November 29, 2015

The Bottom Line – Terry Bennett

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

I recently read about a high school student who thought he had his math course figured out. He had noticed that every time the teacher presented a new concept, she would spend the first day making them go through all the hard work to solve the equation from beginning to end. It was a tedious, detailed effort that was not at all easy. But then the next day, the teacher would show the class the short cut to solving the equation. After seeing this sequence of events occur several times, the high school student decided that he really didn’t have to pay attention to the first day of the new concept. He would just wait until the second day and learn the short cut. After all, he reasoned, I will only need to give the answer on the test. I just need to know the bottom line. You can imagine what happened on the day of the examination when question after question said, “Solve this equation and show your work.”

The bottom line is obviously important to a company as it shows the difference between income and expenses for an accounting period. They continually try to reduce e costs and improve efficiencies in search of a higher profit margin. However, some have taken this so far as to eschew the law and use fraud and corruption to improve their bottom line. During their prison terms, they have the opportunity to realize that there is indeed a right way and a wrong way to address the bottom line.

I wonder how often we take a similar ‘bottom line’ approach, though, to spiritual matters.

Have you ever seen anyone ask the preacher to “tell me what I believe?” And even if you haven’t heard those words voiced, have you ever noticed a similar attitude? How about the brother who believes that the reason we don’t use instrumental music is simply because “that’s our tradition?” Or the young sister who is sure that dancing is wrong because “that’s what mama told me?” How often do our Bibles simply gather dust?

“Well, after all, our preacher is a smart fella, and we pay him to study and learn what is right, don’t we? And if he does teach something wrong, we’ve got the elders to straighten him out.”

Does that sound like the Bereans who “received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so?” (Acts 17:11) Do we truly become closer to God simply by accepting what someone else tells us, or is there true value in spending time to study and meditate on God’s word?

Some have taken this idea of the ‘bottom line’ even further. For example, I read a recent article where the author declared the bottom line to be that grace saves us and as a result, works have absolutely no bearing on salvation at all. Still others seem to think that use of a choir in worship services is acceptable because singing is still taking place.

Brethren, we must realize that the Lord’s work is not just a job that needs to be done but is instead an outworking of our faith. It’s not just about the bottom line, and we can’t simply ignore His law in doing His work. It’s not about solving world hunger, it’s about each of us serving others as we have opportunity (Galatians 6:10) or when we have this world’s goods and see a brother in need (1 John 3:17). It’s not just about putting money in the collection plate to pay the local preacher and to help support evangelism overseas. It’s about each of us studying God’s word for ourselves to become “equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:17). And it’s about each of us telling our family, friends, and neighbors the good news of Jesus Christ.

From Exhorting One Another – June 27, 2013

 

 

 

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