— By Barrett Vanlandingham
The people of Fort Gibson have always been gracious of my efforts to convey the truth of God’s word in my Fort Faith column. But it is also exciting to hear from those of you who read my column in other papers besides the Fort Gibson Times.
Comments from people in Stillwater, Norman, Durant and readers worldwide of various online publications are getting back to me. I always love to hear from you, both when we agree and disagree.
Feel free to call or e-mail. I learn a lot from the feedback, and it actually helps me focus my studies on areas that may need a little more of my attention. None of us “preacher types” has everything figured out.
I think most of you would agree, it is always humbling and challenging to compare your biblical views with what the Bible actually says.
For me, just about the time I feel like I have a pretty good handle on all things religious (I know that sounds bad), it’s like God opens my eyes to things I hadn’t noticed before.
Even 91-year old Clarence Huggins, one of the sweetest and best Christian men I know, once told me he learns something new every time he reads the Bible.
Growing up, I mistakenly thought there were two of every animal that entered Noah’s ark. And while it is true that for each male animal there was also a mate, it is also true that there were actually seven pairs of every clean animal (such as livestock, sheep, and deer), seven pairs of every kind of bird, but only two of every unclean animal (such as camels, mice, hawks, pigs, horses, dogs, and cats).
By the way, I know what some of you are probably thinking. “Who cares exactly how many animals were on the ark, and how does this knowledge help me or anyone else honor God and eventually go to heaven!?”
I couldn’t agree more. But it is important to realize that if Noah felt that God’s instructions on numbers of animals and how to build the ark were important, we should also listen closely to God’s word and obey even the things we consider to be “small” details.
Noah listened and obeyed. And look how things turned out for him. Pretty good, huh?
In our culture of Christian music artists, religious T-shirts and jewelry, and motivational Youtube videos, it is easy to get so comfortable in our relationship with God that we forget the importance of obedience to everything God commands (Matthew 28:18-20).
It is awesome to experience God’s love and blessed assurance in our daily lives. But it is also important for us to take seriously our responsibility to model God’s commands, and preach the good news to all, especially the poor (Luke 4:18), and above all, love God, and love others.
Remember to pray always, and have a great week!
Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.