I can remember a gospel meeting from many many years ago. I was probably about 14. A minister from all the way in California came to lead it. To this day I can't quite remember his name, but what I do remember was electrifying! He recounted for us in grave, scientific and specific detail just what was physiologically going on with Christ during the last days of His life. He talked about how Christ suffered and what specifically He would have been feeling during the torture that led to His death. This one sermon has left an indelible mark upon me ever since. I suggest that all followers of Christ take some time to read or learn about the specifics of what this was.
Because I heard that sermon, there are times that I read through scripture and have to stop a moment. One of those times, happened when I read through Hebrews 12; especially verse 2. Here's what it says in the NIV,
"1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Yup you read that right. Jesus considered the end result of your salvation to be worth His endurance of the cross to the extent that the Hebrew writer calls it joy! This is huge on its own. To think that He thought so much of my salvation that He'd be willing to endure such shame and agony moves my heart and strengthens my faith.
But as we studied this a thought came to mind. There are days for me (I'm sure for you as well), that I endure frustration and agony over my children. There are days that are pure drudgery. While definitely not anywhere near the same level of shame and agony that Christ endured, this passage is an encouragement to me. You see I think so highly of what Christ did for me, that I want His kingdom to continue growing exponentially. I know that one of the ways that I can do that is to encourage and equip my children to spend their lives in service to Him and the other image bearers that they meet.
"2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.", Psalms 8:2, NIV
As I teach my children to praise the Lord, He establishes strongholds against the enemy! I want to be a part of that stronghold being built. I want my grandchildren's grandchildren to be still establishing that stronghold through praise of our great Creator! I want to encourage you to join me! Let's teach our children to praise like no one's watching! Let's teach our babies to praise His name at every turn!! And let's start by being the example of that praise!
I want to take a moment to tell you about an awesome group that I recently joined!! Mom’s in Prayer is an international organization whose mission is “Our vision is that every school in the world would be covered with prayer.” I think this is so cool. Once a week a group of moms at my child’s school join together to pray over the school, the faculty and staff, each child and their families! Imagine if every school had a group of prayer warriors! Imagine the changes that we’d see! (Acts 12 comes to mind!)
The first time I joined these moms, I was blown away. Think about the things you know are happening in your school through different conversations you have with teachers, staff, other parents or your child. What if there was a group of people who came together consistently to cover each of those issues (good or bad) in prayer! Whose life could be changed? Whose eyes may be opened to Christ’s undying love for them? Whose health could be healed?? SUCH a cool idea!! It is such a blessing to know that when I send my child off to school, he’s headed somewhere that has been lifted up to the throne room of the Creator.
If you are interested in joining a Mom’s in Prayer group near you, you can use this link <https://impactroster.momsinprayer.org/public/group-info>.
But what if you are a working parent without the time to commit to meeting each week during the school day? Have no fear! How about a family prayer night where you specifically lift up your teachers, principals, counselors, janitors, coaches, students and their families in prayer? What a testament to our children! What a great way to show your children how to interact with the people around them!
Be on the lookout for opportunities to cover the areas you frequent with consistent prayer!
Ok, so maybe you don't work in the local school system and maybe you don't lead Sunday school classes. That doesn't mean you don't teach.
Education doesn't only take place in a classroom. Much of it happens around kitchen tables or in cars through the rear view mirror. So much of our learning in life is not a formal effort. So I'll repeat it again, don't fool yourself into believing you aren't a teacher.
I've heard it said, "Christianity isn't a product to consume (think Sunday morning activities), but rather a lifestyle to live out." If this is true, then what's happening around your kitchen table on a random Thursday afternoon is just as important as what your child will hear from the pulpit on Sunday morning. We also know that the consistent conversations around your kitchen table will carry more weight in the long run than what's mentioned from the pulpit.
Let's open some scripture. Flip over to Matthew 28:19-20.
"18 Jesus came to them and said:
I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth!
19 Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
20 and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world." Matthew 28:19-20, HCSB
You may have heard this before. It's commonly referred to as the Great Commission. This is when Jesus gives His disciples their instructions on life after He's gone. Their job is to go replicate what He did in their lives within the lives of many many others.
This scripture is often examined during discipleship discussions; as it should be. The part that doesn't always get as much coverage is the fact that He tells them to be teaching. This command was not just for the disciples with Him then, but also for us as well.
So the question isn't, "Are you a teacher?"; but rather, "What are you teaching??".