Saturday, August 29, 2009

Watch Out For The Signs!

Watch Out For The Signs!
By Steve Popoola

The road was smooth and straight. Ben relaxed and pushed up the speed of the car a little. He was so engrossed in his driving that he did not notice the sign by the side of the road as it swept past. The sign indicated a diversion ahead but Ben was unaware of this.

Suddenly Ben saw a roadblock ahead. He instinctively slammed his foot on the breaks and the car skidded crazily across the road turning 180 degrees. Finally, the car stopped. Ben could feel his heart thumping as if it were going to burst right through his chest. He was still shaking all over when a man pulled up beside him. 

“Are you alright?” the stranger asked. Ben could not trust himself to speak, He just nodded his head in the affirmative.

“You didn’t see the sign as you drove past”? Ben tried to speak this time and said “No” in a very weak and shaky voice.

“You were really lucky there, someone crashed here a few days ago, he wasn’t as fortunate as you are. Sure you are okay?”

Ben answered that he was okay and thanked the man for taking time to check on him.  The stranger gave an understanding smile and walked towards his car. He looked back towards Ben and said, “Son, you watch those signs, okay?” Ben gave a weak smile and nodded.

Many of us are like Ben. We cruise through the Christian way without looking out for the signs God puts along the way to warn us of impending danger. Christ never said the road traveled by the believer will be smooth and uneventful rather, He said, “But the narrow gate and the road that lead to life are full of trouble. Only a few people find the narrow gate” (Matthew 7:14).  It is not a road for the faint-hearted. It is a road traveled by those who know their God, who are strong and do exploits.

It is so easy to make wrong turnings in life. The wide way is so easy to follow. It is smooth, attractive and full of enticing things. Do you notice how advertisements draw our attention? Sometimes you wonder whether person on television is talking about the same detergent you are using or the same toothpaste you have used all your life. The enemy of our soul has one agenda in mind and that is to distract us away from our God-given purpose in life. 

God on the other hand, has given us His word, which is like a billboard that you can hardly miss. He also set up road signs for us through the workings of the Holy Spirit. These road signs could be seen through discussion with other people, books, teachings and the promptings of the Holy Spirit within us. To ignore these signs could mean disaster and sometimes death.

You may have taken a couple of wrong turnings in your Christian journey up till now. I have Good news for you, you can get back on track. The psalmist tells us, “The Lord guides us in the way we should go and protects those who please Him. If they fall, they will not stay down because the Lord will help them up” (Psalm 37:23-24) All you need to do is make a u-turn by repenting from your sin and heading back in the direction where you veered off the road leading to life.

As we continue this journey through life to our eternal home, let us be sensitive and watchful. Let us not allow the things of this world which are temporary, to dull our spiritual senses. Let us remember that we have an enemy who will continue to put diversionary tactics along our way. We are however assured that the Lord will continue to guide us and lead us in the path that He has chosen for us since the beginning of creation.

(c) 2004, Biblepraise Fellowship Online

Steve Popoola was born in London but currently reside in Lagos, Nigeria with wife Maris and their two children, Praise and Stephanie. He works in the IT dept of a bank. Formerly an active singer, he still sings occasionally and speaks at invited forums. He is moderator of the Biblpraise Fellowship Online and editor of Biblepraise Newsletter, a weekly Christian e-zine.

To subscribe, send blank email to He can be reached through His email address,, or visit his website at

“Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” –Matthew 7:14

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Best Friends

Best Friends

Author: Unknown

Once in a small farming town in Oklahoma, there lived a poor fourth grade boy named Andy who would follow this route to school everyday: He had to cross the rugged plains and a dangerous highway where vehicles recklessly drove to and fro. Once past this highway, the boy would take a short cut by passing by the Church every morning just to say hi to Jesus, and faithfully say his morning prayers. He was being watched by the pastor who always found the boy’s sincerity and innocence so uplifting in the morning.

“Hello Andy, How are you today”, he would say greeting the child. “I’m fine Pastor Thompson, How are you” ...he would say flashing his innocent grin.

Seeing the way that Andy went to school the pastor was so concerned one day he talked to him. “From school...”, he advised “do not cross the highway alone, you can pass through the Church and then I will accompany you to the other side of the road that way I can see that you get home safe....”

“Thank you Pastor...”

“Why don’t you go straight home ... why do you stay in this church right after school?”

