By Kevin Van Wyk
At hole 6 of the men’s ministry golf outing, the men had to decide which club they would use for the entire hole. Some wrestled and debated for quite awhile before coming to a decision. While they fretted over that, I gave them a little Bible challenge before moving on.
One team, unknowingly, picked the two hardest questions first and missed them both, so I suggested a mandatory 2-hour Bible study after dinner if they missed the third question. Unfortunately, ;-) they got it right and made do with Doug’s devotional after dinner, which was some great stuff.
The Good News is that I did not have to remove any elders from the consistory due to a lack of Bible knowledge during the Bible Trivia portion of the men’s golf outing! The elders, actually, did very well and helped several teams easily pass the challenge by answering two of the three questions correctly to earn a 1 stroke advantage.
What does this have to do with tough decisions? It’s the why question… Why throw Bible trivia into a golf outing? It’s not to make them feel dumb or inadequate. It’s not to give them a break under a cool oak tree. No, we simply want you to know that the Bible matters. It matters far more than how well you hit a golf ball (which is a relief for many of us). It matters far more than how much you know about your profession. And it matters far more than how much you have in the bank.
Knowing and understanding the Bible is the foundation of faith, and it’s the foundation from which you can make good, godly decisions.
In Deuteronomy 1:13, Moses instructs the people to “Choose some wise, understanding, and respected men” to help lead. Take a look at these three key words…
“Wise” means that one is able to take knowledge and then make good ethical or godly decisions.
“Understanding” has a similar meaning with an emphasis on having knowledge and intelligence, but it, too, includes the idea of being discerning.
“Respected” may be translated as “known men” or “knowledgable men.” The NASB has “informed” while most others go more towards “known” or “respected.”
My point, and Moses’s point I believe, is that knowledge matters for decision-makers in the church. The knowledge Moses is concerned with is certainly the contents of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. While they did not all have copies to carry around, they did memorize the stories and the laws. “Wise, understanding, and respected leaders” knew these stories inside and out. They could tell these stories for hours and then explain the significance. That’s the kind of leaders Moses was looking for.
Let me give you some practical application:
May the Lord guide you and lead you to do what is good and right. May His hand nudge you and hold you tight. May He soften your heart to hear His voice and obey His call. Amen
By Pastor Kevin Van Wyk
Transitions are everywhere…
The consistory voted this month to send our formal request to transfer from the RCA to ARC (www.arc21.org). The Classis Servant Team (Executive Committee) has received it and is in process of creating a team to make a recommendation to the classis, which will likely vote on it on Nov. 2, 2021. This team will first meet with the consistory and then the congregation.
Annice moved to Prairie Ridge.
Sharon moved to the Christian Home.
Jerry and Dorothy moved to Wisconsin Rapids.
Al has transitioned to a large cast on his ankle.
Jason transitioned to a new job.
Others have finished school and are starting full-time work.
Others are adjusting to a baby in the house.
Others are adjusting to chemo or physical therapy.
We’re all transitioning to a post-mask world.
Some of these transitions are exciting and positive. We welcome the change.
However, some of these transitions are hard and frustrating. It’s these transitions, I want to speak to.
As Jesus prepared the disciples for life without his physical presence, he specifically called Peter to “feed my sheep” and even as he navigates a life where “when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go” (John 21:18 ESV), he is simply instructed to “follow me.” (John 21:19) While this passage speaks to Peter’s future death on the cross, the certain implication of “stretching out one’s hands”, there is a message for all of us.
As we navigate difficult transitions, Jesus calls us to follow him. In practical terms that means two things to me, if I can steal from the infamous hymn… trust and obey.
Following Jesus starts with the foundation of trusting him regardless of the situation. With our denominational change, I have several questions about how they will handle retirement, health insurance, and church-pastor conflicts. I, along with others, am asking the questions and giving some input, but ultimately we trust that God will take care of the details and lead us forward.
Following Jesus also means obeying his commands; to do what he would do and ultimately be like him. Doug and I will be hitting some of those key commands in the coming weeks. Consider two now…
So, I urge you in the midst of difficult transitions to trust and obey. He will carry you through.
Lord, Help us trust you when we are uncertain about the future. When fears and worries creep into our lives, speak peace and hope into our hearts that we might lean on you and know your love. Help us then to walk in humility and love, so that others may see the power of your love in us. Amen.
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