Showing posts from July, 2017

4 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Sunday School Lesson

Studying and teaching the Bible is hard work.  It is physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually draining, but as a believer it is the most rewarding thing you can do. The Bible moves us emotionally, challenges us mentally, engages us spiritually, and to study it you must physically find the time to do it.  So for those of us who teach the Bible regularly in church, we often pour everything we have into studying the passage we are teaching and preparing a lesson for our people on Sunday morning.   So the center piece of your Sunday school lesson every week should always be the word of God.  But there are some things we can use to help enhance our teaching of God's word.  Here are 4 things you might consider incorporating into your lesson.  These are meant to be enhancements and not intended to replace explanation of or discussion of the biblical text.   1. Quotes The longer I study the Bible and the more I teach it the more I find that sometimes (actually quite of

Why Words Studies are Important to Personal Bible Devotion

The Bible consists of words.  That sentence sounds like nonsense.  "Of course it is", you might say.  The Bible is a book, books contain words, so the Bible consists of words.  But in the Bible's case, those words are inspired.  They were given to us by God.  Those words are precious.  They are priceless.  David says in Psalm 12:6, "The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times".  So every syllable of every word of Scripture was chosen by God.  He gave us the exact words he wanted us to hear and understand. The problem is that the original language of Scripture wasn't English.  The original language of the Old Testament was Hebrew, and the original language of the New Testament was Greek.  So for most of us, unless you are a Hebrew and Greek scholar, the Bible you read every day is a translation.  A linguist, or word and language scholar, has done the painstaking work of translating for us the origina

Three Areas of Your Life to Examine to See if God is Your Top Priority

I am currently studying the book of Haggai for a lesson I'm teaching Sunday.  Haggai is a wonderful Old Testament prophetic book that often gets overlooked.  It's only two chapters in length and little is known of the author.  The time period of the book is around 520 B.C.  The Jews were out of exile and back in Jerusalem.  Persia and King Darius were still in control, but they had been allowed to return and rebuild the Temple.  The rebuilding of the temple had started in 538 B.C. but had halted due to opposition, supposed lack of resources, and the indifference of the people. Haggai was sent by God to spur the people on to rebuild the temple.  It was still in ruins 16-18 years after rebuilding had started.  The Jewish people had began to rebuild their own homes and lives, but the Temple was still in ruins.  God was showing them that he had sent hardship in their lives because they had failed to make Him their first priority.  They were indifferent to Him, and he had judged t

Cross-Bearing: Teaching People to Deny Self

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian and philosopher, once said "The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world."  This same thought is expressed by Jesus himself in Mark 8:34-38.  In verse 34, Jesus says "if anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me".  (HCSB)  The death of self-centered living is the heartbeat of the gospel.  The "call" that Bonhoeffer is referring to in his quote above is call of the gospel. And if you teach the Bible on a weekly basis, this gospel call is what your people should be hearing every week.  It's the life we as believers are called to embrace. If you ask 100 Christian what the "normal" Christian life is suppose to look like, you might get 100 different answers.  People might say things like "we should love our neighbors" or "we should go to church