When I arrived home last Friday night from the Memphis School of Preaching Lectureship, after unloading the car, I attempted to check my e-mail. When I turned on my computer there was a message on the screen that put terror in my heart.
I did not know what that meant, but it offered to fix the problem. So being that trusting person I am, I told it to go for it. What it did was lock itself up so completely that I couldn’t get any thing to work. Both of my sermon outlines, the bulletin and my class notes for Sunday were now gone! I cannot describe the panic and despair that overwhelmed me.
Then, someone reminded me that I had preached sermons and taught classes for years before I had a computer. (Yes, I am that old.) This started me thinking about how much I had been depending on a machine that had turned on me with out warning.
So Saturday night after spending seven hours at a Bible Bowl, I sat down to prepare my sermons and my class for the next day. Amazingly enough I still remembered how to outline a lesson with a pencil (the original word processor) and paper. To shorten a long story, I was able to deliver two sermons and teach a class on the book of Joshua. But we did not have a bulletin.
Why am I bothering to tell this tale of woe? I am relaying this experience to remind us that we need to depend upon ourselves more in our efforts to study God‘s Word. We, too often, rely on others to study for us and tell us what the Bible says and how to apply it to our lives. Instead, we need to study for ourselves. It also reminded me to not accept every false offer of help. I have since been told that I should not have allowed the computer to fix itself.
We can find many who are willing to help us on our journey to Heaven. But to accept their help can be even more disastrous than the offer by my computer. It seems that most of the files on it can be recovered, but to accept many of the offers of help in the spiritual realm can condemn us to being destroyed for eternity.
We are encouraged in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. It is important that we correctly study the word ourselves and not just believe and do as we are told by well intended or otherwise helpers. Daily prayer and daily Bible study will ensure that should our source of earthly help fail, we will not feel the panic and despair that overwhelmed me last Friday night because we have our Heavenly Father.
-- Don Treadway, April 2002 --