- Matthew 13:52 (NKJV) Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
This week my Bible reading took me through the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. I was impressed in both cases with the effort that went into instilling the word of God in the people.
For example, both Ezra and Nehemiah record how the spiritual leaders of the nation would read the entire Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) aloud to the people, taking the time to explain it to them as they went along. But what really got my attention was the long recitation of the history of the nation (see Nehemiah 9). If you think about this, this occurs often in the Bible—even in the New Testament. (Remember Stephen’s long recounting of the history of the Jewish people in Acts 7?)Why is this? You’d think they remember their own history. However, that was not the case, seen by the ample examples of the backslidings of the nation. Moreover, that is not the case today.
Do not assume your people know the Bible. Unless your church has a very strong commitment to Christian Education and has had years of pastors that preached strong biblically based sermons and your people took notes and studied on their own at home (sadly, a rare occurrence on all accounts), then your people probably do not know the Bible like they ought.
In addition, do not assume the new people who come to your church know God’s revelation to the human race either. Every new generation that comes to your church must be taught the old, old story—whether they are 8 or 80.
This is the thought I want to leave with you today: Resist the temptation of feeling like you have to always come up with something new and innovative from the Scriptures you teach and preach. Far too often, in your efforts to come up with something “new” you come up with something askew—to sound doctrine (Titus 1:9).
Hearing your people say, “I’ve never heard that before!” is nice; but hearing them say, “It was good to be reminded” is usually better.