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An Unexpected Blessing for Bible Teachers

by Mike Dente

An Unexpected Blessing for Bible Teachers

Don’t we love what we do? Isn’t there something wildly exciting about teaching the Bible? It’s a spiritual work. Bible teaching is from another dimension because of Who inspired it. In the end, its content will out-last everything in our physical world. Unfortunately though, there are so many competing projects and various levels of urgencies that sometimes that, “jump out of bed joy because I can’t wait to dig into that text,” feeling can fall prey to their domination.

Teaching through the Word is a blessing. Sharing from scripture is an undeserved gift of God.

However, we all fall short in one way or another. We need direction; we are lost sheep. But the Word leads us. Even that said, who can study enough to be deemed a worthy authority on the level of Holy Scripture? And yet, God in His unequalled generosity has allowed us to do just that, know and teach other people His Word. What can I say? It’s a blessing.

At every level of Bible teaching, we enter a world of adventure that can’t adequately be described. Teaching can be dangerous because of the spiritual implications. With only a little error, a life can veer off track. Truth exposes those that hear it because they are immediately responsible for what they hear, but it also makes the announcer a target. Even so, the adventure is exciting because that’s where heaven meets earth. It is a moment in physical time where we speak, so people can hear our voices yet participate in a spiritual work that is outside time and space.

In some ways it’s like living in a science fiction dream, but we can pinch ourselves. This is really happening. Because of the eternal implications, we are doing a work more concrete than manual labor. What we do has the potential to add to the population of heaven and increase the quality of someone’s life in the kingdom. Isn’t it a blessing to build something that will last?

This happens with the Sunday school teacher. They find themselves building into the next generation. As they teach the Word to wiggly kids, they might be instructing tomorrow’s theologians, missionaries, doctors, lawyers, contractors, etc. They are working today to make tomorrow’s world better. This is true of the Bible study leader, home group host, conference teacher, songwriter, artist or anyone who uses the Word of God and brings it into the public sphere.

Another benefit of teaching the Word is the positive effect in my own life. It’s the “preacher, preach to yourself” moment that has so often been a dividing line between authentic teaching and hypocrisy. As Timothy Keller wrote, “If you want true change, you must let the gospel teach you. You must let the gospel sink down deeply until it changes your views and the structures of your motivation.”

We have the privilege of digging deep into the text.

At our various levels, we are invited to analyze and understand a passage far beyond the allotted time we have to teach it. We can dress our lesson with relative examples and provide practical application for the people we are serving. But as we dig in, we are spending more time in meditation than most. In a way, we have “a fast pass” towards Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

We know the experience of meditating on the Word day and night and seeing His movement in our lives succeed. One of those ways I believe we see “good success” is in the Lord showing us where we aren’t. There is nothing like teaching about divisiveness that gives us an opportunity to examine our own hearts. Are we divisive? Are we building our own kingdom at the expense of another sister’s or brother’s?

I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is to be teaching a study like that and right in the middle, the Lord put His finger on a situation. He may even bring someone’s face to mind. Boom. I think I just stumbled on my words while speaking, probably even stuttered. But in my heart, God did business with me.

That is pure blessing! Praise God that He allows us to see what we should see, maybe what everyone else already sees, so that we can bring it to Him and find forgiveness.

Teaching the Word can give us an extra mirror of blessing in our house.

If we don’t distort the image like a carnival mirror, we have an added opportunity to let the Lord speak deeply into our lives. He will help us to become the child He’s calling us to be. What an added blessing for a ministry already overflowing with eternal benefits! Praise God, He lets us teach His Word.

Mike Dente

Mike Dente is the senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Paris located in Paris, France.