I watched an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” today and it reminded me of an important principle for preachers, Bible teachers and personal workers alike.
The episode was titled, “The Sermon for Today” and it centered around a visiting preacher from New York. This visiting preacher preached a sermon called, “Watch Your Hurry” and the topic was exactly what you might think it would be … it was about the “modern day” obsession with being busy and the need for people to stop hurrying and remembering to relax. The lesson was so “soothing” a couple of the listeners comically fell asleep.
So what principle did this episode remind me about? It was about the importance of remembering your audience. The listeners definitely understood the lesson because they referenced it several times throughout the episode (even if they didn’t properly apply it), but if you were to ask me I think the preacher forgot his audience. His audience wasn’t the hurrying people of New York; his audience was the people of the sleepy little town of Mayberry, North Carolina.
Different preachers use different kinds/styles of preaching to convey the gospel message. Some are fine expositors. Others excel at textual or topical preaching. The important thing is not which of these kinds/styles of preaching the preacher uses but that he faithfully sets forth only that which the word of God teaches, honoring both the text and the context of every passage of scripture used in his sermon. Continue reading
Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1.9
Is it important what I believe? Is one line of thought as good as any other? So long as I say I am a Christian, then I am good, aren’t I? According to the apostle John, it is very important what I believe and to whom I give my support. If I do not remain in the teaching of Christ, I do not have God. The Bible talks of not adding to the word and not taking away from the word. Moses passed this principle to the Israelites when they were about to enter the promised land in Deuteronomy 4.2. John repeats the same principle in Revelation 22.18-19. It is a principle that many today ignore or try to pass off as not important. But what about creativity? If it goes outside of what the word of God has said, I had better reject it. Who am I to tell God how he should be worshiped? John in the verses following, 2 John 10-11, goes a step further. I should not receive in my home or greet someone who does not bring the teaching of Jesus. John says that I will share in his evil deeds. Did you catch that? Not only is the person who teaches something different considered to be evil, but also the one who receives him. Much damage may be done if I am perceived as accepting the person who is no longer faithful to the gospel message. However, the one who remains in Christ’s teaching has both the Father and the Son. Think about it. I want to remain in Christ where we have it all!
#risingjoy #2-John #teaching
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandments that I have written, so that you may teach them.'”
The giving of the 10 commandments was a historic moment, perhaps second only to the crucifixion of Christ. God wrote down his will, in order that it be taught to the people.
As God’s written will, Scripture is meant to be taught. If you have received it, you are responsible to teach it. Who are you teaching?
#votd #Exodus #teaching
I wonder if, as Episcopalians, we take on the power of being alive in Jesus Christ. This may sound evangelical, but that is the calling: to be dead to sin and alive in Christ.
This sad quote above comes from a PDF book on gratitude while reading Romans. The writer felt the need to apologize to his Episcopalian readers because his subject sounded like something evangelicals would talk about. It shows the horrible sectarianism of denominations who emphasize certain things in their human doctrines, to the exclusion of others.
At the same time, the quote raises all sorts of red flags. Let us, as saints beholden to no human tradition or denomination, be careful not to neglect certain teachings of the Word. Let us seek to do as the apostle Paul did, when he said to the Ephesian elders:
You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house, testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus. … Therefore I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of you all. For I did not hold back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God, Acts 20.20-21,26-27.
May every healthy teaching of the word of God “sound” like us, since it a part of our identity to speak all the inspired Scripture in its usefulness “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” 2Tm 3.16-17.
The people who fuel bad ideas are often the very people trying to destroy them. Experts will argue against a bad idea until they are blue in the face and then get exasperated when people continue to believe them. But they fail to realize they spent 90 percent of their time discussing why a bad idea is false and only 10 percent explaining how a good idea is true. In other words, they gave the bulk of their time and attention to a bad idea.
What is someone more likely to remember? The thing you spent 90 percent of your time talking about? Or the thing you spent 10 percent of the time talking about? Experts wonder why people continue to believe bad ideas, but fail to realize that they are giving bad ideas far too much airtime.
Thus, we get to one of the key features of debunking wrong beliefs:
The best thing that can happen to a bad idea is that it is forgotten. The best thing that can happen to a good idea is that it is shared. Don’t waste time explaining why bad ideas are bad. Instead, explain why good ideas are good.
Spend your energy explaining why good ideas are right, not what bad ideas are wrong. Do not fan the flame of ignorance and stupidity. Spread intelligent ideas.
Thus, it is better to pour your energy into good ideas and let bad ideas fade away. —James Clear
Is there something to apply here to the preaching and teaching of the gospel?
I recall a teacher, in a course on denominational doctrines, saying that the best way to refute a false teaching was to put forth positively what the Bible teaches on the subject. I forgot much of what we studied in that course, but that principle has always stuck with me, even in moments when I didn’t practice it in the best way.
Let’s say you’re going to teach a class about love from the Bible. You can choose only five texts or verses. What five will you choose? Why these five?
#love #nudge #teaching
This speaking coach offers 8 ways to use contrast in your speaking, some good tips for teachers and evangelists.
Some of these can be seen in Jesus’ teaching.
#public-speaking #tips #teaching
“Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach. Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.”
1 Timothy 4.16
It appears that Timothy was easily distracted from his main task. Paul calls him to concentrate on the gospel. Only the gospel saves.
We must practice what we preach. We must also preach what we practice, for people are saved by the words of the message of Christ, Acts 11.14.
#votd #1Timothy #teaching
“If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority.”
Jesus continues to answer the issue about how he could teach such powerful truths. The Lord affirms the possibility of knowing what teaching comes from God. But one must want to do God’s will to know it.
By what process do we know if Jesus’ teaching comes from God or not? What does Jesus affirm to be the objective of discerning his teaching?
#teaching #truth #VOTD
“So Jesus replied, ‘My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me.'”
The Lord replied to a question of how he, untrained in a formal school of rabbinical theology, had acquired such learning. He exploded all human expectations and attributed all to the Father.
If Christ has sent us, as he was sent by the Father, Jn 20.21, what does this say about what we should teach?
#mission #teaching #VOTD
“Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.”
2 Timothy 2.15
Paul tells Timothy that a great part of his approval by God depends upon how carefully and accurately he teaches the truth.
What is involved in making every effort in order to be approved by God?
#Effort #teaching #VOTD
“He did not speak to them without a parable. But privately he explained everything to his own disciples.”
Jesus came as Teacher of God’s way and taught all people. He used wisdom in his teaching.
How should Christians use wisdom when they teach others?
#VOTD #parables #teaching
“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” Ephesians 2:22.
With love over everything that we do, one of the prime directives of the church is edification. Most believe that edification is just teaching & preaching. After all, the members are “edified” when solid, biblical, Christ-centered teaching & preaching is fed to the flock.
But it is so much more than this. Edification gets to the shepherding of the sheep and so involves nourishing each of the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of individual members. Continue reading
Often when we speak of spiritual threats, we’re mocked or ignored as alarmists. Yet, when someone of great importance and special insight speaks, we should certainly listen and heed their warnings. Continue reading