“Every teacher who is versed in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new things and old” (Matt. 13:52, Berkeley).
I once had a neighbor who accepted only the New Testament as the Word of God for Christians. According to him the Old Testament had no value, so far as salvation was concerned. He spoke of the distinction he made as “rightly dividing the word of truth.”
But what my friend seemed to forget was that the only inspired writings in existence in Jesus’ day were the Old Testament Scriptures, and that of them Jesus plainly declared: “They are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).
Jesus made no distinction between the truths of the Old Testament and the truths of His gospel, which became the basis for the New Testament.
As a child, Jesus so filled His mind with knowledge from the books of nature and revelation that in later years He was able to bring forth old truths from these storerooms and clothe them with new charm and beauty. In our verse for this morning we are encouraged to do likewise. Memory is a storeroom from which we bring forth things new and old. Those who have explored the mysteries of the mind tell us that we have two kinds of memory: longterm and short-term.
With short-term memory we remember such things as a number we looked up in a telephone book, dialed and promptly forgot.
In long-term memory the mind recognizes something as significant. Then something in our minds (no one has given it a name) says, “Record this,” and we remember it, not for a few fleeting moments, but potentially for a lifetime.
We all know, of course, that impressions stored in the mind tend to fade unless we refresh them from time to time. What is true of memory is also true of Christian experience.
Unless we regularly renew and deepen our commitment to God, our love for Him wanes. No wonder we need to be converted every day.
Because each of us is a distinct individual, no two of us are ever at exactly the same stage in Christian development.
Some persons reading this devotional book are newly born Christians, others are mature Christians, and still others are somewhere in between. Yet all of us have some things in common: we all need daily to renew our “first love” (Rev. 2:4); we all need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ, our goal; and we all need to “take heed lest ... [we] fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
May our love for God ever be kept fresh as we apply to our lives the truths new and old that will be brought forth from the storerooms of nature, experience, and revelation morning by morning throughout this year.
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