Bible Study & Prayer 101: Meet the Teacher

Summer is almost officially over. Ugh, as depressing as that sentence is for me to write, I am pressing forward and getting excited about pumpkin spice lattes and scarves and school.  I’ve always been a teacher: first to stuffed animals, then real human children, and now to my own human children as a homeschool mom.  Plus, once a week, I teach a class of first graders at the homeschool co-op we are a part of.

About three weeks ago, we had back to school orientation and meet the teacher night.  I bought a few little tubs of play dough, made a list of rules and a letter introducing myself and we were all set.  I waited for my fresh little pupils to walk through the classroom door and wondered what the were thinking.  Were they nervous?  Were they going to size me up and figure out how to push my buttons and take over the class?   Were they going to give me hugs and tell me they were so excited for me to be their teacher?

Well, it was a pretty uneventful night.  They came in quietly and we exchanged names and a few words.  Then they played calmly with their play dough and went home.  A few days later we had a successful first day of first grade full of learning new things and growing friendships.

But what if THIS would have happened on the first day of school instead:  The children walked in, I had all the books and materials sitting on the tables, with a note that said,

“Let me know when you’re ready to learn.  I’ll be sitting in my chair, waiting to teach you everything you need to learn today.”

Well, you know some of them would be stubborn.  They would want to teach themselves because they already think  they know it all.

Some of them would be overwhelmed and decided they would rather play all day instead.

And so I,  the teacher, would just sit and wait.  I would sit and watch them waste their time that could be used gaining so much valuable knowledge for life.  I would lovingly watch them open their books and try to figure out how to read all by themselves, and my heart would hurt because I would want to help them.

I think this is how Jesus feels when we sit down to read our bibles without acknowledging him as our teacher.  Without realizing that HE IS IN THE ROOM WITH US.

I am guilty of this.

I walk to the coffee pot like a zombie, reach the couch, open up my bible and not once do I pray  to the One who is in fact the bible made flesh.  The One who knows exactly what I need to learn and remember for the day ahead.  The One who knows my needs before I even ask them.  I just read away, highlight some insightful sounding verses, jot some notes down that seem good, and check bible reading off my to do list for the day.

And I wonder why I rise from the couch to feed the masses in my house with a grumpy attitude and an unchanged heart!

BUT there are some mornings that go down like this:  I walk like a zombie to the coffee pot (that part is guaranteed), and I sit down and worship for a moment.  I look at this book and realize GOD wrote it.  He wrote it and he is alive–  like in the room with me at the moment.

–THE AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE IS IN THE ROOM WITH ME AS I READ IT.–

This is a profound thought.  I know I didn’t come up with it;  because my eight year old told me.  {But out of the mouths of babes, right?} This is a huge, I say paramount truth about reading the bible that should revolutionize a dry bible reading experience.

In John chapter 14, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to his believers.

6 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you…

26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will TEACH you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.  John 14:26

Without the Holy Spirit, we are like first graders trying to teach ourselves. We aren’t going to grow very much.  We can copy phrases or verses, but we are not going to acclimate the material into our lives.  We need his help.  So what do we do?

  1.  Make sure you know your bible teacher.  Have you met Jesus?  I’m not asking if you are baptist or catholic.  I am asking if you know him.  He doesn’t care what you’ve done or where you’ve been.  He loves you and is waiting patiently for you to reach out and get to know him.  So if you don’t know him, now’s the time!  Introduce yourself to him now even though your eyes can’t see him.  Let him know you believe in Him and want to get to know him better.
  2. Acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s presence and worship the Lord before you read the Bible.  This does not necessarily mean you have to turn your favorite worship song on and raise your hands and sway side to side!  This is a matter of the heart.  Pray and talk to God before you open up your bible to read.  Acknowledge He is near, reflect on the fact that He is God, and give him praise for it!
  3. Ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from His Word for today.   As the scripture above tells us, the Spirit will guide us into all truth.  We don’t have to know everything about the bible before we sit down to read it.  Our teacher is with us.  He will show us what we need to learn for today. Then, tomorrow, he will teach us what we need to know for tomorrow. Isn’t that a relief?

Can you believe what a Good Teacher He really is?  He didn’t leave us by ourselves to figure out this enormous bible all on our own.  And it is a good thing.  Because we would have been missing out big time.  The treasures inside of it are more valuable than anything we could desire. So meet the teacher and enjoy His Word!  Check back next week for more posts on this series, or click the follow button to receive them via email. Praying it blesses your personal bible study!

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Bible Study & Prayer 101: Meet the Teacher

  1. Pingback: Bible Study & Prayer 101: How To Read The Bible  | Refocused

  2. Pingback: Mark Reading Plan for Easter | Amy D Terry

  3. Pingback: Laying a Foundation for Wisdom | Amy D Terry

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