Sometimes in studying the Bible, it can become necessary to consult a reliable commentary. There is a good one available on-line. Add this to your toolbox and when you need it you'll have it. Disclaimer: I do not know anything else about the site this is on and cannot whole heartedly recommend everything on this site. Remember that this is a commentary that was written by a man and there will be mistakes in it.
As I was getting ready to go to ladies Bible class this morning, I was thinking about things to encourage younger (or less experienced) teachers. I have been in positions to encourage others to teach and was running through some tips in my mind. I am not a very experienced teacher yet, but I have learned a few things the hard way. I've tried to make these general enough that you can use these tips for teaching your kiddos at home too! Please, use the comments to add your own tips!
1. Be prepared. I am ashamed to admit how many times I've shown up still with things to cut out or various other things undone. It really puts you in a better frame of mind if everything is laid out and ready.
2. Know your lesson. Again, too many times I've walked in and stumbled through a lesson. Did I make it? Yes. Did the students learn? Yes. But how much more could I have been able to teach them had I been better prepared and knew my information!
3. It is okay to say, "I don't know, let me get back with you." Even the best prepared teachers will have questions come up that they don't know the answers to. Be sure to write the question down and do follow through. At home with my kids I might say, let's go look that up right now. Tools such as e-sword and Strong's have been used around my house. (And for non-Bible topics, Google is such a valuable tool!)
4. Build up your students, don't tear down. I love the motto: The only stupid question is the one that is not asked. I tend to be very inquisitive, so I try to have patience with others that ask many questions. Try to respond to every question with variations of, "That's a good question." This helps to build confidence in the one asking. A good student will ask questions.
These are just a few things. Please, add your own in the comments! Let's learn from each other!
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalms 1:1-3)
I have often heard sermons about this tree. Many times I have heard about how we should be strong and have our faith deeply rooted in God's Word.
But through recent events, I have been experiencing this verse firsthand. I have been studying with several students who believe differently than I. I have been studying their point of view only to have my roots grow deeper and be strengthened. This is the goal of Bible study, is it not?
I pray that I continue having experiences like this that deepen my faith and strengthen my resolve to serve the Lord. May all my brothers and sisters in Christ have the same.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
Often on Sunday afternoons when my husband and I are talking about his morning sermon, he'll tell me that he had "stepped on his own toes a lot with that one." Well, I'm about to step on my own toes a little with this post. While studying Exodus, I can't help but notice the times that God told Moses to, "Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh..." (Ex 8:20, 9:13). There are other times, too, that Moses rose up early in the morning to do as God had commanded him (Ex 24:4, 34:4). These passages always smart a little because they remind me that I need to put more effort into rising early in the morning, every morning, to put first things first (my problem is with the every part). We're commanded to "seek first the kingdom" and to give diligence to understand and carry out God's will (Matt 6:33; 2 Tim 2:15). As mothers, especially home schooling mothers and mothers of very young children, it can be a challenge to make time for our own spiritual development. We're told in Mark 1:35 that our Lord took advantage of the quiet, wee morning hours to pray to the Father. For many of us, the only time that solitude is even an option is early in the morning before the children wake up. If this is the case, we should follow our Great Example's lead and devote this time to God. He demands our best, and this includes the best of our time. Yes, it's about time that this momma, like Moses and Jesus, started rising early in the morning (every morning) to do as God commands me.
"And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:28-33)
There are wonderful examples of mothers all throughout the Bible - good ones and bad ones. When I think of Biblical mothers, I suppose I'd have to put Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the top of the list. There is a responsibility placed on all mothers to raise a child in the way he should go, but Mary had even more placed on her shoulders. I cannot even imagine how it felt to be raising the Son of God.
There are those in the religious world that place her on a pedestal. They say she was a sinless lady. While I agree that she had to be sexually pure, there is nothing to indicate she was sinless. In fact, there is definite proof that she did have sin. The Word says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23) So, I know that she had to have some sins. But for her to be chosen for such a high honor, she had to have been a very godly woman. God choosing her for this high honor puts her in the ranks of people like Enoch who walked with God, Noah who saved himself and family from the flood, and David chosen to rule God's people.
I wish that I could sit at Mary's feet and learn from her. I wonder how she learned to be a godly parent? Nowadays we learn from example and from the Bible. Who helped her to be the mother of the Son of God? She had the Old Testament scriptures. When the family moved to Nazareth she was away from her family so evidently there was no extended family to help her out.
No, I imagine that the mother of our Lord had to rely heavily upon the Holy Scriptures and prayer. Could we not do the same? Our days should begin on our knees both to speak to and listen to our heavenly Father. He speaks to us from His Word. Won't you listen?
"And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:" (Genesis 18:1-3)
Here is something interesting I learned in my husband's sermon tonight. When you see 'LORD' written in large text in some Bibles (here in the KJV), it is a Hebrew word for Jehovah. But notice in verse 3 there is another word, 'Lord' with a capital letter and lower case letters for the rest of the word. This second is the Hebrew word, 'Adonay'. One may think here, that Abraham didn't realize this was God in a fleshly form, but the term 'Adonay' is only used with God. How did Abraham know this was 'Adonay'?
This could be an interesting study for someone wanting to dig deeper!
"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding." (Proverbs 3:13)
Reading through the Proverbs, I've been reading a lot about wisdom. A lot. It amazes me that Solomon was such a wise man and yet turned his back on God toward the end of his life. Marrying the women from foreign countries was just the beginning of his downfall – the top of his slippery slope away from God.
James talks about wisdom as well: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8) We need wisdom in every area of our lives. I pray for more wisdom as a parent and how to use my money wisely.
Often through proverbs, the word prudence is mentioned. This word keeps popping up in my brain. I think it is a very important word for many reasons. Let's look at this word today.
Dictionary.com defines this word as:
1. the quality or fact of being prudent.
2. caution with regard to practical matters; discretion.
3. regard for one's own interests.
4. provident care in the management of resources; economy;frugality.
And prudent as:
1. wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discreet orcircumspect; sober.
2. careful in providing for the future; provident: a prudentdecision.
I think all these words in the definition – caution, regard, care, discreet, careful – are words implying the application of wisdom. How we use wisdom in our lives is very important. What good did it do Solomon to have all that wisdom, but he didn't apply it to his life. We need to pray for wisdom AND understanding. Then, as the Proverb says, we will be happy.
How many of us can say that we truly built our house of love on Biblical love? Even in the best of houses there is always room for improvement, but I would say that most of us need some help in our marriages. Loving Your Husband by Patsy Loden is wonderful! I thought my marriage was fine until I looked into the mirror of the Word using this book as my guide. I have learned so much with this book. I highly recommend it to all wives!