Read: 1 Timothy 1:3-7 |
As a child, did you ever play with a magnifying glass on a hot summer day?
I recall holding a magnifying glass above a piece of paper at an angle that allowed the sun’s rays to shine through the glass. Then I moved the magnifying glass up and down to find just the right position where the focal point of sunlight formed a pinpoint of light. After steadily focusing on that spot, the pinpoint heated up the area of focus causing it to smoke and then catch fire. Of course, then I had to extinguish the fire!
As a parallel, knowing our purpose and calling can catch us on fire for Christ!
If we allow the Son of God’s light and love to shine on our hearts as we are steadily seeking His Light. God will bring into focus His plan for our lives into a pinpoint and make His plan apparent. As we magnify Him and the Son illuminates our pathways, the Holy Spirit catches our soul on fire for the Lord. Satan cannot extinguish the eternal flame of our salvation or dislodge our purpose. Satan can only tempt us to hide our light under a bushel in order to make it less effective. Our challenge is to stay on fire for the Lord by constantly seeking His presence in our lives and fulfilling His purpose and calling for our lives.
Knowing our purpose and calling focuses our lives and gives us direction (Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 3:13-15). God has appointed spiritual gifts and natural abilities within each believer. Find and recognize the gifts that God has bestowed on each of us.
The spiritual gift of Bible Teaching is listed as the third gift in 1 Corinthians 12:28, “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.”. The challenge is that those called to teach and receive this gift must hear, acknowledge and respond.
S. Chatwell on the Sunday School Center website, noted excellent basic questions to double-check if God is calling us to become a Bible teacher:
- Have you given your heart to Jesus?
- Do you feel led by the Holy Spirit to take on this responsibility?
- Are your motives pure?
If the answer to each question is “Yes” then hallelujah, welcome aboard! If not, pray and seek God’s guidance and be open-minded since most churches have many teacher support roles that also need filling (James 3:1).
God answers our prayers with “Yes”, “No” and “Wait”. We answer God’s calling with the same three answers. We answer “No” and “Wait” when we try to delay or cancel God’s heavenly assignment on our lives. We answer “Yes”, when we willingly accept his assignment. Remember, God does not just call the qualified; but He does qualify and equip the called.
Accepting the call to teach is only the first step in being a Bible Teacher. The subsequent steps take a lifetime of living and learning. The first steps begin with putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6-110-12) to prepare ourselves to teach our students and ward off Satan. Our students deserve our best, which requires that we study and show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15). Satan will assign his most experienced imp’s to disrupt, distract and discourage us day-by-day. Put on the armor of God and keep it polished with praise, prayer and perseverance.
As we magnify the Lord, He is illuminated. Catch fire for Christ and follow whatever calling God has placed on your life!
A. Taking a personal inventory, what Spiritual Gifts do you have? (I Corinthians 12:4-11)
B. What natural abilities do God bestow on you? Singing, Organization, Finance, Computer savvy, etc.
A. How have you used your Spiritual Gifts? Are there any you do not use? Why not?
B. Do you use any of your natural abilities for the Lord? Are there any you do not use for Him? Why not?
A. Share with your prayer partner how you responded to a call that God put on your life that was easy to say “Yes” to and one that was hard to say accept.
B. Pray for the students in your classes and ask them if God has called them to do anything. Use it as a basis for a small group discussion.