Andy replied, “I just want to say “Hi” to my friend, Jesus,” so the pastor would leave the boy to spend time praying by himself beside the altar, but one day out of curiosity he hid behind the altar to listen to what this boy had to say.

“You know my math exam was pretty bad today, but I did not cheat-although my seat mate was bullying me for notes ... you know, Dad’s had a bad farming season so far this year so we don’t have much food but I ate some bread and drank my water. Thank you for this! I saw a poor kitten who was hungry and I know how he feels so I gave some of my bread to him... funny but I am not that hungry... Look, this is my last pair of shoes... I may have to walk barefoot next week... you see this is about to be broken... but it is okay... at least I am still able to go to school... some say we will have a hard season this month, and some of my classmates have had to stop going to school to help with the farms ... please help them get to school again, please Jesus?... Oh, you know, Dad hit me again, it is painful, but I know this pain will pass away, at least I still have a Dad ... you want to see my bruises? I know you can heal them ... here... here and....oh ...blood. I guess you knew about this one, huh? Please don’t be mad at Dad, he is just tired and worries about putting food on our table and my schooling that is why he hits me... Oh, I think I am in love... there’s this pretty girl in my class, her name is Anita... do you think she will like me? Anyway, at least I know you will always like me, I don’t have to be anybody just to please you, you are my very best friend! Hey your birthday is just one week from now!!! Aren’t you excited? I am! Wait till you see, I have a gift for you.... but it is a surprise! I hope you will like it! Oooops, I have to go...”

Then he stood up and calls out, “Pastor, I am finished talking to my friend... can you accompany me to the other side of the road now”?

This routine happened everyday. Andy never failed to visit the church. Pastor Thompson shared this every Sunday to the people in his church because he had never before seen such pure faith and trust in God, and such a very positive outlook in such negative circumstances.

The day before Christmas, Pastor Thompson became very ill and was sent to the hospital. The Church was left to a substitute Pastor who had little patience for children or for any interruptions in his work. He would not smile and could always find fault in what other people were doing. On Christmas Day he was in the Pastor’s Study when Andy, coming from his Christmas party, playfully dashed into the church calling, “Hi Jesus!!!!!”

“Who are you child and what are you doing in here”, the pastor yelled out angrily. Poor Andy was so terrified.

“Where’s Pastor Thompson? He always helps me cross the street.... and not only that, I have to greet Jesus--it’s His birthday, I have a gift right here....” Just as he was about to get the gift out of his shirt, the pastor grabbed Andy by the shoulder and pushed him out the door of the church. “I cannot be bothered right now I am preparing my sermon for the Christmas service tonight. Also, next time be more reverent when you come into the church”, the man yelled as he closed the door behind Andy.

So the boy had no choice but to cross the dangerous side of the road in front of the church by himself. As he crossed a fast moving bus came in. There was a blind curve. The boy was protecting his gift inside his shirt, so he was not looking. There was so little time.

Andy died on the spot. As people crowded around the body of the poor, lifeless, young boy... Suddenly, out of nowhere a tall man appeared in a pure white shirt and pants, a face so mild and gentle, but with eyes full of tears... He came and carried the boy in His arms, He was crying.

Curious bystanders nudged the man in white, and asked, “Excuse me sir, are you related to the child? Do you know him?”

The man in white, His face mourning and in agony, answered, “He was my best friend ...” was all he said. He took the badly wrapped gift from the shirt of the lifeless boy, and placed it near his heart. He stood up and carried the boy away and they both disappeared from sight. The crowd was curious... On New Years Eve, when Pastor Thompson returned home from the hospital he learned of the shocking news. He went to visit Andy’s parents, and to ask them about the man in white he had been told about. He consulted the parents of Andy.

“How did you first learn of your son’s death?”

“A man in white brought him here,” sobbed the mother.

“What did he say?”

The father answered, “He did not say anything. He was mourning. We do not know him and yet he was very lonely at our son’s death, as if he knew our son very well. But there was something peaceful and unexplainable about him. He gave me my son, and then he smiled peacefully. He rubbed my son’s hair away from his face and kissed him on his forehead, and then he whispered something...”

“What did he say?”

