What is the number one principle your students take away from your class? If you are like most Bible class teachers, your students learn God loves them. You may also impress upon them God is awesome. Hopefully your students come away knowing a little (or a lot!) more about what is in the Bible.
Over the years I am beginning to realize there are four important principles we are not teaching our young people in extremely clear ways. Yet these four principles can make a huge difference in how your students choose to lead their lives and can even impact where they spend eternity.
So what are these four important principles?
- God is real, alive and active in our world today. Often we get so excited in sharing what God did during Bible times, we forget to discuss what He is doing today. We may not be sharing enough how we see God working in our lives and the lives of others. Unintentionally, we begin to move God more towards being a distant, slightly bored God instead of the God of the bible who was constantly involved in the lives of His people. For your students to choose to obey, serve and worship God, they have to truly believe God is real, alive and active – even today.
- God’s commands never change. Nothing drives me over the edge more than hearing a person or a church has “voted” down one of God’s commands. Really? We may not like His commands or even understand them. Ultimately though, God is God and we must obey all of His commands. He doesn’t give us a vote. Just like Job, we may not understand why God’s commands are what they are until years from now or perhaps until we actually get to Heaven. In the meantime though, we owe it to our students to impress upon them the need for absolute obedience to God’s commands. (I understand grace plays a role, but I am talking here about deciding to “overrule” God.)
- God and His Words should be our primary advisors in life. How great would it be if everyone prayed and consulted the scriptures before they made important choices? There are so many godly principles, which when applied, can guide us through any situation. That is what is so great about it. Customs and societies have changed over the several thousand years the bible (or parts of it) has been in existence, yet those basic principles are as helpful today as when they were first written.
- Christianity is a lifestyle, not an activity. For many, attending church and perhaps participating in a church service project or mission trip defines their Christianity. When you read the New Testament though, their lives were centered around, focused on and thoroughly immersed in living a Christian life. They put everything on the line on a daily basis to obey, serve and worship God. And I don’t mean just the Apostles. Help your students understand every part of their lives should have God playing an active role in it.
If you can reinforce these four principles with your students, you will impact their lives in ways you can only imagine. I pray you will take a look at your literature and see how you can add these principles to what you are teaching.