching. The children also had their own activities.

The faith of the brother with whom I worked, Rodrigo from Campinas, made this mountain move, along with several others. I just took care of a few details.

¶ Last Saturday, Rodrigo, another brother (Marcos), and I met to evaluate the training day. All opinions were positive, with some improvements needed, as can always be made. We agreed to plan two more similar training events, one for December, another for July of next year. The next one will focus on personal evangelism, which precious few know how to do. Do you?

¶ Three good men were appointed yesterday as elders in the Bonocô congregation in the city of Salvador. It’s a pleasure to see such signs of maturity in the churches. May God give us more such men!

¶ Some think the church of God is walking now in the darkest valley of danger. (See Ps 23.4.) Indeed, there are threats without and wolves within. We are not yet being burned on stakes to provide light for the emperor, however. The times call for wisdom and discernment. The Good News still must go forward. Never can we let heads bow, arms droop, or feet falter.

Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong. Everything you do should be done in love. 1Cor 16.13-14.


J. Randal Matheny
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