“He said to my boy...” the father began, “Thank you for the gift... I will see you soon... you will be with me...” and the father of the boy continued, “and you know for a while, it felt so wonderful... I cried, but I do not know why.... all I know is I cried tears of joy... I could not explain it, but when that man left, something peaceful came over me, I felt a deep sense of love inside... I could not explain the joy in my heart, I know my boy is in heaven now.. but... tell me, who was this man that my son talked to everyday in your church, you should know because you are always there... except at the time of his death...”

Pastor Thompson suddenly felt the tears welling in his eyes, with trembling knees, he murmured, “He was talking to Jesus....”

“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” -Psalm 3:3

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Faith in Dad

Faith in Dad

Author: The Rev. Leonard Negrin, Houston

In 1965, when my son Robert was 4 years old, I was a traveling evangelist, conducting revivals all over Oklahoma, Texas and farther away, so a weekend at home was a rare treat.

We had a small house in a small town called Yukon, Okla. There was a sidewalk sale and an auction going on at the small business square. I needed something from the hardware store and took Rob, and we went downtown. We stopped to listen to the auctioneer, and as he auctioned off various items from the local merchants, he came to something called a “varoom motor.” It was something you could attach to the fender of a tricycle, and when the little metal stem was touched by the spokes of the wheel, it sounded like your tricycle was motorized.

I stood there as the bids were coming in -- 50 cents, a dollar, $1.25. “Who will give me $2?” You can imagine how I felt when I looked down and there was my 4-year-old son with his hand up, bidding on the motor. I don’t remember now what the final bid was, but I knew I had to buy it, for my son had raised his hand in faith, knowing whatever the outcome was, his dad could meet the price.

For some years after that incident, I used that little story in sermons when I spoke about faith that we have in our heavenly father.

Young Robert has grown up to be a fine young man and is a practicing attorney here in Houston. The other evening, he had taken us out to show us his new car. As we were stepping away, he looked at his mother and me and said how much he appreciated both of us and his upbringing. I thought of the little boy with his hand raised saying, “Daddy, I believe in you.”

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” - James 1:6 

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A Friend On The Line

A Friend On The Line

Written Down By: Jennings Michael Burch

Even before I finished dialing, I somehow knew I'd made a mistake. The phone rang once, twice - then someone picked it up.

"You got the wrong number!" a husky male voice snapped before the line went dead.  Mystified, I dialed again.

"I said you got the wrong number!" came the voice.  Once more the phone clicked in my ear. How could he possibly know I had a wrong number?

At that time, I worked for the New York City Police Department. A cop is trained to be curious - and concerned.  So I dialed a third time.

"Hey, c'mon," the man said.  "Is this you again?"

"Yeah, it's me," I answered.  "I was wondering how you knew I had the wrong number before I even said anything."

"You figure it out!"  The phone slammed down.

I sat there awhile, the receiver hanging loosely in my fingers. I called the man back.

"Did you figure it out yet?" he asked.

"The only thing I can think of is...nobody ever calls you."

"You got it!"  The phone went dead for the fourth time. Chuckling, I dialed the man back.

"What do you want now?" he asked.

"I thought I'd call...just to say hello."

"Hello?  Why?"

"Well, if nobody ever calls you, I thought maybe I should."

"Okay.  Hello. Who is this?"

At last I had gotten through. Now he was curious. I told him who I was and asked who he was.

"My name's Adolf Meth.  I'm 88 years old, and I haven't had this many wrong numbers in one day in 20 years!"  We both laughed.

We talked for 10 minutes. Adolf had no family, no friends. Everyone he had been close to had died. Then we discovered we had something in common: he'd worked for the New York City Police Department for nearly 40 years. Telling me about his days there as an elevator operator, he seemed interesting, even friendly. I asked if I could call him again.

"Why would you wanta do that?" he asked, surprised.

"Well, maybe we could be phone friends. You know, like pen pals."

He hesitated.  "I wouldn't mind...having a friend again."  His voice sounded a little tentative.

I called Adolf the following afternoon and several days after that. Easy to talk with, he related his memories of World Wars I and II, the Hindenburg disaster and other historic events. He was fascinating. I gave him my home and office numbers so he could call me. He did - almost every day.

I was not just being kind to a lonely old man. Talking with Adolf was important to me, because I, too, had a big gap in my life. Raised in orphanages and foster homes, I never had a father. Gradually, Adolf took on a kind of fatherly importance to me.

