Week 41 Education in God’s Word

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 41

Scripture Readings: 2 Chronicles 16-20

Key Scripture Verse: 2 Chronicles 2 Chronicles 17:7-9 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

“In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were certain Levites—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jeonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.”

Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, inherited the kingdom of Judah, and in following in his father’s footsteps he tried to do what was right by God, trying to abolish idolatry in his land and to seek God in his decision making. Because he believed that the people of Judah needed religious instruction, he started a nationwide education program.

Jehoshaphat sought out the religious leaders and priests to teach the people, as he believed that that was the first step in facilitating a God-believing nation that would be able to live by God’s commands. Per my Bible’s commentary, he was effective in reversing the decline in faithful living, helping them to develop a sense of commitment and action.

I am a firm believer in education. And when it comes to learning about our faith, the New Testament makes it clear that the way to develop faith is by reading God’s word and knowing how to apply it to our lives in all that we do.

The Apostle Paul said that we should “pray without ceasing,” as a way to be in constant relationship and communication with the living God. I believe that prayer and asking God to reveal himself to us through the scripture makes his instruction accessible to us. I believe that we can lean on the Bible for understanding God’s will in whatever situations we face. Jehoshaphat believed that too and was trying to facilitate that education in a nation that was fairly illiterate in the reading of the scripture.

In writing these blogs, I am learning more about the scriptures and it is my hope that in my teaching it, you and I both learn something from these posts with the ultimate goal of developing in faith.

The more I learn about what the Bible has to say and the more I pray for instruction and development of my faith, the more God reveals himself to me. And when I need to lean on the scripture in a crisis, it is more accessible to me. I’m learning the tools of my faith and how to apply them. It’s a work in progress.

I pray this post and others I have written for you, the readers of this blog, are a blessing to you. May we all study his word and grow in our faith and relationship with Jesus. My prayers are with you.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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