Both sets of my grandparents had cottages when I was growing up. Many wonderful years of memories remain with me to this day. One of the cottages operated with a deep well much like the house where we live now. Sometimes however, the pump for the well at the cottage wouldn’t work correctly. When that happened, we would draw water from the next door neighbor’s well. It was in the front yard and looked just like the typical well you picture in your mind. It had the bucket on the rope that we’d let down into the well.
It was so much fun for me to let the bucket down into the well and turn the handle to pull the bucket up. I always wondered what was down there. How much water? How deep was the water in the well? Are there any critters floating around down in there?
There were a few times that we couldn’t use the water we drew because, after having tested it, it was found to be contaminated. It had impurities that made it unfit. But interestingly, every time we got water it looked like water. In appearance the water looked like we thought it should look. But first we had to determine if it was beneficial to us or not — we had to test it.
Today, believers in Messiah have many wells in which they can draw from. The internet has made it possible for pretty much anyone to find a good Bible site that is loaded with commentaries. There are literally hundreds/thousands of sites offering teaching on basically any Bible topic or question you might have. As I’ve heard one person state it: the internet is like eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One must approach it with discernment.
A lot has happened during my 43 years of salvation in relation to the body of the living Messiah — much good and some I’m concerned about. Have we perhaps, to some degree, overlooked a very basic concept of a local assembly? God has so set up the local assemblies in Messiah that they are made up of sheep and shepherds. Paul told the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20 to:
28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31. Therefore watch ….
It is your local shepherd/elder that has the awesome and wonderful privilege of overseeing the flock under his care. He is the one that will answer to God for you. Only shepherds have a shepherd’s heart.
So … as you are throwing your bucket down the many internet wells you visit make sure to test them. And, the only way I know to do that is for you to get to know your Bible.
Let’s do what we teach our children in the song which says: Read your Bible, pray everyday, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.
If it’s good enough for our children, I have to believe it’s good enough for us grown-ups too.