I talked about my job and college courses, which I attended at night. Adolf warmed to the role of counselor. While discussing a disagreement I'd had with a supervisor, I told my new friend, "I think I ought to have it out with him."

"What's the rush?" Adolf cautioned.  "Let things cool down. When you get as old as I am, you find out that time takes care of a lot.  If things get worse, then you can talk to him."

There was a long silence.  "You know," he said softly, "I'm talking to you just the way I'd talk to a boy of my own. I always wanted a family - and children.  You're too young to know how that feels."

No, I wasn't. I'd always wanted a family - and a father. But I didn't say anything; afraid I wouldn't be able to hold back the hurt I'd felt for so long.

One evening Adolf mentioned his 89th birthday was coming up. After buying a piece of fiberboard, I designed a 2' x 5' greeting card with a cake and 89 candles on it. I asked all the cops in my office and even the police commissioner to sign it. I gathered nearly a hundred signatures. Adolf would get a kick out of this, I knew.

We'd been talking on the phone for four months now, and I thought this would be a good time to meet face to face. So I decided to deliver the card by hand. I didn't tell Adolf I was coming; I just drove to his address one morning and parked the car up the street from his apartment house.

A postman was sorting mail in the hallway when I entered the building.  He nodded as I checked the mailboxes for Adolf's name. There it was. Apartment 1H, some 20 feet from where I stood.

My heart pounded with excitement.  Would we have the same chemistry in person that we had on the phone?  I felt the first stab of doubt.  Maybe he would reject me the way my father rejected me when he went out of my life.

I tapped on Adolf's door. When there was no answer, I knocked harder. The postman looked up from his sorting.  "No one’s there," he said.

"Yeah," I said, feeling a little foolish.  "If he answers his door the way he answers his phone, this may take all day."

"You a relative or something?"

"No.  Just a friend."

"I'm really sorry," he said quietly, "but Mr. Meth died day before yesterday."

Died?  Adolf?  For a moment, I couldn't answer. I stood there in shock and disbelief. Then, pulling myself together, I thanked the postman and stepped into the late-morning sun.

I walked toward the car, misty-eyed. Then, rounding a corner, I saw a church, and a line from the Old Testament leaped to mind: A friend loveth at all times.  And especially in death, I realized. This brought a moment of recognition.

Often it takes some sudden and sad turn of events to awaken us to the beauty of a special presence in our lives. Now, for the first time, I sensed how very close Adolf and I had become. It had been easy, and I knew this would make it even easier the next time, with my next close friend.

Slowly, I felt warmth surging through me. I heard Adolf's growly voice shouting, "Wrong number!"  Then I heard him asking why I wanted to call again.

"Because you mattered, Adolf," I said aloud to no one.  "Because I was your friend."

I placed the unopened birthday card on the back seat of my car and got behind the wheel. Before starting the engine, I looked over my shoulder. "Adolf," I whispered, "I didn't get the wrong number at all.  I got you."

Today’s message comes from THE STORY OF ENCOURAGEMENT.

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Parable Of The Pencil

Parable Of The Pencil

Author Unknown

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. There are 5 things you need to know, he told the pencil, before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil.

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside.

And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you; always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems, but you'll need it to become a stronger person.

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

Four: The most important part of you will always be what's on the inside.

And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.

By understanding and remembering, let us proceed with our life on this earth having a meaningful purpose in our heart.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” - Proverbs 27:17 

Saturday, August 22, 2009



Maybe...God wanted us to meet the wrong people before meeting the right
one so that, when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be
grateful for that gift.

Maybe...when the door of happiness closes, another opens; but, often
times, we look so long at the closed door that we don't even see the new
one which has been opened for us. is true that we don't know what we have until we lose it, but
it is also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it
arrives & Maybe...the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best
of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along
their way. should dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go;
be what you want to be, because you have only one life and one chance to
do all the things you dream of and want to do.

Maybe...there are moments in life when you miss someone-a parent, a spouse,
a friend, a child-so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams
and hug them for real.

Maybe...the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and
swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the
best conversation you've ever had. should always try to put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel
that something could hurt you, it probably will hurt the other person too. someone all your love is never an assurance that they will
love you back. Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in
their heart; but, if it doesn't, be content that it grew in yours. shouldn't go for looks; they can deceive; Don't go for wealth;
even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes
only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your
heart smile.

