By Benjamin H. Liles
"Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6, Holman Christian Standard)." How we teach future generations to talk and walk with God is an important step in each and everyone's life. My biological father always taught me to be honest and open with him as I grew up in his home. While I struggled a great deal in honoring my parents, specifically my dad, I did the best I could. Here's the thing, though: my own family didn't go to church or sit to listen a pastor talk about having a spiritual life with God. So, how did I come to Christ when my own parents didn't instill this in me?
I think it comes down to the fact my parents taught me the basics of living a life that was right. Don't miss what I'm saying here. We weren't a spiritual family. As I said we never attended a group of people to become more spiritual, or to be part of its community. I pray for my parents as well as my own sister, but they didn't teach me to seek God. I sought Him because through my dad's maternal side, my great grandmother took me to church to see that lying was wrong. She was the reason I started down the road in search of God.
So, how did this kid who never heard of God being spoken in his life, to find Him, much less His Son Jesus Christ, to being this man who talks and teaches about God's gospel? I think it comes down to those people who God placed in my life to doing something about getting me to see and hear His voice. We have the Bible, and in the pages we see that "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, Berean Study).
To be perfectly frank for me it came down to understanding God's great love and seeing that He loves us enough to correct and to show us just how much we are truly without Him. If I had been left alone, with my parents only teaching the basics of "Do not lie, steal, cheat, commit murder" and all that I doubt I would be the man I am at this point. I think I'd have simply been content in still being a selfish, self-indulgent man who cared about no one. The grace of God, even through a woman such as my great grandmother reached me.
Granted, I wasn't sought out by a pastor, or a minister to do what I am at this point. I got to this point by watching men and women I greatly admired, most often these were friends of mine who ministered in their various jobs and in their calling God gave them. A best friend of mine, while he had worked at the Austin newspaper, helped those with disabilities weekly in the church we went to. This guy loved others and didn't see them with disabilities in the least bit. This man is now helping the community of Texas and in the Austin area in finding and obtaining jobs as well as giving and extending help with the love and grace of God. He is fulfilling God's all on his life.
I also have another friend who was working on becoming a man of God, a pastor, and providing the gospel of Christ in his life and walk with Jesus Christ our risen Lord. While he started an event called Austin Metro, which was an offshoot of San Antonio Metro, this man now goes about providing fresh water to those in Africa. His ministry is about extending God's grace and gospel while providing African men, women and children clean, fresh, potable water.
I could give other examples of godly people who spoke into my life the need for finding, seeing, and hearing God's voice in my life. But let's suffice it to say walking and living God's gospel into other's life as being sufficient enough. The truth of the matter is that we have this calling to reach and teach those how to find and walk in new life with God through the Son Jesus Christ. After all, just as God called out to Abram and renamed him Abraham, so too can God call you to doing something more. What it boils down to is seeing God working in and through your life.
The whole idea of teaching and training someone up in the way they should go comes down to discipling, or mentoring them, to seeing and walking with God. It isn't a hard thing to do in the least bit, it just comes down to being able and to getting out of the way so God can be seen and heard. It's a lifetime choice to reading God's word; to praying to Him and allowing Him to speak to you, and to allow Christ to doing something in your life.
We read this about Abram who later became Abraham: "Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a great blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse and in you all families of the earth will be blessed'" (Genesis 12:1-3, New American Standard).
The truth of the matter is that God has blessed us through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Through them and their faith God made it possible for all of us to be hugely blessed. We have the risen Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with life if we so choose it. We can walk in this life when we choose to live it in God. He has blessed us, not because we deserve it, but because of those who were faithful as God was faithful to them. Think on it and the testimony of which they lived. If we found it just as easy to listen and follow God as these men did then more people would be so blessed. But it's always a choice.
Are you willing to listen and obey the voice of God in your life? Are you willing to lay down your selfishness, your old life so that God can bless and use you to doing something more in the life of others? That is why we have Christ. As it is said, "For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3:16-17, Holman Christian Standard).
The whole purpose of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ isn't just for the sake of salvation, but to be lived out and given so others can receive Jesus Christ as you have been given. I have always admired men who poured their lives out for the sake of others, and in that way I also believe i should do likewise myself. It is my hope and prayer that when I speak on this that it blesses and encourages you to looking for God in your life. You can find Him through the Son, Jesus Christ, who shows Himself to those who humble themselves and seek God's face. I pray this comforts and shows you the way to walk and go in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.