I love teaching bible study! Truly I do! Many precious people in the classes that I have taught and facilitated during the years have enjoyed the journey with me. I believe in hands-on visual aids, stories that emphasize the lesson, pictures or videos that drive the point deep and teaching with a passion for the subject…which brings me back to the subject at hand, Jesus.
I can assure you that my journey to becoming a bible study teacher has been in a one-on-one tutor session with the Lord. He has worked me over good in preparing me to teach His children! There have been many, many hours of study to memorize scripture. This has been a God-send in my life personally, but watching it come alive in the faces around me in a bible study class is beautiful. Having someone read something to you is one thing. Having someone release it from the heart is another.
Years ago Jesus began to lead me off alone to memorize His Word. I would go sit on my swing, or go lay at the beach, or curl up in the bed, or walk around the house repeating word after word, or walk around the sanctuary. Without bragging…in all honesty the words would come so easy to me at those times. The Words would leap off the page right into my heart. I could feel His joy as He taught me to speak His words back to Him. It would be like we were having a scripture conversation…so beautiful, so powerful, and so revealing. I would begin to feel what His words said and not just know what His words meant. It was like there was a secret down in His words that He was sharing with me. I felt the value of what we were sharing…and communicating.
I guess through the years and His teaching me…my Rabboni, my Jesus, and my Master created a God-confidence in me about Him. The confidence is not simply for knowledge sake but for relationship sake. He likes what He has me teach others. And I like Him…not just love and adore Him…but I like Him. And I honestly know that He will reprimand me if I don’t teach what He wants taught. You got that right.
In one of the Beth Moore bible studies that I was teaching, the lesson required all the ladies during their personal weekday homework time to get down on the floor on their face in humble heart and focus on Him before beginning their homework. This particular week, I was behind because of church work responsibilities and still had much homework to accomplish before the group lesson in a couple of days. I remember getting my Bible and workbook out and putting them on the kitchen table. I opened the books when I suddenly remembered that I still “had to” get on my face before Him. I got up – ever obedient – and knelt on the floor. As I began to lay down on my face before Him, I clearly heard Him say in my spirit, “Don’t you even lay before me just because you have to.” My heart cringed as I felt His indignation and His hurt. I got up off the floor truly humbled and spent some time in meditation and worship remembering just who I was about to lay before. I shared it in the lesson just a couple of nights later.
There have been so, so, so many times where He has enveloped me in a classroom…teaching me to hear Him, understand Him, and not be afraid to love on Him as I recline against Him while He teaches. If there is anything I have learned from His classroom, it is that He doesn’t want us to be afraid to love on Him.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “…let us come boldly to the throne of grace…” When you love someone and you greet them, don’t you throw yourself in their arms, hug them, smile, greet and love on them? Don’t you want someone to throw themselves in your arms, thrilled to see you, touching you, loving you? There is nothing like enjoying the relationship that you have established with Him also!!! He wants you to truly throw yourself at Him. If you are His…His love is never closed to you. Never.
A lot of people struggle with condemnation for not being perfect in a world that they can never be perfect in. What a cycle of lies that keeps them from Him. It isn’t about OUR perfection, it is about His! Jesus never turned His back on anyone, ever. Remember, Jesus is the one who had to become sin on the cross in our place. He is the only one that will ever know the pain of God-rejection.
I am not perfect but nor do I have to be. What I have to be is “His.” He takes care of teaching us the rest, one day, one lesson, one mistake and one victory at a time. I do not believe in rules that imprison the soul. Instead I believe in rules that call the soul to its Creator where He teaches them.
Like the prodigal son’s father…He is always waiting, always loving, and always forgiving. Run boldly to His throne of grace at all times. Please. He just wants you in His arms. He will teach you more of His protective boundary in the days to come.
I want to share a brief story with you. Years ago I was trying to explain to someone how I felt about opening up to trust anyone near my heart after years and years of emotional wounds. I didn’t feel like they were getting the mental picture of what I was trying to say so, I asked them, “Have you ever seen a scrawny, diseased, starved, or beaten dog wandering hopelessly on the side of the road? “Yes,” They said. “Have you ever tried to call or get near them to help them but they shy away, growl, or even crumble into a cowering ball of fear?” They said, “Of course, it is pitiful.” I said, “THAT is my description. That was me spiritually.” And I can assure you that picture shocked them.
Now I ask you tonight my friends, “What usually happens if you take one of those wounded creatures in, adopt them, take care of them, love them, teach them, and transform their environment?
They are forever serving their Master in His house.
My point exactly.
Patti Corbello Archer
June 5, 2011
Page 3 – Up Close & Personal