Posted by: peebles | April 7, 2009

1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) ~ When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) ~ When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
 

Many years ago, when I was just a young boy still in primary school, every Easter time, we would walk from the school grounds to the local church, for an Easter service. The trouble with it was, you more often than not were made to hold hands with someone you did not get on with in class. The teacher would call it “character building”. I was only six years old at the time, and there we were walking down to the church, like a flock of sheep lead by the “shepherd teacher”. No talking was allowed, as we walked almost in a regimental fashion as soldiers learning to march on a parade ground.
 
Just before we made our way into church, the teacher told us to be on our best behaviour. As we sat in the pews, some of the boys where told to sit on their hands (I still, to this day, have no idea why the teacher told them to do it). Then, if the teacher saw that you were smiling during the service you were told off. So I grew up thinking that if you smiled in church during the service, you were doing something wrong. No laughing was allowed, nor was there any joy to be shown. Also, in church you had to leave with a somber face, almost a frown; a very serious demeanour. The more severe your frown, the more spirituality you some how attained too.  
 
However, as a young boy watching the minister tell us the Easter story all about Jesus, I can so vividly remember saying to myself, “When I grow up, that is what I want to do. I want to tell people about Jesus. I want to preach the gospel.” 
 
I am now 42 years young. Every day now, I find myself falling in love with Jesus all over again. I enjoy reading my Bible, and when I get the opportunity, I love to tell people about Jesus. I also love to preach the gospel, whenever I am asked to do so.
 
I often think of all my old primary classroom friends and wonder what has become of them.
 
“Oh what happened to you whatever happened to me?
What became of the people we used to be?”
 
Sadly, I am but one of only two, out of 30 students within that primary school class, who gave their lives to Jesus. Some of them are now dead, some have drinking problems, drug addiction problems and broken lives, while others have a family with children of their own.  We have grown up, and we have moved on. We are no longer children. We now look to build a bright future for the next generation who will be God-centred and full of kingdom living.
 
My friend, when I was a child, I reasoned as a child, but now I am a man and I have put childish ways behind me. When I was a child, the word “accountability” was a word that I thought had something to do with mathematics and arithmetic, but I now have responsibilities and I know to whom I am accountable. My past carefree life as a child is long gone. Therefore, I now look to the future; a future which is full of optimism, where I have high hopes for better things. I have a very positive outlook because Jesus is the centre of my life. I have a hope that when I go to church with my “family”, that there will be joy in the house of my Father God; there will be laughter and there will be respect. I believe it is a place of life-changing purpose, a place of empowerment and a place of character building through Godly Kingdom principles. It is a place where we learn about Jesus and then go and tell the good new about the glorious Easter story of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, burial and glorious resurrection from the dead on Easter morning. 
 
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. This world in which we live is looking for men of God to be men of God, to be good shepherds, to be spiritual priests over their households, to lead by example and follow Jesus with all our hearts. May we men rise up and take the up reins and take hold of the baton of the gospel for our generation. May we be men full of Godly character, filled with Godly wisdom, Christ like compassion and power in the Holy Spirit. Real men who do not shun away from our responsibilities, and rise up for the Kingdom of God to preach the gospel with the powerful message of His Resurrection, so that the children of today will be inspired to fall in love with Jesus and follow him.
 
God bless you my friend, Matthew.

 


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