I don’t realize how much teaching bible study has meant to me until I have to skip my turn. I’ve had to abdicate my responsibility for business reasons and asked the assistant pastor to find somebody to fill in for me. And I miss it.
I start bible studies at least a week in advance, usually two weeks. I read the passage, ask myself what it means to me, and pray and ponder for a week. A couple of days before, I read over a couple of commentaries. The night before, I finally put together an outline and some thoughts, but usually the day before I spend 8-10 hours writing it all down. Total time around 15-20 hours, and this week’s lesson was abandoned at about the 6 hour mark. Here were my thoughts –
My assignment was Acts 8, and as I read about Philip’s ministry, I thought about all the people names Philip through the centuries that were named after this apostle. I didn’t actually research any famous Philips, but my wife suggested the Philips screwdriver. That’s one of the reasons I married her. That’s funny. But the point was, did these Philips live the life they were challenged to fulfill? Did they live up to that name?
Philips preached the word and baptized to crowds, while scattered away from his home, while on the road, and under stressful situations. I had planned to cover each of those verses, one at a time. Philip was an amazing man, and not just because he carried a screwdriver.
Jesus challenged – no, commanded – us to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. Philip did that and gave no excuses and showed no fear. When we accept Christ, we become the adopted children of God. Are we living up to that name?
That’s about as far as I got; that’s the kind of studying and praying I get to do when preparing for a lesson, and I’m going to miss the last 10 hours of lesson preparation to write that all down this week.