This post is a letter to Linda about Steve’s thoughts from a Sunday School lesson.
Carlin taught our lesson today in Sunday School. He did very well. A couple of points that I thought you might be interested in were included in the lesson. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, those who lived in Philippi, Macedonia, (you can see this city on the Maps of Paul’s second journey in the Scriptures) was a letter of friendship, love and encouragement. One of the reasons he felt so close to these Saints may have been that Paul left his wife with the Saints in Philippi while he was incarcerated for 10 years in Rome.
Phil. 4:3-”I entreat thee dear yokefellow, help these women which labored with me . . . .” (Wilford Griggs, of course you remember him from Ed Week, explained that the meaning of the word ‘yokefellow’ as translated from the original Greek, meant ‘wife’.) Carlin quoted Br. Griggs and said that this meant Paul was married, left his wife with friends and Saints while he went to prison, and they cared for her, so now he asks her to help him care for these saints. This gives a little more meaning to the whole letter to the Philippians.
I was reading in the book “Come Let Us Adore Him” by Denver Snuffer this morning and noticed an important message. You may be interested in this. But you don’t have another copy of this book, do you? In chapter 10, ‘The Rich Young Man’, Snuffer talks about that incident when the rich young man came to ask Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life.
The whole story is quoted in the book. You remember that Christ told him to keep the commandments, which he had from his youth. The Lord then said he should sell all he had, give to the poor, and come follow him. He went away sorrowing because he had much treasure. We don’t even know this young man’s name. This event was just prior to the last weeks of Christ’s life. If he had followed Christ, he would have experienced raising Lazarus from the dead, the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, Gethsemane, the arrest and crucifixion of Christ. He may have even authored a book and we might know him much the same as we know Matthew, Mark and Luke. But now we don’t even have his name–just a rich young man who went away sorrowing.
To obtain the faith necessary for exaltation we are required to sacrifice all earthly things. IT WILL REQUIRE WHATEVER WE VALUE MOST TO BE SACRIFICED. Here I wrote in the margin ‘freedom, liberty, good name.’ So I had a conversation with Jim and Carlin and asked what if we sacrificed not voluntarily, but it was required of us. What do you think?
The consensus was that the sacrifice is the same whether it is voluntary or is taken from us. It becomes our reaction to the sacrifice that is important. What is our attitude. Do we accept it and go on? or do we become embittered and distanced from the Lord?
Snuffer goes on to say that “riches” can mean things other than monetary wealth. Things such as richness as a result of position, fame, power, reputation, or authority to rule over others (or judge them). “The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not demand we walk away from these “riches.” However, if asked, we should be willing to do so. We should treat each of our blessings as a stewardship entrusted to us as a gift from God, always subject to God’s request to return it to Him.” (page 187). He continues to mention businessmen, political leaders, those with fame in sports, entertainment, or as community leaders. “Any of the cares of this world can conflict with the cares of eternity.” Even authority in the priesthood.
“We should not let the opportunity for our own exaltation pass us by. When the Lord asks something of you, anything, of you, be prepared to give it. …what he is likely to ask of you will require you to resist unrighteousness. Be prepared. Do as He asks. Through it you will find eternal life.”
So I have been required to give up my freedom, liberty, reputation, license to practice law, my good name, etc. and some wealth. Things that I value most. To learn that the thing I really value most is my eternal companion, and my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And I think I’ve kept a pretty good attitude about it. The reward will be great, greater than the sacrifice.
I love you, Steve