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A Letter To Matthew

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A Letter To Matthew - October 27, 2005

Matthew is serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. He is married to my niece whom my husband and I raised. Matthew emails me and asks me serious questions. After responding to his most recent mail, it occurred to me that there are many out there who might relate to Matthew. He was not raised in church, therefore he knows very little about the things of God.

Dear Matthew,

In your recent email, you told me that you have not been reading the Bible as much as you used to. I want to address that in this letter. First, I can tell you for sure that when a person neglects God's Word it is comparable to being in a ship that does not have an anchor. When a little time has passed, the ship has drifted far away. All you desire, in this life and in the next, depends on whether you follow Christ with your whole heart.

This world screams really loud at us, especially when we are young, demanding that we follow the pack. When our world comes crashing in on us (like maybe being in Iraq, as you are), we realize that none of the "stuff" of this world is worth anything in the long run. It's all about whether we are ready for eternity and where that's going to take us. And, it's about getting our lives lined up in the only way that works, and that's the way God says to do it. We have to come to know Him and what He says about life, and about the after life, and about relationships, and just about everything else. The only way we can find those things out is from His Word. There are those who would lead us astray, so we have to screen everything through God's Word.

As we read and study God's Word, believing it and applying it, we begin to grow as His children. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" John 8:32. As we come to know the truths of the Scriptures, we know for sure that we are saved, and that nothing can take us out of His hand. You will find this in John 10:28. We come to know deep down the things that bring stability and increasing peace. We grow in our faith and we see God at work in more and more things around us. Our love for Him grows and we desire to spend time with Him.

We also have to be aware that we have an enemy, and we must learn how to war against him. The world would like to fool us and deceive us (that's Satan's main job) and it is working through every means at its disposal to lead us away from God. So, the bottom line, Matthew, is that we have been programmed according to this world's way of thinking. When we are born again we are admonished in Romans 12:1-2, "Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We have to have our minds renewed to God's way of thinking by not only reading the Bible regularly, but by meditating in it and studying it. This is how we gain true wisdom. And God uses His Word, by His Spirit, to transform us and to make us more like Him.

I hope that answers some of your questions. Keep reading the New Testament through and through and also the Psalms and Proverbs. It's not that we don't read the Old Testament; there are many wonderful principles that we need to learn from there, but for a beginner, these are the places to start. Later on, the Old Testament, God's dealings with Israel, will open up for you in marvelous ways and you will see how the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old.

God bless you in this and in all you do. We're praying for your well being and your safety.

Submitted by Daphne Harrington

 
Member

Eve

Hi Chad,

Hope you are well. I am very impressed with this letter and I will be reading the chapters it highlights again. It was the following that struck a cord with me the most.

'This world screams really loud at us, especially when we are young, demanding that we follow the pack. When our world comes crashing in on us (like maybe being in Iraq, as you are), we realize that none of the "stuff" of this world is worth anything in the long run. It's all about whether we are ready for eternity and where that's going to take us. And, it's about getting our lives lined up in the only way that works, and that's the way God says to do it. We have to come to know Him and what He says about life, and about the after life, and about relationships, and just about everything else. The only way we can find those things out is from His Word. There are those who would lead us astray, so we have to screen everything through God's Word.'

I must question every thought, word, deed that has become second nature to me and find my way again (the way of the Lord).

God Bless

Eve
 
Member
Chad said:
A Letter To Matthew - October 27, 2005

Matthew is serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. He is married to my niece whom my husband and I raised. Matthew emails me and asks me serious questions. After responding to his most recent mail, it occurred to me that there are many out there who might relate to Matthew. He was not raised in church, therefore he knows very little about the things of God.

Dear Matthew,

In your recent email, you told me that you have not been reading the Bible as much as you used to. I want to address that in this letter. First, I can tell you for sure that when a person neglects God's Word it is comparable to being in a ship that does not have an anchor. When a little time has passed, the ship has drifted far away. All you desire, in this life and in the next, depends on whether you follow Christ with your whole heart.

This world screams really loud at us, especially when we are young, demanding that we follow the pack. When our world comes crashing in on us (like maybe being in Iraq, as you are), we realize that none of the "stuff" of this world is worth anything in the long run. It's all about whether we are ready for eternity and where that's going to take us. And, it's about getting our lives lined up in the only way that works, and that's the way God says to do it. We have to come to know Him and what He says about life, and about the after life, and about relationships, and just about everything else. The only way we can find those things out is from His Word. There are those who would lead us astray, so we have to screen everything through God's Word.

As we read and study God's Word, believing it and applying it, we begin to grow as His children. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" John 8:32. As we come to know the truths of the Scriptures, we know for sure that we are saved, and that nothing can take us out of His hand. You will find this in John 10:28. We come to know deep down the things that bring stability and increasing peace. We grow in our faith and we see God at work in more and more things around us. Our love for Him grows and we desire to spend time with Him.

We also have to be aware that we have an enemy, and we must learn how to war against him. The world would like to fool us and deceive us (that's Satan's main job) and it is working through every means at its disposal to lead us away from God. So, the bottom line, Matthew, is that we have been programmed according to this world's way of thinking. When we are born again we are admonished in Romans 12:1-2, "Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We have to have our minds renewed to God's way of thinking by not only reading the Bible regularly, but by meditating in it and studying it. This is how we gain true wisdom. And God uses His Word, by His Spirit, to transform us and to make us more like Him.

I hope that answers some of your questions. Keep reading the New Testament through and through and also the Psalms and Proverbs. It's not that we don't read the Old Testament; there are many wonderful principles that we need to learn from there, but for a beginner, these are the places to start. Later on, the Old Testament, God's dealings with Israel, will open up for you in marvelous ways and you will see how the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old.

God bless you in this and in all you do. We're praying for your well being and your safety.

Submitted by Daphne Harrington
Hello Chad,

Ms. Harrington's letter to her nephew touched my heart. I would suggest to her, however, that she encourage Matthew to seek fellowship with Christians through a chaplain.

I believe that Matthew's coming to Christ will be impeded without fellowship with believers in his unit. Trying to go it alone (just himself and the Bible) won't work because God's church is a community. Without the influence of a Christian community, the enemy will be able to sow distraction and doubt into Matthew's daily life and the seed that has been planted in him will die.

SLE
 

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