Lately a weight has been sitting on my heart. The weight has been my role as teacher of the students that God has placed me over and how careless I had become in teaching them. Obviously, it was not a carelessness that was intentional but it had crept into my life over time. As I have been teaching and preaching for 13 years now, I had slowly gotten comfortable in teaching others God’s Word. I had let other ministry duties creep into my sermon prep time.
That is a dangerous place to be as a teacher of His Word. For any of us (Sunday School teacher, pastor, youth leader) being comfortable and complacent in teaching God’s Word is easy to step into and has dangerous results. In any avenue of teaching Scripture we are in essence saying, “This is what Scripture says.” That is certainly something we cannot take lightly with regards to those who listen to our teaching or even for ourselves. Scripture lays a heavy weight on those that teach:
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. ~ James 3:1
God judges us for what we do as we prepare and proclaim God’s Word. With this tremendous honor of teaching God’s Word comes a tremendous responsibility. As we approach His Word and prepare to teach we have to invest time to study and prepare for what comes out of our mouth. I do not think we honor God with a sermon/lesson that we threw together the night before we teach. God certainly is not honored if we buy a sermon online or recite curriculum verbatim from a Sunday School circular. We are called to proclaim Scripture, not a script that someone else wrote. In an age of information, do we teach what we have already sought out in Scripture ourselves?
To those of you that teach and preach, consider the weight of the Word you proclaim. Do the work and study necessary to boldly and clearly proclaim God’s Word. His greatness and grace demand that we give our all so that people may “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Approach His Word humbly. Prepare diligently. Proclaim it boldly.