Tag Archives: Teaching

What Have You Heard?

June 26, 2014

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How easy is it to change  the story?

How easy is it to change the story?

The person who tells one side of a story seems right, until someone else comes and asks questions. – Proverbs 18:17 NCV

How often have you heard “perception is truth” in the business place?

How many times a day are persuasive arguments used to back a false premise?

Do you ever make decisions based on what you’ve heard rather than your research?

It happens in business, sports – everywhere.

Worse, I know I don’t have to tell you that this get done with God’s word every day. Even when one reads the truth right out of the Bible, they are convinced it says something else by a skilled speaker.

We fix it by:

  • Knowing the word
  • Correcting the error
  • Teaching the truth
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4 Lessons the Eunuch Taught Us

June 12, 2014

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The Baptism of the Eunuch - 1626 -  Rembrandt (1606–1669)

The Baptism of the Eunuch – 1626 –
Rembrandt (1606–1669)

The account of the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-39) is a reminder of how rich the Bible is in content. We could spend a lifetime in the book and not master the lessons it is able to teach us. Take a look at just some of the takeaways that this passage gives us about Christianity:

Christianity is learned

The Eunuch asked, “How can I unless someone guides me? (Acts 8:31)

It’s true. God meant for is word to be studied, but most importantly – taught. One of the key verses I pivot a lot of my posts on in this blog is 2 Timothy 2:2. In that one verse, four generations of teachers are described.

Let’s face it, while the basic gospel plan of salvation is simple to follow, the Bible has some difficult content that needs to be learned and then taught. The essence of the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is Teach – Baptize – Teach.

Christianity has been the plan from the beginning

Philip found the Eunuch reading from the book of Isaiah. (Acts 8:32-33 = Isaiah 53:7-8) A passage talking about the crucifixion! The Jews missed it then and today’s Jews still deny that passage is about Jesus.

We know from John 1 that God’s word was uttered in the beginning and Christ became that word.

We might not ever fully understand the full impact of that, but God’s plan is and always was in full effect.

Christianity cannot wait

Once the Eunuch understood what was required for his salvation, he asked to stop and fulfill it at the very next opportunity. (Acts 8:36-38)

We are not promised tomorrow…

Almost saved still equals lost …

Something to keep in mind whether we are currently the teacher or the student.

Christianity is a joy

After the Eunuch was baptized, he went on his was rejoicing. He understood in that moment that the blood of Christ had paid for his sins. What’s not to like about that?

Keep studying!

As we continue building a habit of reading and re-reading the Bible, remember to look deeper and deeper into the passages for more of what God was trying to tell us.

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Doing What Jesus Did

May 15, 2014

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Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees - between 1886 and 1894 - James Tissot (1836–1902)

Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees – between 1886 and 1894 – James Tissot (1836–1902)

What would Jesus do?

Most of the time, we fall short of Jesus’ example. Especially in the department of making sure others have an opportunity to hear the truth, we do not deliver as expected.

If we are supposed to teach others the gospel, and we are supposed to follow his example, then we also have to teach the hard lessons too.

In John 8:21-30, Jesus is in the temple teaching and he makes some pretty direct statements to the Jews that were gathered around. For us, “You will die in your sins …” (John 8:24) is not exactly something we can work into every conversation. We might lose a few popularity contests over it, but it is a point that we need to teach.

Jesus never failed to tell someone what they needed to hear – even if it was a little uncomfortable. The climate for Christians today is not very favorable for telling others about Christ and their salvation. Just like in Jesus’ time, most will not believe, but it is still something that needs to be done.

And if we are going to do what Jesus did, we need to get started – because there are some that will believe! (John 8:30)

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Who Deserves the Gospel?

March 12, 2014

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Supper at Emmaus - 17th century - Matthias Stom (fl. 1615–1649)

Supper at Emmaus – 17th century – Matthias Stom (fl. 1615–1649)

They sure could frustrate Jesus!

After everything that happened on the last three days of Jesus’ life, the eleven remaining disciples chose not to believe the reports that Jesus was alive. Peter and John had even seen the empty tomb.

Jesus was frustrated enough with them that he rebuked the eleven the first time he was with them. (Mark 16:14) Hardness of heart seemed to be an ongoing problem for the twelve throughout their training. (cf. Mark 6:52)

Did they not really believe Jesus could be risen or was it something else?

Since he appeared first to Mary Magdalene and a couple of unnamed guys, I’ll go out on a limb and say it was something else. Why would Mary and these two unnamed disciples, that weren’t of the eleven, be who Jesus chose to see first?

There are an awful lot of Christians that act like that.

Somehow they are a little more deserving, they are a little more righteous or a little higher rank than another. God just doesn’t work like that though. (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11) The gospel is for everyone and the Apostles were told to make sure all creation heard it (Mark 16:15)

As for us, we are to follow that example and make sure that we do all we can to spread the word exactly like they did. (2 Timothy 2:2) Sometimes it is a little difficult to reach out to another who is not like us. Whatever the reason for that is, it is a dangerous position to be in!

Take some time to consider Jesus’ rebuke when faced with a decision to help someone. A hardened heart does not get us to heaven.

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How to Attract Seekers

March 10, 2014

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Christ before Caiaphas - ca. 1630 - Matthias Stom (fl. 1615–1649)

Christ before Caiaphas – ca. 1630 – Matthias Stom (fl. 1615–1649)

The Jews needed something. Anything.

And they weren’t going to stop until they got it.

As Jesus was enduring his first trial in front of the council, every word he said would be twisted against him. Jesus would finally give them what they wanted when he was ready, but they would take any and every lie, any bit of hear-say, or snippets of his teachings and try to convict him. They weren’t being too choosy about it. (Mark 14:53-72)

People aren’t much different now.

If someone doesn’t want to believe in God, it is easy enough for them to come up with a way to get to that conclusion.

Want to deny Christ?

It’s easy, just scoff at one of the key parts of the gospel and a denial can be completely justified. (At least in that person’s mind)

Even in light of all the miracles that were witnessed during Jesus’ ministry, the Jews ultimately believed what they wanted to believe. They didn’t take the time to investigate what they heard about. They didn’t take the time listen to Jesus and compare it to their own teachings. At the end of the day, crucifying Jesus was about being able to maintain the life they knew.

It takes a lot of time accept the gospel.

It takes even longer to want to live a Christian life.

What we do and what we say will give others a reason to accept or reject Jesus. The challenge for us is life a godly life without getting in our own way as a teacher. To do that we have to be:

  • Consistent – Sin is sin, we can’t be caught waving the Bible about one type of sin and letting another type slide
  • Knowledgeable – We have to know what we are talking about and not say things that simple logic or trivial Bible knowledge can dispute. Basic errors can cause our whole case and the best of our intentions to be suspect
  • Loving – Teaching is done best with a kind heart. Showing others a better way should be done with a gentle approach. Remember that we are asking them to change their life.

The key to making others interested is living a great life within the bounds of God’s word. We have an expectation of a generous reward – we should be wearing that on our sleeves!

We have the power of God supporting us.

We have a savior that told us not to worry.

Now go give them a reason to ask why we are so happy! (1 Peter 3:15)

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