I just returned from a fruitful mission trip to Nicaragua with Chosen Children Ministries. Our group was able to give out yellow bags to children living in barrios whose parents cannot afford to send them to school. The yellow bags (part of the yellow bag challenge) contained shoes, uniforms and school supplies. We also fed around 300 people in two different barrios.
“The Fish,” “W.W.J.D.,” “a cross,” and a growing number of t-shirts and other paraphernalia are being used more and more to identify ourselves as Christians. Some of this is marketing and some of it is, I think, an effort to witness. Many of us slap a Christian symbol on the back of a car and throw on a t-shirt with a good Christian message and head out into the world proud to be a believer. These things can be great witnessing tools, but we also have to be careful about what it is we are giving witness to.
When you think of holiness, what do you think? I think many believers have sized up holiness as being something they are not sure they want to try. What I mean is that we know holiness describes God and the things of God. We know that holiness is good but, since it is applied to God, it is beyond us. Truthfully, the idea of being around that which is holy makes us fearful. We think of God telling Moses to remove his sandals because he is standing on holy ground.
A cartoon-like picture of a fish with a coin in its mouth can be found in classic children’s Bible story books as an illustration of Matthew 17:24-27. While that simple picture is an accurate depiction of the miracle, it does not convey the deeper spiritual meaning of the surrounding story
Matthew 17:24-27 (HCS)
24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the double-drachma tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your Teacher pay the double-drachma tax?”
He put study, obedience, and teaching in the proper order. Ezra is a great example for all believers to follow but especially for those who are teachers. Ezra’s pattern was to first study God’s Word, then to practice God’s Word in his own life. Only after doing these things did Ezra seek to teach others. Ezra 7:10 says Ezra had “determined in his heart” to study the word of God. The KJV reads Ezra “prepared his heart.” The NIV reads Ezra “devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law.”
Every generation has been defined or influenced by a unique set of significant social issues particular to that generation’s time and location. Some contemporary social issues include same sex marriage, abortion, gun laws, terrorism, human trafficking, immigration, high unemployment, and rising national debt. On a more personal level, many people are dealing with employment, marriage, parenting, health and financial issues.
Passion is a mark of great teaching. Passion drives a teacher to prepare well and helps a teacher communicate that he or she sincerely believes the truth they teach.
Are you a Bible teacher? A new spiritual health assessment for Bible teachers is available at www.terrylanford.com Click on the resources tab.
The teaching of Jesus astonished people, and his instructional style can serve as a model for all Christ-followers who seek to be better teachers. What Jesus taught was often tied closely to how he taught.
Training the Bible teachers in my church reaped rewards I never predicted.