Hello Church Devotion Sept. 20, 2013


T is for Teach


Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”  John 14:23-24 NIV 84


Teach, or be taught?  Which do you prefer?  As Christians we must learn to wear both the hat as a student and as the teacher.  On one side we need to be connected with the source of wisdom and knowledge so we might grow and mature in faith and in life.  And on the other side we need to recognize that we are called to teach and share that wisdom with others.  For some of us that calling is directly into a vocation of teaching and for others it may come in other settings where there isn’t a clearly defined student, teacher relationship.
 
It is essential for us to remember that we are to be students for life.  What good would it be for us to start learning a subject only to stop short and not complete the process?  Would you go to a doctor if the doctor did not finish medical school or didn’t participate in continuing education?  You would most likely seek out another doctor.  We must realize that we have not mastered the content of our faith.  Yes, we might know the foundational principles and even a lot of the stories but we continue to fall short in taking the learning from the classroom to application in our lives.  To be a continual learner doesn’t mean that we must keep going to school; rather it recognizes that we have not mastered the teachings of God and learned to live them out in everyday situations. 
 
As we learn more about God’s word we begin to realize that head knowledge will not save us.  It is only faith in Christ that saves.  “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6)” Christ is the only way but that doesn’t mean we are not to learn and grow.  We should see our spiritual growth and development like Jesus’ teaching about the vine and the branches.  “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you; ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5-8)” 
 
We want to produce good fruit for the Lord and to do so we must stay connected to the vine.  If we neglect our own learning it is like we have cut ourselves off from the ‘vine’ and we begin to wither and die.  However, if we stay connected to Christ, we continue to grow and produce fruit.  The fruit that is produced in us can sometimes be seen in our ability to teach others.  We can be teachers as parent, friend, brother, sister, employee, employer, etc.  Each of us is given a place in life that we can let God’s teaching bear fruit in our lives as we interact with the world around us. 
 
So even though some of us are not teachers by vocation we will come across times where we can teach what we have learned from God.  It doesn’t take carrying a Bible around or screaming on the street corners for us to teach, but it is often in the close relationships we form with people in regular settings that we find opportunities to share our faith and teach.  Let us be reminded in those settings that we can share the teaching of Christ with others as we still remain students ourselves.  Teaching and learning is an integral part to our faith walk.  We should encourage and support each other as people who both need to receive the knowledge from God our teacher but also recognize the gift and opportunities we are given to be the teacher and point others to the ultimate teacher, Christ. 
 
Prayer:  Dear Lord God, I thank you this day for being my teacher.  You sent your son into the world not just to save us but to demonstrate how we should live.  Lord, help me to continue to find opportunities to be in your word more frequently so that I can be strengthened and equipped by you.  Help me Lord to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that I have and to take advantage of the opportunities you give me to teach others about you.  Lord, please give me guidance and wisdom to understand your ways and to follow you all the days of my life.  Amen.
 
Further Thoughts:
 
1.       In what ways do you remain a student of Christ today? 
 


 
2.       If you struggle to be a continual learner, what steps might you take to improve your spiritual development?