Author Unknown

Read and meditate on these scriptures:
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him
who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Burned Biscuits


When I was a little child, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner
every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had
made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago,
my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in
front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my
dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day
was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do
remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom
apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what
he said: “Baby, I love burned biscuits.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he
really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,
“Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And
besides - a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”

You know, life is full of imperfect things...and imperfect people. I'm not
the best housekeeper or cook. What I've learned over the years is that
learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each
other's differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a
healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good,
the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of
God...Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a
relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship in fact - as understanding is the
base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
“Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in
your own.”

Author Unknown

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth
us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in
any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also
aboundeth by Christ.”

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Carilah Hikmat Seperti Mencari Perak


Perak adalah logam mulia. Andaikata kita diberi kebebasan mencari perak di tambang perak tentu akan berebut. Tetapi di sini kita diperintahkan mencari hikmat seperti mencari perak. Mari berebut.

Untuk memperoleh hikmat perlu mencarinya.

Amsal 4:1-27 – “Dengarkanlah, hai anak-anak, didikan seorang ayah, dan perhatikanlah supaya engkau beroleh pengertian,

4:2 karena aku memberikan ilmu yang baik kepadamu; janganlah meninggalkan petunjukku.

4:3 Karena ketika aku masih tinggal di rumah ayahku sebagai anak, lemah dan sebagai anak tunggal bagi ibuku,

4:4 aku diajari ayahku, katanya kepadaku: "Biarlah hatimu memegang perkataanku; berpeganglah pada petunjuk-petunjukku, maka engkau akan hidup.

4:5 Perolehlah hikmat, perolehlah pengertian, jangan lupa, dan jangan menyimpang dari perkataan mulutku.

4:6 Janganlah meninggalkan hikmat itu, maka engkau akan dipeliharanya, kasihilah dia, maka engkau akan dijaganya.

4:7 Permulaan hikmat ialah: perolehlah hikmat dan dengan segala yang kauperoleh perolehlah pengertian.

4:8 Junjunglah dia, maka engkau akan ditinggikannya; engkau akan dijadikan terhormat, apabila engkau memeluknya.

4:9 Ia akan mengenakan karangan bunga yang indah di kepalamu, mahkota yang indah akan dikaruniakannya kepadamu."

4:10 Hai anakku, dengarkanlah dan terimalah perkataanku, supaya tahun hidupmu menjadi banyak.

4:11 Aku mengajarkan jalan hikmat kepadamu, aku memimpin engkau di jalan yang lurus.

4:12 Bila engkau berjalan langkahmu tidak akan terhambat, bila engkau berlari engkau tidak akan tersandung.

4:13 Berpeganglah pada didikan, janganlah melepaskannya, peliharalah dia, karena dialah hidupmu.

4:14 Janganlah menempuh jalan orang fasik, dan janganlah mengikuti jalan orang jahat.

4:15 Jauhilah jalan itu, janganlah melaluinya, menyimpanglah dari padanya dan jalanlah terus.

4:16 Karena mereka tidak dapat tidur, bila tidak berbuat jahat; kantuk mereka lenyap, bila mereka tidak membuat orang tersandung;

4:17 karena mereka makan roti kefasikan, dan minum anggur kelaliman.

4:18 Tetapi jalan orang benar itu seperti cahaya fajar, yang kian bertambah terang sampai rembang tengah hari.

4:19 Jalan orang fasik itu seperti kegelapan; mereka tidak tahu apa yang menyebabkan mereka tersandung.

4:20 Hai anakku, perhatikanlah perkataanku, arahkanlah telingamu kepada ucapanku;

4:21 janganlah semuanya itu menjauh dari matamu, simpanlah itu di lubuk hatimu.

4:22 Karena itulah yang menjadi kehidupan bagi mereka yang mendapatkannya dan kesembuhan bagi seluruh tubuh mereka.

4:23 Jagalah hatimu dengan segala kewaspadaan, karena dari situlah terpancar kehidupan.

4:24 Buanglah mulut serong dari padamu dan jauhkanlah bibir yang dolak-dalik dari padamu.

4:25 Biarlah matamu memandang terus ke depan dan tatapan matamu tetap ke muka.

4:26 Tempuhlah jalan yang rata dan hendaklah tetap segala jalanmu.

