Monday, August 08, 2011
It dawned on me the other morning while surrounded by six children dressed in their Sunday best that the major lessons of life can be learned in a children's Bible class:
Be nice and mean it.
Pray for bullies (even if you don't want to).
Clean up your messes the best you can.
Always have your Bible close.
Sometimes life stinks, hurts, and isn't fair but God will always love you no matter what.
Visitors are friends we haven't met yet. Make them feel welcome.
Be thankful to God for your family and friends but especially thank him for Jesus.
After the lesson and while the kids were coloring, I thought of Ms. Hilda, Ms. Alice, and Ms. Louise. I had several Bible class teachers when I was a child but these are the ones that come to mind when I think of that little church building in Western KY.
These made an impression and they're the ones I draw encouragement from every time I walk into my own Bible class.
I've been fortunate enough to teach ladies Bible classes but I would always rather be in a classroom full of children. Seeing what a child can understand always amazes me.
Their innocent faith and pure love for others is a lesson for all of us (Luke 16:18). You might be surprised by the questions they ask on topics such as forgiveness, salvation, and even grace. Children have a fervent desire to know about Jesus.
There's few things as rewarding albeit a bit exhausting and sometimes even nerve-wracking as sitting down with some rambunctious kids and teaching the Word of God. Seeing a child learn the love of Christ is overwhelmingly satisfying.
I challenge you; get involved in a Bible class. You have no idea how encouraging it will be and you'll be surprised at how much you will learn.
I'm working on my next book project and I need your help. I have a questionnaire for Bible class teachers (for adult & children classes) and looking for participants to offer advice, memories of their favorite teacher, humorous stories, and encouragement for and from the Bible class teacher.
If you are a Bible class teacher (or ever had one) and would like to participate, send me an email and I'll send you the questionnaire.
The link to contact me is on the profile page. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Thursday, August 04, 2011
I was sitting beside three sweet little friends one Wednesday night as the congregation sang Jesus Loves Me. I loved hearing their voices as they went about the familiar verses.
However, the youngest, had his heart into it. He belted out the chorus with much enthusiasm.
As he got to the end, he sang boldly, "Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so."
He held out the last word until everyone else was finished singing and then turned around and proclaimed. "So what!"
Isn't that the way we are sometimes? We know Jesus loves us. We're well aware that the Bible tells us how to live, yet our actions speak differently.
We check in with Jesus on Sundays, warm a pew, and punch the Christian time-card. But once we leave, we casually fade back into the world.
We forward malicious, gossip-filled e-mails about our leaders telling ourselves that if we don't agree with them then we have the right to slander them (I Peter 2:13ff).
We flirt more with the world than we do our spouse (I John 2:15).
We let that pesky 'live peacefully with all men' verse hinge on the color of one's skin, the money in their bank account, or the church they attend (Hebrews 12:14).
The Bible shows us the way to a greater life, a loving father, and a Heavenly future but too many times we live as though God isn't that important. Like others who have gone before us, we proclaim Jesus with our lips but our hearts are far from him (Matthew 15:8).
Sometimes we're like that cute little boy who sang, "The Bible tells me so. So what."
Spend some time with your nearest Bible. Life is about God, not us. Our focus needs to be on the cross. Live right. Stand out. Love others. Make a difference.
You have the opportunity to change the world. The Bible tells me so.