"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." John 17:17
Luke 11:1-11; 12:1-11
Do you know what you teach, do you teach what you know?
Key point: We must know the Teacher before His teaching can make sense to us or be real in our lives! We must know the Teacher before we can teach! This develops as we become a disciple and furthers as leaders. We respond to God and others from what we are given. From this, we are to be teachers of His Word, preaching the Bible with passion, conviction, clarity, and always in the truth! (Rom 12).
Many people have their opinions of who Jesus is. As Reformed or Evangelical Christians, we are sure we know who Jesus is. He is clearly spelled out in the Bible, in our creeds and confessions, preached on Sunday and even studied during the week. But, who is He really to you? Is the world's interpretation the same as yours? Is He a mere man? A prophet? A madman? A myth? A liar, fraud, or imposter? Great teacher? Is He truly our LORD, or is He a convenience or a compartment of our life, or even just a puppet for us to get our way with God?
If you really think this through, you may be surprised by what you find. How you live out your Christian life is a true reflection of who Jesus is to you.
What we do with His spoken and written Word will determine how we are to ourselves, others, and to the world; this mindset fuels our faith and our maturity. It will also decide our composure and contentment and be the main inspiration for our growth in Christ and our relationships with those around us. If we ignore His voice and shirk our responsibilities, we forfeit so many of His wonders and the enjoyment of life in Christ. Sit at the feet of the Teacher, allow Christ to weave and thread His Life, Truth, and Way in and through you. There is no better way. So, are you serious about your faith and His Word (Gal. 5; Heb. 12:25)!?
When we realize the value of His Truth, we will dedicate our lives to Chris ad teach His precepts wholeheartedly!
We will get rid of everything and anything that keeps us away--we will even sacrifice what we like, if it is bad for us or clouds His Way from us, so we can possess His truth (Matt. 13:28-30; Phil. 3:7-10).
We have to be taught before we can teach.
When God is instructing us, He is edifying us with the information to grow our faith and transform our hearts, character, and actions while leading us into deeper maturity. God is holding up a mirror to show us our real heart. What is inside of you? He is looking for faith, for authenticity, for Fruit, for a soul who cries out to Him, so He can grow His seed in us. God also desires to multiply His seed so He can be made known to others. He is looking to see where His Word has fallen on you. How is His Word being used?
Jesus teaches with the Holy Spirit in mind to empower us, and His grace sustains us. In so doing, He does not teach us a set of "do's and don'ts," but reveals to us a picture of life, as it should be. The picture of life is the church as we relate to the world, living and working in the power of the Spirit by what Christ has done.
Look at it this way. In God's infinite mercy, He dispenses the knowledge and truth, we need at the level we need and at the time we can handle it. Then, He brings us deeper into His Word and gives us a deeper understanding as we grow in our faith. His truths will not contradict, but rather expound and expand our faith. The more we know and have grown in our faith and knowledge, the more reasonability we have to model and tell it to others. This is also why many Christians are not involved in Discipleship and why most churches do not teach from the Bible or only offer superficial messages; the pastors and members are in fear of their growth because they do not want the responsibility or to model Jesus or show and tell Him to others.
Keep in mind that many Christians prefer disobedience rather than an effectual faith that is contagious.
So, when we are ready, we get it; when we get it, we are responsible for it and have the passion to run with it. If you do not get it, you are too prideful, too apathetic or too immature or too young in the faith to understand because you have not learned and applied what must come and become before. You cannot play Beethoven when first learning the piano, nor can you do calculus when you are just learning fractions. You build up to it, practicing and meeting challenges that are appropriate for where you are. When Jesus first taught them, the disciples were not ready, thus they did not get it; they were too young in the faith. We are required to learn it, preserve it, study it, and apply it (John 14: 6, 26; 16:13; 17:17; Col. 3:1-3).
Why do my people not understand Jesus' teachings? First off, when we teach, as Luther stated, teach to children, when we preach to adults, so all can understand.
Perhaps they are not listening or ready for it. Do we hear His Word? If not, why not? Do we see the value? Are we willing to give up our feeble ways, and all that we have, to possess His Truth? If so, what are you doing about it? What has God planted in you? What have you done with it? Is it growing, or is it trampled (John 12:23-28)? And, if you do hear and put into practice His Word, have you told others about Him; has your faith multiplied into the lives of others as well? The barrier that most Christians face, the wall that prevents them taking their faith into their life and relationships, is that they hide the Truth by burying it deep in their lives so it is never shown to those around them! When we receive His Truth, we must never hoard it just for ourselves; it must be proclaimed in our lifestyle, in our deeds, and in our words. It must be real and authentic! Why? Jesus Christ is real with us! He dwells in and with us!
Jesus motivates us to examine our attitudes, to see if there is room, (and there should be lots of it) for improvement in our relationships with both God and those around us!
How can I make sure I hear and teach the Word of the Lord so they can grow deeper? Get on with it; get on with your faith. Embrace and proclaim His Word with passion, so they hear His truth, do so with Love, so they understand its clarity, and believe with conviction, so it endures; in that way, they can also make it known to others in the same way.
Jesus gets into our hearts and minds so we are transformed and renewed in Him. He purifies us so we can know Him more deeply, and in so doing, become our best for His glory. This is quintessential in our spiritual growth. We have to be formed in Christ, and He has to have a deep impact on us so our lives are changed. We no longer rely on our feelings and experiences. Rather, we seek Him and His Word for all of our life and decisions so we are people of maturity, not tossed by the winds of society and pride. We seek Jesus and the Truth so that we do not seek to create a façade rather than a real person whose heart is growing in Him. This comes from learning from Him and trusting in His redeeming power, in His blood that saved; we respond by our trust in Him. Christ's blood was shed in our place to please Gods price and wrath so we could be forgiven and have eternal life (Hebrews 9:11-28).
God's Word has life and power! Make sure you have received it! Keep receiving it, then pass it on so that God might use you to reap a hundredfold harvest!
Teaching Truth is a choice. Listening is a choice. We have the choice to do as we please with the Word when it reaches out to us! We have the choice, once we know Jesus, to keep hearing and applying His Word. The seed is given, His grace is given, our sins can be declared clean, we can have eternity, and all we need to do is accept it by faith. So easy, so simple; yet, so few will. The point we are not to miss? Do not be the one who chooses to harden your heart and embrace what is false or water it down so it is meaningless!
© 2016 R.J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/