Good morning! Learned, received, heard, seen. What do we mean here? It’s a perfect progression. We learn the truths of Scripture and, ultimately, about the person and work of Jesus in and through us. But it’s not enough just to learn, but to receive it—that is, to embrace it, surrender to it. Heard means the continual listening of the word either from the pulpit in the main gathering, or in discipleship and conversation. Seen means that you are seeing Christ exemplified in Paul and those around him. Take all of that, and put it into practice. Walk in the light.
It comes down to whether we really believe what God has said. It comes down to whether we are ready to learn and embrace it. It comes down to making sure we, like Christ, are ready to serve, not just to be served. You see, there’s an epidemic in our churches. Worse than the plague. It’s an epidemic of consumerism. Me-ism. If something doesn’t directly minister to someone, they will not be a part of it. Mark Dever once talked to an individual who loved Jesus and was doing many things for the Kingdom—but didn’t want to involve himself in church. Why? “Because they might slow him down.” Dever wisely said, “Did you ever think that God might want to use you to speed others up?”
That’s an epidemic in the church. We won’t connect with something that doesn’t directly minister to us—but maybe God is calling you to (1) be reminded of things as a safeguard for you –remember 3:1, but also (2) to remember that Jesus himself did not come to be served but to serve, and God is calling you to serve as well. It’s not about you. Say that with me: “Church is not about me!”
Matthew Henry once said, “Peace is such a precious jewel, that I would give anything for it but truth.” You see, friends, we fight for truth. But if truth of God’s Word is not a part of the contention, then we strive in humility to stay level-headed and look to restore. We go to our prince of peace in prayer, supplication and thanksgiving.
In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ. On the night before Ridley’s execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of assistance and comfort. Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life. Because he knew the peace of God, he could rest in the strength of the everlasting arms of his Lord to meet his need. So can we!