“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” (Acts19:8-10)
I feel fairly safe to day that Paul was very qualified to teach. He had grown up with extraordinary education in the Jewish faith, and simply added the Christian faith to what he already knew. Thus he was considered a zealot Jew and became a zealot Christian. His encounter with Christ is powerful and reveals the power of our Lord and Savior in a unique way. He had been feared for persecuting people of the “Way” only to convert to the “Way” himself.
The kingdom was the center of Christ’s proclamation and that of the early church. Therefore, the church must invite people to repent and join God’s kingdom. It must be remembered that the greatest teachers do not have perfect success. Teaching the truth often leads to rejection, opposition, and hardship. Teaching success is marked by faithfulness to the task, not by public popularity.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Paul was feared, before his conversion experience and even for awhile afterwards, for his persecutions of Your children. You know, that his education would be useful to converting others to Christianity, and he proved to be one of the most prolific evangelists of the New Testament, as well as author of my books. His zeal to serve as one of Christ’s apostles was the result of his experience with Christ. His faithfulness became evident to all that listened to him and became a masterful teacher. In honor of our relationship with You Abba, and Your Son Christ Jesus, we pray that we will always remember all that we have been taught, by those in the clergy, and both family and friends. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“No matter how much you nurse a grudge, it never gets better.”
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” (John16:13–15)
The Holy Spirit is the Teacher in the lives of Christian. Under His guidance, the words of biblical revelation becomes living word for each of us. As we study the recorded teachings of Jesus, the Spirit gives insight into their meanings.
The Spirit is present at the Christian’s study desk and in every Christian study group (whether formally led or simply in home), leading believers into all truth.
“While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.’” (Luke 20:45-47)
Jesus pointed out to His disciples and within earshot of the people, questioning the motives of certain scribes and teachers of the law who seemed to love to call attention to themselves. Status-seekers make very poor teachers of divine revelation beloved.
Jesus further denounced insincere show before people, not the length of their prayers, because He often prayed throughout the night. Whether public or private, prayer is a conversation with God, not some display of piety before others, to seemingly be better than they. Remember the story of the Pharisee and said: “God, I thank you that I am not like the other men—-robbers, evildoers, adulterers—-or even like this tax collector,” while the tax collector, standing at a distance said, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—-guard it with the help of he Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2nd Timothy1:13-14)
The pastor/priest/minister teacher has a two pronged responsibility: (1) to teach correct doctrine; (2) to teach it in love. Only the Holy Spirit living in the pastor/priest/minister can ensure that sound doctrinal tradition is maintained and passed on. Sometimes, doctrinal “correctness” can become an excuse for behaving in unloving ways.
God-inspired teachings are to be kept and used in both faith and love. Protecting these teachings from misunderstanding and improper use, the faithful disciple had as an aid the presence and power of the Spirit of God within them. The Spirit both guards and empowers the true revelations of God by prompting the human mind and heart and by strengthening the keeper of His words.