Words of Worth

Edification

August 10, 2014

Blog #5  from the series, “Light” from the Black Forest

Today’s guest blogger is Tom Allen, Professor of Bible at Cairn University, Langhorne, PA and Pastor of Bible Fellowship Church, Yardley, PA

As I reflect on my time in Kandern, Germany this summer, a single word captures it best-

 

edification

 

The word means to “build up”. It is something that Christians are to consciously pursue. We are called to dispense edification and to receive it. We need it. Other believers need it. The Holy Spirit accomplishes it.  Here are a few sample Scriptures:

Rom 14:19  So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

Eph 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

1Th 5:11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

A careful reading of the texts above remind us of the variety of ways that “edification” should be intentionally woven into all our relationships.

My time in Germany was a time of giving and receiving “Edification”.

First, the Lord edified us as we drank in views of His awesome creation. From the snow capped mountains and icy blue lakes of Switzerland, to the grazing livestock, the majestic trees, the fertile green valleys,  and rich vineyards of France and Germany, the earth is truly full of His glory. The Psalmist captured it well. Psa 145:3-5 3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of Thy majesty, And on Thy wonderful works, I will meditate.

Second, through encouraging conversations.  My wife and son Jordan were with me and we frequently sat and spoke of God’s goodness to us. Since we ate out a lot we often gathered in groups and had great interaction, laughing and sharing. We fellowshipped and watched World Cup matches with new missionaries we met and it was fun to reconnect with several missionaries in Kandern whom I have gotten to know over the years. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with colleagues Sheryl Vasso, Diane Alexander, and Debbie MacCullough. A special highlight were the new and returning students who were such a delight.  Their faith and love for the Lord was so evident and contagious.  I even got to meet some recent graduates from the Black Forest Academy and to invite them to consider Cairn University.

Third, through opportunities for gospel presentations.  Over the years Dr. Vasso and I have had opportunities to build relationships with several merchants, restaurant owners etc. It was great to visit in depth with them and continue to attempt to point them to a relationship with Christ. I played basketball several times and spoke of Christ with some local German youth and was blessed on the flight home from England to share with a young man from Princeton, NJ.

Lastly, through worship, Scripture and intercession. On several evenings we gathered to pray, sing, and share what God was doing in our lives. This was powerful as we rejoiced with those who rejoiced and wept with those who wept. The Spirit of the Lord worked through different members of the body of Christ as they shared and we saw God answer prayer for health problems, family problems, and even luggage problems. In addition, we are waiting for more answered prayers with expectation.  As a class we studied through 1 Timothy which encouraged us and in our gatherings people shared encouraging promises of God. We had one guitar and sang simple songs of praise from our hearts.

To sum it up, creation, conversations, gospel presentations, and worshipful intercessions; God uses them for edification.  I am confident that God wants to edify you as well and then have you edify others. Each time you write a blog or a thought on Facebook you can be a dispenser of edification. Remember, the old PEZ candy dispensers? The top lifts up and out comes a tiny brick of candy. May God open your heart and your mouth to receive and dispense some much needed edification for His glory. (Tom Allen)

 

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