What Do I Write?
By: Brian A. Yeager
When teaching the word of God there is always the challenge of knowing what to teach to help someone to be saved. Jude said: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Jude had intended to write about the common salvation of saints, but it was needful to write about defending the truth against false teachers. Jude was an inspired man (II Timothy 3:16-17). He had a slight advantage (an understatement, for sure) in that the Holy Spirit moved His pen (I Corinthians 2:9-13).
As I sit and write this article I know that I too must consider what is needful for those whom I know will be reading this article. I know some who read this article are babes and will choke on meat if I give too much (Hebrews 5:12-14). I know that some who will read this article are carnally minded and will not understand the spiritual principles we will be discussing (I Corinthians 3:1-3). Yet, I am challenged with the fact that what I do teach or do not teach will ultimately aid or hurt me in the Judgment (James 3:1). This burden is much to carry. Yet, I know the task at hand and the punishment for failure. I am more than willing, with fully understanding the punishment (Matthew 25:41; 46), to risk my soul to help save others (Romans 9:1-3).
Thus, as I ponder what Scriptural truths to discuss in this article I am reflecting on those whom I know will read this article. Here in El Paso, I am sorry to say that some do not pick up this weekly bulletin. While I do not take a count of who is reading this, I can count how many I put out each week and how many are still left. I know of two brethren, locally, who read this article online and do not take a hard copy. Yet, the ones I’d like to teach the most are those whom I am unsure of whether or not they read this article on a weekly basis. So, if you’re reading this article, let me know (even if you’re reading it on the Internet). I’d like to be sure of whom it is that I am teaching each week. Don’t assume that I know you read this either. Picking it up in front of me is not evidence that you read and study what is contained in this weekly material I distribute.
When I know, for sure, who it is I am teaching I am much more capable of writing relevant material that will truly aid YOU in YOUR studies of God’s word. I will know when I should write something to remind you of what you already know (II Peter 1:13-15 and II Peter 3:1-2). I will know when to dig a little deeper for those who are meat eaters (Proverbs 1:5-6). When I know those whom I am teaching I am capable of timing messages to uplift (Proverbs 12:25 and Proverbs 15:23) or even those times when a rebuke is necessary (Proverbs 27:5-6, II Timothy 4:2, and Revelation 3:19). Ultimately, when I know people are really hungry for the truth I love, as a teacher, to serve a full meal (I Peter 2:1-3; cf. Luke 4:4). On the other hand, if my efforts to teach are wasted due to a lack of interest in the word of God, I’d rather find something more profitable to do (Proverbs 23:9 and Matthew 10:14).
Some Biblical Subjects I Considered For This Week’s Article…
Knowing some brethren, who SHOULD be reading this article, I thought about some of their recent mistakes in decision-making. If I knew, for sure, that these folks I have in mind were reading this weekly article I would have written a reminder about how the Lord needs to be the center of our lives (Colossians 3:1-4). Do you remember how Martha was overly concerned about meaningless things while Mary had “chosen that good part” (Luke 10:38-42)? The Lord was not pleased with Martha. To follow our Savior you have to put aside your interest and always put His will first (Matthew 16:24-27). Some of our brethren have recently considered doing some things that would have ended up in a conflict between their desires and the Lord’s will. While brethren have stepped up, it would be nice to have known I could use this article to support what has already been said and done.
I thought about writing this article on the subject of negative attitudes. Yes, we see some of that amongst brethren some times. Now, how can we profess to be God’s people when we are always so miserable (Psalms 144:15, Psalms 146:5, and I Peter 1:8)? Are we not supposed to be a people who shine as lights in the world without complaining all of the time (Philippians 2:14-16)?
As I thought about writing about negative attitudes, it struck me that I’ve taught on this subject several times. I thought about how those who needed to hear or read those lessons have already heard or read those lessons. Yet, change hasn’t been so evident. That led me down the road to thoughts about another lesson.
The next consideration of this article was the subject of being hearers without being doers. When I thought of the discussions, classes, sermons, and articles I have used over the years to teach people who heard and did not, I thought of a lot of people. I then thought about Ezekiel. God told Ezekiel that people came to hear him teach the truth, but that they really were not listening. They viewed Ezekiel as entertainment. Sadly, the Lord told Ezekiel that they’d later realize that Ezekiel wasn’t just a lovely song (Ezekiel 33:30-33). Brethren, the truth is not to be heard or read and then left to your ears or eyes. God expects us to live those things that we learn from His word (Romans 2:13 and James 1:21-27).
I know that people who do not apply the truth aren’t going to learn from another lesson about applying the truth. Thus, I thought about writing to those who seem to benefit from the things that are written in this weekly article. I thought of a lot of people that benefit from these things. I know many read, learn, and apply the truths we’re blessed to study together. However, heaviness filled my heart as I thought of how I’d leave the ninety-nine if I could just reach one who is not benefiting for the sharing of the truth in this weekly article (cf. Matthew 18:12-13 and Luke 15:3-7).
I know this article is a little different. However, there are many lessons that have been included in this article that we all can learn from. Additionally, there is the request that I have made in this article. I hope you will help me be a better teacher by helping me know what to write. Please, understand that teaching is a mutual responsibility. The existence of good teaching requires good students (Nehemiah 8:1-8)! Help me to be a good teacher.
Volume 12 – Issue 35 - May 20th, 2012