Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taking note

Today’s Reading: Acts 4:13 (NIV)

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Good morning!

I was frightened the first time I was asked to teach a Sunday school class. Because my husband was a history major in college and a seminary graduate, I compared his vast Bible knowledge and gifts in public speaking to my high school diploma. I wondered whether I might have something of value to offer new Christians who were coming to learn. I hesitated to accept the invitation. There was an urgent need to find a teacher willing to lead. My comfort level was in teaching children, since I spent time with my own children, sharing Bible stories and singing praises together. This new adult class was intended to offer new members and prospective folks an opportunity for fellowship and to dig deep into the Word on a weekly basis. Was I the right person to lead this class?

I decided if I were going to facilitate an adult Bible study, I needed to take note of some of the teachers in my life. I paid especially close attention to other adult Sunday school teachers. Many of them had been teaching forever. I thought about Miss Myrtie, and her spiritual gift mix. She must have started leading adult Sunday school as a young woman. The folks in her class were faithful fans of the Word and their teacher, and they never missed a Sunday. When I get to heaven, I plan to find Miss Myrtie and thank her for serving the Lord with her life!

I learned about prayer by observing Miss Vista, as she interceded daily for the needs of others. Now here was a woman who was called to a life of prayer. When she would walk into church, her face would reflect His heavenly glow; it is a peace that comes from having a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus. She was a tiny little thing, frail in stature; yet, very strong in spirit. When she prayed those power packed prayers in UMW circle meetings, the floor would shake underneath our feet. In the still quiet of a sleepless night, I knew exactly where Miss Vista was - on her knees praying for me.

I realized that the many teachers placed in my life all shared one similar gift. It happens when we choose to make Jesus our first priority. He alone has the power to take a willing heart and fill it up with His purpose. We hear Him speaking as we study the Word, receiving His wisdom and holy instruction through prayer. Christ Are you willing to listen and obey His Word today? We have been given the Holy Spirit power to equip us in aceepting the invitation to serve in teaching, preaching and praying ministries. Following His lead will help us lead others. changes us from the inside out.

Peter and John were uneducated, ordinary men. Jesus saw something extraordinary in them, when He said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When we choose to follow the risen Christ, our lives are going to change!

I love to hear the testimonies of ordinary men and women who walk with Jesus every day. This is one reason I enjoy participating in Lay Speaking Ministries offered through the United Methodist Church. Every time I attend a weekend course of study, I get to hear life-changing stories and experience the risen Christ through others. Lay Speaking Ministries is not just for folks who feel called to preach. This course curriculum trains people to share their faith gifts in many ways. If you have never attended a Lay Speaking class before, I would strongly encourage you to enroll for the next class offered in your area. You can learn more about opportunities offered through Lay Speaking Ministries of the United Methodist Church by asking your pastor, and checking out this website:

Have you taken note of the leaders Christ has placed in your life? He is looking for ordinary people to reach out and share His Gospel message with the world. Do not be afraid to take this first step of faith. Christ will send His Holy Spirit help to give you whatever you need to share your gifts with the people in your life. Now get out there and make a difference for His kingdom today, in Jesus’ name.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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