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Communion 2010

Do Not Provoke

Originally scheduled for June 20

The Scripture admonishes fathers not to provoke their children.  I wonder if this includes teaching them not to provoke others.  The American automobile gives us a fine set of examples of how to provoke others:

·        One of the all time favorites:  watch as the car approaches, wait until there is just barely room for it to stop, then pull right out in front of them.

·        Another favorite is the fellow who doesn’t know his right from his left.  That’s why he makes his right turn from the left hand lane.

·        Another real favorite:  the elderly gentleman who stops to read a sign.  A freeway sign.  In the number one lane of the freeway.

Now you have a good working definition of the word “provoke.”

Fathers are told that they are not to provoke their children.  The main reason for this is so that they will not become discouraged (Colossians 3:21).  Often enough for a father there is a choice between satisfying your anger and teaching your children the right thing to do.  There should be no doubt what to do, fathers.  Your task is to bring them up in the Lord’s way.  (Ephesians 6:4). 

Our Father in heaven has much the same choice.  Does he want us to feel his wrath, or learn his ways?  Communion leaves us in no doubt about this:

·        He tells us to do this “in remembrance.”  In short, this is a form of training and instruction for the Christian.

·        The focus is not on his wrath but Christ’s sacrifice.  Our sins are a given, but the Cross is what the instruction is about.

The test of a teacher is this:  does he produce students to pass an exam, or disciples who will follow his ways for life?  Our heavenly Father makes it clear.  The Lord’s Supper is training for the live of forgiveness – trained by being forgiven.

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