4:27 Janganlah menyimpang ke kanan atau ke kiri, jauhkanlah kakimu dari kejahatan.

Judul dari Amsal 4 seluruh judul ini adalah “Nasihat untuk mencari hikmat“ hal ini menunjukkan bahwa hikmat adalah penting untuk kehidupan, sehingga Tuhan menganjurkan kepada kita agar kita mencari hikmat

1. Dimulai dari mendengar didikan

Amsal 4:1-2 Dengarkanlah, hai anak-anak, didikan seorang ayah, dan perhatikanlah supaya engkau beroleh pengertian,

4:2 karena aku memberikan ilmu yang baik kepadamu; janganlah meninggalkan petunjukku.

Apabila didikan seorang ayah didengar oleh anak, anak itu akan memperoleh pengertian akan kehidupan ini.

Ayah mendidik adalah dengan maksud untuk memberi ilmu yang baik kepada anaknya, dengan memberi petunjuk-petunjuk.

Mencari hikmat harus dimulai dari mendengar didikan sang ayah. Hal ini menunjukkan peran seorang ayah di dalam keluarga, bahwa sang ayah bukannya pencari nafkah saja, tetapi sang ayah juga berperan sebagai seorang pendidik.

Peran anak adalah mendengar dan memperhatikan dan memegangnya. Melalui hikmat yang ada pada kita, kehidupan kita akan terjaga. Ayah, bunda, bapak, ibu, masih adakah waktu bagi anak-anak kita, permata hati kita? Masih adakah waktu untuk bertutut kepada anak-anak kita hal-hal yang berguna untuk kehidupan?

a. Ayah dan ibu berperan serta di dalam mendidik dan mengajar anak-anakNya.

Amsal 1:8 Junjunglah dia, maka engkau akan ditinggikannya; engkau akan dijadikan terhormat, apabila engkau memeluknya

Pengajaran dan didikan itu mempunyai makna:

- Supaya anak beroleh pengertian akan kehidupan ini

- Supaya anak memperoleh ilmu dan doktrin yang baik

- Supaya mereka tidak meninggalkan hukum Tuhan dan peraturan-peraturanNya. Hal-hal itu perlu ditanamkan dengan kata-kata, pengajaran dan nasihat dari hari ke sehari. Masih adakah waktu? Atau maukah kita mengadakan waktu untuk duduk dan berbincang-bincang yang mengandung arti bagi anak-anak kita.

- Didikan ayah bunda akan membuat anak-anak kita mengenakan hal yang indah dalam kehidupannya.

Ay 10 – Anak yang mau mendengar didikan dan menerima perkataan orang tuanya akan berumur panjang.

Ay 11 – Didikan orang tua yang benar akan membawa anak melewati jalan lurus. Pintu selalu terbuka untuk langkah-langkahnya, dan dalam perjalanan hidup yang cepatpun tak akan tersandung.

Orang yang hidupnya benar mendapat bonus kesehatan. Anak yang mendengar didikan hidupnya waspada dan mulutnya tidak bertipu daya.

Anak yang mendengar didikan seharusnya tidak akan mengikuti orang fasik, dan jalan orang jahat. Orang fasik dan orang jahat selalu mau mencelakakan dan membuat tersandung orang lain. Rejeki yang mereka makanpun hasilnya dari perbuatan jahat. Sangat menyedihkan.

Ayah dan ibu mendidik di dalam kebersamaan, dengan dimulai untuk pertumbuhan kepribadian.

Dengan didikan ayah dan bunda menuntun anaknya pada jalan yang terang seperti fajar, dan pada terang yang sempurna.

Anak-anakNya tidak bisa menuntut dan menyalahkan salah satu pihak semata. Pendidikan dan pengajaran untuk anak adalah tanggung jawab bersama ayah dan ibu.

- Didikan ayah harus didengarkan, artinya disimak dan diperhatikan, ditangkap dan diresapi.

- Ajaran ibu tidak boleh disiasiakan, tidak boleh dipandang rendah, dipandang remeh atau diabaikan dan dikesampingkan, ajaran ibu atau mama harus diperhatikan.

b. Yang utama didikan takut akan Allah

Maz 34:12 Marilah anak-anak, dengarkanlah aku, takut akan TUHAN akan kuajarkan kepadamu!

