By Bobbie Jean Cook Burnett
Much is said today about surviving. We hear educators saying, “In order for our children to do more than just survive in today’s schools, teachers must challenge them each day to achieve their potential and soar to newer heights of learning.”
Business men emphasize the need for employers to do all they can to make sure their workplace is one that will survive when others may fail.
The entertainment world spends billions of dollars to ensure that their ratings will be at the top. Each network wishes to be the one that excels all others. They know that this is what they must do to survive.
Have you ever taken the time to really look at that word survive? Look at it closely, and you will notice the two ingredients that are necessary for any survival of perilous situations. They are U and I. Yes, you and I are the ingredients to assure survival.
You and I are the ones who must “be diligent to present ourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” as Timothy reminds us in 2 Timothy 2:15.
Through diligent study we can provide the spiritual nourishment that will help us survive in a world so full of sin. As we fortify ourselves, we will be able to instruct others to godliness and faithfulness and thereby help them to survive so they, too, may teach others about God’s grace which called us to be saints (2 Tim. 2:2; Rom. 1:7).
You and I can strengthen our chances to survive wickedness by having faith which is the route to God’s saving grace that Paul told the Romans about (Rom. 5:1-2).
Only when we acted upon our faith did we repent of our sins as Luke tells us in Luke 13:3,5. Also, Peter told the people on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church of our Lord, that they would have to repent if they wished to survive damnation (Acts 2:38).
Once we acted upon that faith which caused us to repent, we confessed that precious name of Jesus as the Ethiopian eunuch did in Acts 8:37.
This same faith catapulted us to be baptized for the remission of sins as commanded of us in Acts 10:48 and 2:38.
You and I can continue to survive when we show love for our brethren as we read in Romans 13:8, 1 Peter 1:22, Hebrews 13:1, and many other places too numerous to mention in this short article. You and I can survive many obstacles if we would practice hospitality in our homes. This would eliminate even the thoughts of brethren engaging in social activities in the church buildings. We would avoid the condemning words of Paul when he wrote to the Corinthian brethren in 1 Corinthians 11:22. Also, we would do well to remember Paul’s words in Romans 12:13.
Elders can help the church survive slumps of spiritual depression by adhering to the admonition of Paul to Titus when the Holy Spirit guided him to write that :hey were to be hospitable.
You and I can assist spiritually to survive in our lives if we practice what Peter said in 1 Peter 4:9. It is one thing for you and me to be hospitable, but when we practice hospitality, Peter reminds us that it is not to be done by grumbling about having to do it but rather do it without grumbling.
Why not now resolve to do all we can to help the church survive in this old world of sin an strife? Remember it is us, U and I who can do this.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 17, p. 23-24
September 2, 1993