Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple, Yet Difficult

~ Veronica Brown

This is what I think of when I think of poaching an egg. It’s supposed to be simple right? It’s just an egg and some water. Yet, it’s something that can take a lot of practice in order to perfect. The temperature and movement of the water have to be just right. Even the type of egg can determine the success or failure of the operation. Well, sometimes the process of teaching or explaining God’s word to someone can be likened to the process of poaching an egg.
Some time ago one of our boys’ memory verses was Colossians 3:17—“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” It’s a pretty simple verse to memorize really. It flows well and we often sing a song that’s written around this verse. No problem….until it came to the explanation and understanding of this verse. I soon learned that the concept of “in the name of” was not an easy one for our youngest to grasp at that time. And to compound the problem, the more I tried to explain it to him the more I received the “deer in the headlights” look.  My little egg wanted to learn what “in the name of the Lord” meant but the cook (me!) didn’t have the temperature and movement of the water quite right.
That being said I’m sure anyone else would’ve been able to give a thorough and easy to understand explanation of the whole concept and you may be reading this right now thinking, “Poor child. I hope his Mama becomes a better Bible student soon!” That may be true but this situation did help me realize a couple of things. First, I realized that I probably take for granted what my children truly understand God’s Word to mean.  Therefore, I need to be more attentive to the verses we tend to just “throw around” assuming they are understood by their younger minds. Second, I realized that it’s easy to take for granted the things I think I know when I’m called upon to give a defense—whether to a child or an adult. So to the Book I went, thankful for another opportunity to teach and be taught.

With some thought and some study I soon formulated a way to explain the simple, yet difficult concept of “in the name of” to our son.  (If you’re interested, I included the “argument” at the end of this article.) So with information in hand I went to my little egg. And wouldn’t you know, once I had the temperature and movement of the water just right my young son’s mind eased into a more complete understanding of God’s word and, voila, I had a successful poach!
Isn’t it wonderful to be able to teach Bible truths to minds that have yet to be unadulterated by error or preconceived notions? In the world of cooking I learned that some eggs require a little vinegar to be added to the water first in order to help set the egg white. These eggs are usually the store bought, mass produced ones that have been processed to some degree and are therefore without their more natural coagulating properties. On the other hand, fresh farm eggs—those produced most naturally—do not require the addition of vinegar because they already contain that good and necessary poaching ingredient. Thankfully children are like those fresh, all natural farm eggs…..their minds are “unprocessed” and godly instruction sets well and easily in their minds. But there are plenty of eggs out there who sometimes just need a little vinegar. With wisdom and gentleness (Mt. 10:16) and a good knowledge of God’s word we can be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in us (I Peter 3:15).

“Whate’er you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord; do naught in name of man or creed, do all in the name of the Lord. Do all in His name. Do all in the name of the Lord. In word or deed as God decreed, do all in the name of the Lord.”
What follows is one way of explaining the concept of “in the name of”—

1.       God’s Son has a name and His name is Jesus. In Mark 9:7 God the Father said regarding Jesus, “This is My beloved Son! Hear Him!” How do we hear Jesus?

2.       People in the first century actually got to hear Jesus speak with their own ears and some even said, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (Jn. 7:46). What was so special about the way Jesus spoke?

3.       When Jesus spoke to the people He taught them great things. The apostle Matthew remarked that “He taught them as one having authority” (Mt. 7:29). This is what made His speaking unique and special. He taught with authority. What is authority?

4.       A simple Webster’s Dictionary definition is—“the power to command.” Jesus has the power to command. How much authority/power does Jesus have?

5.       Jesus Himself said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Mt. 28:18). Jesus has ALL authority/power to command. How do we know what Jesus commands?

6.       We have to hear His words. Since Jesus is no longer on the earth we can’t hear Him with our own ears but we can read the words that He spoke so long ago. In the Bible we read Jesus’ words. Therefore, the Bible contains the authority of Jesus.

7.       When we read His words we can learn what He commands of us. When we obey His commands we are obeying His authority—we are obeying His commands in His name.

8.       So, whatever I say with my words or do with my actions I need to be sure and do it all by the authority of Jesus—by making sure that what I am saying and doing is what Jesus said I should say and do.

9.       Finally, in all of this, give thanks to God the Father—the One who said, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Veronica is blessed to be the wife of Clint Brown who currently preaches for the Farmersville church of Christ in North Texas. She is also blessed to be a stay at home mom and to have two boys: Jeremy (13) and Joshua (12). She has been a preacher's wife, Bible class teacher, Ladies Bible class teacher, missionary, and a host of other things for the Lord for the past 15 years and she is thankful for every moment God uses to mold her into His image.

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