Didikan yang diberikan oleh orang tua adalah didikan takut akan Allah. Didikan seharusnya bukan hanya teori-teori tetapi harus disertai contoh, dan perbuatan-perbuatan untuk anak yang dididik.

Didikan dan pengajaran orang tua seharusnya melahirkan anak-anak yang takut akan Allah selama mereka mendengarkan dan tidak menghinakan. Betapa banyak keluarga yang mengeluh sebab anak menberontak, anak melawan orangtua, seringkali pula apabila kita teliti ternyata tidak ada didikan ayah dan ibu dirumah sebagaimana mestinya. Ayah hanya mempercayakan atau membebankan tanggung jawab kepada ibu sebab menurut anggapan mereka ayah mencari nafkah, dan ibu mendidik. Menurut Alkitab ternyata tidak demikian. Mengapa? sebab ayah adalah KEPALA jadi dia mempunyai tanggung jawab penuh dari Tuhan terhadap keluarga dan anak-anaknya. Pada waktu Adam tidak bersama Hawa, ular masuk ke taman dan menggoda dia, demikian pula ayah dan ibu perlu memperhatikan didikan untuk anak-anaknya dan memikul tanggung jawab bersama, apabila tidak, ular akan masuk taman kehidupan dalam keluarga kita dan memperdaya anak-anak kita, kita rugi, rumah tangga kita dikacaukan.

Ada sangat banyak berkat terkandung di balik takut akan Allah.

Orang yang takut akan Tuhan dapat rejeki.

Mzm 111:5 – “Diberikan-Nya rezeki kepada orang-orang yang takut akan Dia. Ia ingat untuk selama-lamanya akan perjanjian-Nya.”

Orang yang takut akan Tuhan berbahagia.

Mzm 112:1 – “Haleluya! Berbahagialah orang yang takut akan TUHAN, yang sangat suka kepada segala perintah-Nya.”

Mzm 128:1 – “Nyanyian ziarah. Berbahagialah setiap orang yang takut akan TUHAN, yang hidup menurut jalan yang ditunjukkan-Nya!”

Tuhan melakukan kehendak orang yang takut akan Dia.

Mzm 145:19 – “Ia melakukan kehendak orang-orang yang takut akan Dia, mendengarkan teriak mereka minta tolong dan menyelamatkan mereka.”

Takut akan Tuhan memperpanjang umur.

Ams 10:27 – “Takut akan TUHAN memperpanjang umur, tetapi tahun-tahun orang fasik diperpendek.”

Takut akan Tuhan beroleh ketenteraman.

Ams 14:26 – “Dalam takut akan TUHAN ada ketenteraman yang besar, bahkan ada perlindungan bagi anak-anak-Nya.”

Masih banyak lagi berkat takut akan Tuhan.

2. Didikan perlu diberikan sedini mungkin sejak anak masih lembut dan mudah dibentuk.

Amsal 4:3-4 Karena ketika aku masih tinggal di rumah ayahku sebagai anak, lemah dan sebagai anak tunggal bagi ibuku,

4:4 aku diajari ayahku, katanya kepadaku: "Biarlah hatimu memegang perkataanku; berpeganglah pada petunjuk-petunjukku, maka engkau akan hidup

Selama anak tinggal dirumah orang tua dan menjadi tanggung jawab orang tua, didikan adalah hak dan kewajiban orang tua, dan hal itu perlu dipahami anak dan menjadi kesaksian baginya dikemudian hari. Walaupun anak kita anak tunggal sekalipun, didikan tetap harus diberikan, tidak dimanjakan, sebab didikan itulah yang akan menghasilkan hikmat, dan ajaran diberikan melalui nasihat.

- Didikan dimulai dengan mendengar perkataan dan masuk ke dalam hati, sering anak-anak mendengar, tetap tidak memperhatikan, sehingga tidak menyimpannya tetapi melupakannya.

- Didikan diberikan berupa petunjuk petunjuk, supaya apa yang dilakukan anak benar dan tidak salah, dan itu akan menghasilkan kehidupan, artnya ada masa depan dan keselamatan.

Didikan perlu diberikan sedini mungkin. Kapan? Sejak anak berada di dalam kandungan, sampai selama anak masih berada di dalam tanggung jawab orang tua, sebelum anak itu menjadi akil balik. Didikan pada waktu dini menanam dasar di dalam kehidupan anak, akan mengesan dan tergores di dalam kalbunya dan tidak akan dilupakan.

