YOUR JUNK DRAWER

YOUR JUNK DRAWER

 

Sunday’s Column: Learning From Lehman

Dale Wiley

 
I read recently that one of the fastest growing business is storage units, closely following the Dollar General Stores. People have more ‘stuff’ than places to put them.
 
In our house, we have storage units we like to call  ‘Junk Drawers’. If we have an unexpected visitor we’ll do a swipe of stuff into the nearest drawer to hide all remnants of our ‘clutter’. I recently performed an ‘uncluttering’ and found some interesting items I forgot still existed. 
 
Items included:
  • 10 old TV remote control batteries that I hoped would regenerate but found that it wasn’t meant to be. 
  • 62 ink pens, each representing one of our many banks in the area. 
  • A 5 year old receipt from Auto Zone on a lawn mower battery with a 24 month guarantee. 
  • Some eclipse glasses from our big one 3 years ago. We have to be ready for the next one.
  • A receipt from Jim Fuqua Appliance Repair dated 1987. Although we don’t have the washing machine and Jim has since retired, a lifetime guarantee was promised and I holding him to it.
  • And finally, a love letter from my fiancé from 1972. After 48 yrs of marriage, She was disappointed to find it was in the junk drawer, but is now happy to have it framed and hanging on our bedroom wall.
 
You know, it’s hard to throw away old stuff and our old ways.
Eph 4:21-24 says to get rid of the Old Self and to put on the New Self.
Col 3:9-10 says to lay aside the Old Self and put on the New Self.
 
It could be that the drawers represent our lives. What we put in the drawers or leave in the drawers is up to us. We have the freedom to fill our lives with ‘junk’ or rubbish or with whatever the world gives us, or we can make sure we put  ‘in the drawer’ The things of Christ. 
 
Paul, in his letter to the church of Ephesus, pointed out some things that may be in the drawers of our lives, that we need to make a conscious decision to avoid, to lay aside, and to clear out. Look to Eph 4:17-32. Especially clear out  deceit, falsehood, anger, unwholesome words, bitterness, wrath, slander, and malice. But what happens if we just clear out the junk and then put the drawers back into the cabinet, empty?  How long will that cabinet stay empty? 
 
A 17th Century philosopher wrote, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in every person that can only be filled by the Creator and He is made known through Jesus Christ”. 
 
So, we just can’t leave the drawers of our lives empty…because something or someone or specifically the devil is always ready to creep in and fill it up again.  First Peter 5:8 reminds us to be vigilant against that adversary waiting to devour us..
 
Find the open, self-explanatory solutions to our ‘Junk Drawer’ dilemma in Col 3, 8-17.
 
  • Verse 8…To put them aside.
  • Verse 10..To put on the new self.
  • Verse 12..have a new heart.
  • Verse 13..To forgive.
  • Verse 15..Let the peace of Christ rule your heart.
  • And especially, “Beyond all things, Put on Love”. The perfect bond of unity, doing all things in the name of The Lord Jesus (Col. 3: 14-17). 
Are You Dogmatic?

Are You Dogmatic?

Neal Pollard

Brett Petrillo, one of my co-workers at Bear Valley, showed me a word (in Colossians 2:20) I did not know was in the Bible. Actually, it’s in the Greek Bible, and the word is “δογματίζω  (dogmatizo). According to BDAG, it means “to put under obligation by rules or ordinances; obligate” (Arndt, et al, 254). Kittel adds that these are rules that seem to be right but are put forward as if “to establish a decree” or “to publish an edict” (Kittel, et al, 178). The shorter form, “dogma,” is found a few times and simply means a formal, governmental decree that may or may not be in accordance with God’s will (Lk. 2:1; Acts 17:7; Heb. 11:23; it’s also used of the Old Law in Eph. 2:15 and Col. 2:14, translated as “ordinances” or “decrees”). In Colossians 2:20, the longer, verb form is translated “submit yourselves to decrees” (NASB), “submit to regulations” (ESV), “subject to ordinances” (KJV), and “submit to (the world’s) rules” (NIV). 

It was dogmatic people asking these Christians to submit to their rules. Paul describes and defines the specific rules in the circumstances plaguing the Colossians. Some were acting as their judge regarding food, drink, festivals and days (16), adding fleshly (and, in some cases, heretical) requirements (18), and making rules which did not originate with Christ (21) that he describes as “the commandments and teachings of men” (22). Paul condemns such rule making (19,23). 

How does this teaching apply to us today? We are right to point out those who tell us we don’t have to obey things which God requires of us. Lessening God’s requirements in areas He holds us responsible for is spiritually fatal. This is replacing divine commands for human ordinances. 

Yet, we cannot miss the point that the other extreme is just as wrong. To make laws, regulations, and commands and bind them upon brethren is still to replace divine commands for human ordinances. This very context points out how God feels about this.

The Lord does not need our help. He knew what His will for us was, and we cannot improve upon that. We must make sure that we’re not pressing our opinion, preference, tradition, or judgment, saying that such is the more righteous, spiritual, or godly course of action. If it is a matter of divine indifference, we should never make it a test of fellowship. Those who decide differently from us are not “less sound” or somehow “suspect.” A humble effort to follow God’s revelation will truly make us “people of the book.” To obligate people to more than that is to be “dogmatic.”

dogmatic

Gleanings From The 2016 Bear Valley Lectures

Gleanings From The 2016 Bear Valley Lectures

Neal Pollard

  • We were honored with so many, enthusiastic guests (not including speakers and their families, we had brothers and sisters attending from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming). Most of the Denver-metro area congregations had representation and nearly 30 congregations throughout the state were represented.
  • We were blessed by great congregational participation (this huge undertaking is underwritten financially by the Bear Valley Bible Institute and everyone associated with the school is involved in multiple tasks, but the Bear Valley congregation donated food, cooked for the banquet, helped set up, move things, and “break down” tables, chairs, providing security, coordinating parking, and the like, and attended in unprecedented fashion. From the leadership down, there was much support from the home crowd. This church is taking increasing “ownership” of this great, annual event).
  • We were reminded that God’s people want to hear from “The Book” (our textual studies continue to be popular with men, women, and teens. The ability to “walk through” a book of the Bible was met with constant, thoughtful compliments and enthusiasm! Letting God speak through His inspired Word is an unbeatable approach).
  • We were treated to great preaching and teaching throughout (it was put many ways, like “there was not a dud in the bunch,” “there was no let down, not even for one session,” and “there wasn’t a session you felt like you could skip to do something else.” That is a tribute to the men and women who handled their assignments so superlatively. So many good things were said about how rich and encouraging this year’s program was).
  • We were witnesses to continued growth (the first fact above gives insight into the fact that our attendance continues to climb.  We set attendance records at one session on Friday and five on Saturday, and we came close to matching records at several other sessions throughout the weekend. It was great seeing a “full house” throughout the lectureship).
  • We were made even more proud of our alumni (some of the most “rave reviews” about sessions concerned our alumni who spoke. We got to see and hear about the progress and success our graduates are having in their local works. So many of our former students showed up from near and far to support this year’s program. We learned at the banquet that, once again, a large number of our current student body received encouragement to come from our graduates. We want to deepen and strengthen our tie with the men who came through our school).
  • We were left anticipating an even better year next year (would you begin to make your plans, even now, to be a part of the 2017 Bear Valley Lectures? I hope so!).

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