Dr Tow's Letter 15 Jul 2018
My dear readers,
(Extracts from RPG Workbook Vol II No. 7 June 12 – July 9 1983, edited by Dr SH Tow)
1. DUTIES OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN
(Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:20-21; Exod 20:12)
The command to the children is: “obey your parents.” Not just listen, but submit and do as told. Obedience must be“in the Lord,” and not contradict the Scriptures,“for this is right,” in accordance to God’s rules. We ought to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Children are to honour their parents, to esteem them highly, think and speak well of them, be respectful, be considerate and support them (Matt 15:4-6). Do good to your parents, whether Christian or non-Christian, while you have them and not try to make amends by building expensive monuments in their memory after they are gone. This is the first commandment with specific promise of long life on earth. A simple rule is to love your Heavenly Father with all your heart, soul, strength and mind so that you can love your earthly father (or adoptive father) and your father-in-law when married rightly. Fathers are not to be ill-treated or despised. Remember, as long as father is alive, you are your father’s child.
What are parents’ responsibilities to children? Besides being a holy and godly witness, bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, provide, protect, guide, correct and control, parents are not to provoke or arouse their children to anger. Eg: playing favourites, unjustified punishment, picking on a child’s mistake or weakness in the face of peers, venting frustration on a child, bringing up past sins already dealt with, nagging, etc. Can you add to the list?
The positive is to bring them up tenderly, to nourish (Eph 5:29) or“nurture” (Eph 6:4) them (i.e. instruct and discipline) while “admonition” (Eph 6:4) refers to training by use of words (whether instruction, command or reprimand). All these are to be done “in the Lord.”
A well-trained child obeys his parents out of love, not fear. Lead your child early to faith in Jesus and save yourself many headaches!
THOUGHT: What improvements can I make as parent or as child?
PRAYER: Father, help me to be an obedient child to my parents. And, as a
parent, to bear a good Christian witness before my child.
(Eph 6:5-9; Col 3:22-4:1)
There are 12 attitudes enunciated for a good Christian employee:
1. Obedience (same as in Eph 6:1): listen, submit and carry out orders.
2. “With fear and trembling” (Eph 6:5): not terror that debilitates or paralyses, but with caution, not to offend or displease the master.
3. “In singleness of your heart”: simple, whole-hearted, sincere, honest effort and undivided loyalty.
4. “Not with eyeservice”: do not work only when the master is watching. Our real Master above sees all (Ps 139:1-3).
5. Work not just to please men .
6. Work as servants of Christ and children of God, not just servants of men.
7. Count our job as God’s will and work.
8. Serve out of our heart of love for Christ, i.e. from the depths of our being, not just with superficial effort.
9. Work with goodwill, i.e. work with our mind on our work.
10. Doing service, i.e. serving as slaves. Doing actual work, not just being on the job or at the office.
11. Serve as unto the Lord, and not to man.
12. Knowing that whatsoever good we do, the same (good) we shall receive of the Lord. Look to God for our ultimate reward, even if earthly bosses fail to see our good work.
Who would not employ such a 12-attitude worker? And what is the ideal Christian employer?
1. “Do the same things unto them” (Eph 6:9), i.e. operate along the same principles. Do good to our employees as we expect good from them. Care for their welfare as they care for ours.
2. Stop threatening (Eph 6:9, Acts 4:29): Don’t frighten the worker into doing good.
3. “Knowing that your Master also is in heaven” (Eph 6:9): God is the Lord of both employer and employee and He is no respecter of persons. He will judge equitably.
THOUGHT: Am I a good employee? Am I a fair employer?
PRAYER: Father, may I be ever conscious of my Master up above.
3. SPIRITUAL WARFARE – OUR RESOURCES
Satan seeks to deceive unbelievers into Hell and believers into ineffectiveness for God. But God gives us a comprehensive panoply.
We are to “be strong in the Lord” (Eph 6:10). Our strength and resources are only “in the Lord.” Beware trusting self-effort, own intelligence, strength, stamina and resources which are no match for the Enemy. Remember, man was made “lower than the angels” (Ps 8:5).
“Put on” the whole armour of God (cf Eph 4:24). Wear it and keep it on, because there is a war raging! We are to stand against the wiles or craftiness (cf Eph 4:14) of the Devil. We wrestle (personally struggle) not against flesh and blood (i.e. humans, Gal 1:16), but against spiritual forces. Therefore our whole armour (panoply) is spiritual.
Note the pieces and resources:
1. Belt of truth: Truth is the effective weapon against our diabolical Enemy who is a liar and the Father (or originator) of lies (John 8:44).
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness: The Christian must live a holy, moral life, keeping God’s commandments so that he will not succumb to the accusations of the Enemy (Rev 12:10).
3. Sandals of the Gospel of Peace: Wherever we go, let us proclaim the Gospel of Christ which brings peace.
4. Shield of Faith: The Roman shield (4 ft long, 2.5 ft broad, oblong and leather-covered) was no “dustbin cover.” We need faith to effectively douse and blunt all the fiery darts of Satan.
5. Helmet of Salvation: Satan likes to make a person doubt his salvation so as to leave him ineffective for God.
6. Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God: Learn to wield your Bible well against the Enemy.
7. Prayer: Because the Enemy is unseen, we need prayer all the more. Are you a prayer warrior?
8. Utterance: i.e. to proclaim the Gospel.
THOUGHT: Christians are not just sons and sheep, but soldiers too.
PRAYER: Impress on me the seriousness of the spiritual battle.
Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,
Dr SH Tow