Ams 22:6 – “Didiklah orang muda menurut jalan yang patut baginya, maka pada masa tuanya pun ia tidak akan menyimpang dari pada jalan itu.”

Didikan yang kita berikan perlu menyentuh talenta, karunia dan kecenderungan pribadinya. Bandingkan Ef 6:4 – “Dan kamu, bapa-bapa, janganlah bangkitkan amarah di dalam hati anak-anakmu, tetapi didiklah mereka di dalam ajaran dan nasihat Tuhan.”

Didikan terhadap anak kita dasar dan sumbernya adalah ajaran Tuhan.

2 Tim 3:15 – “Ingatlah juga bahwa dari kecil engkau sudah mengenal Kitab Suci yang dapat memberi hikmat kepadamu dan menuntun engkau kepada keselamatan oleh iman kepada Kristus Yesus.”

Didikan menurut Alkitab menghasilkan hikmat dan keselamatan.

3. Didikan perlu diberikan dengan tekun dan diulang-ulang.

Ul 6:4-9 – “Dengarlah, hai orang Israel: TUHAN itu Allah kita, TUHAN itu esa!

6:5 Kasihilah TUHAN, Allahmu, dengan segenap hatimu dan dengan segenap jiwamu dan dengan segenap kekuatanmu.

6:6 Apa yang kuperintahkan kepadamu pada hari ini haruslah engkau perhatikan,

6:7 haruslah engkau mengajarkannya berulang-ulang kepada anak-anakmu dan membicarakannya apabila engkau duduk di rumahmu, apabila engkau sedang dalam perjalanan, apabila engkau berbaring dan apabila engkau bangun.

6:8 Haruslah juga engkau mengikatkannya sebagai tanda pada tanganmu dan haruslah itu menjadi lambang di dahimu,

6:9 dan haruslah engkau menuliskannya pada tiang pintu rumahmu dan pada pintu gerbangmu.”

Mengasihi Allah adalah perintah yang utama, yang harus kita dengar dan lakukan. Tetapi bukan hanya sampai di situ saja. Setiap perintah Tuhan adalah untuk kita dan seluruh keturunan kita. Maka kita orang tualah yang harus meneruskan perintah itu kepada keturunan kita.

a. Tuhan menghendaki agar kita mengasihi Allah dengan roh, jiwa dan tubuh kita.

- Dengan segenap hati, bukan setengah hati, bukan pura-pura. Walau ini perintah, tetapi tidak boleh mengasihi dengan terpaksa, tetapi dengan tulus.

- Dengan segenap jiwa yaitu dengan pikiran, perasaan dan niat hati atau kehendak, dengan keputusan tegas, dengan pengertian.

- Dengan segenap kekuatan kita, artinya dengan segala kemampuan kita, dengan segenap tenaga dan harga yang harus kita bayar untuk itu.

b. Kita harus memperhatikan apa yang Tuhan perintahkan, berarti kita harus mengindahkan, jangan diabaikan, jangan dianggap seperti angin lalu.

Nomor satu harus tertanam dalam hati dan pikiran kita sebelum kita menularkan kepada orang lain.

c. Apa yang Tuhan perintahkan dan yang kita lakukan, harus kita ajarkan kepada anak-anak atau keturunan kita.

- Kita harus mengajarkannya berulang-ulang, dengan repetisi. Mengapa? Sebab anak tidak mampu melakukan dengan sekali diajar, mungkin hal itu belum ditangkapnya. Tetapi dengan mengajarkan berulang-ulang disertai praktek, pengajaran ini akan mendarah daging, akan menjadi gaya hidup.

- Soal mengasihi Tuhan berkaitan dengan soal ibadah, itu harus diajarkan, dibicarakan di mana saja, kapan saja, dengan sarana apa saja, baik waktu di rumah, baik waktu dalam dalam perjalanan, dan harus mengesankan mereka.

- Bahkan perlu sekali sarana dan prasarana untuk membuat didikan kita berhasil.

Apa hasilnya? Anak-anak kita akan mendapat hikmat, sebab dia mengasihi sumber hikmat itu sendiri. Dan berkat hikmat adalah kekayaan rohani yang termanifestasi juga secara jasmani, sama seperti orang beroleh perak.

Ev. Mary Hartanti

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