His Glorious Word
Tomorrow I’ll be teaching my Bible study class at Bethel Baptist Church for the last time. I will have taught this class for the past 17 years, although the name of the class has changed several times as has its membership. Throughout the years the attendance has remained pretty steady at 25-35 and has mostly consisted of married couples. As I’ve taken inventory this past week, I’ve discovered that I have taught over half of the books in the Bible. Genesis alone took almost two years to complete since my style of teaching is to go verse-by-verse, and it’s not been unusual for a chapter to take two Sundays to cover.
For the past ten years, I’ve taught using PowerPoint, scanning in Bible story pictures and illustrations from children’s Bibles in order to bring the passage outline to life. (Previously, I used transparencies and an overhead projector and when I first started teaching more than 40 years ago, I utilized an old-fashioned flipchart.) Since I write my own lessons and make my own illustrations, the process of developing a lesson can easily take 15-20 hours each week.
But the reality behind all these facts is the overwhelming blessing I have received from being given the privilege of teaching the Word of God. To prepare each week I get to read commentaries by great Bible scholars like John MacArthur, John Phillips, James Montgomery Boice, John Piper and many others. I get to meditate on one passage of Scripture all week long and decide how best to share it with others. I must see how the passage applies to my life before I can make the application to others. After a day of study, I often find myself singing the old hymn, “All day long I’ve walked with Jesus, it has been a glorious day.”
Yet, even after all these years of learning and teaching, I feel I know next to nothing of the incredible treasures His Word contains. As soon as I discover one nugget, I look up to see a whole mountain of gold waiting to be mined. My overwhelming desire for those I have taught is that I have created within them a thirst for His Word that will never be quenched. I pray for them even as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)