May my teacher deliver me to Christ, dear beyond loving, with his pure blessing, with the ardour of his heart.
- Oengus mac Oengobann, Feilire Oengusso (Irish, 9th century)
"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."
- John 17.3
In our generation the work of Christian education has been reduced to a kind of information-transfer affair. The goal of church educational programs seems to be primarily to impart information - about the Bible, the life of faith, Christian doctrine, and so forth. You can demonstrate this for yourself: Ask anyone at your church what they've been learning lately, and the chances are good they'll answer you in information terms: "Oh, we just finished the book of Romans." Or, "Well, we've been studying about Christian marriage."
But information is just a component of the work of teaching, which is designed to facilitate learning. It's not an end in itself. The goal of all our instruction is love (1 Tim. 1.5), and the way to get love springing from the souls and lives of those we teach is to connect them to Jesus Christ in real and life-transforming ways.
That's why I love this prayer of Oengus: "May my teacher deliver me to Christ." Are you a teacher? A preacher? Is this your great desire and overarching discipleship goal? Are you working to connect your people to Jesus? Because if not, then they'll never know the glory of God, which is our great hope (Rom. 5.1, 2; Col. 1.27), and they will never be transformed from glory to glory so that they show Jesus living in them to the world (2 Cor. 3.12-18).
We must connect those we are teaching with the Lord Jesus! We're not clever enough or smart enough or present with them enough to get them to live out the faith we work so hard to teach them. But Jesus is with them always, and if they ever begin to develop the ability to connect with Jesus - really connect, really dwell in His presence and glory - He will take care of whatever transformation they may require. And He will use them as salt and light in ways exceeding abundant beyond all they've ever dared to ask or think.
Are we delivering those we teach to Jesus? Seek the Lord on this. Submit to His Word and ways. Pray earnestly for those you teach. Then wait on the Lord with them for the Lord to do what only He can do when we His people begin really and consistently to connect with Him.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
The FCC has taken the first steps to regulate the Internet. Great. Just what we need. Don't miss today's ReVision.
We're happy to introduce a new study series in our bookstore. The three Paruchia Studies are the first in a series designed to shore up the foundations of faith. For new believers and those trying for a new start in their walk of faith, these study guide/devotionals can provide the guidance and encouragement you need to get off on the right foot.
Our courses on The Writing Pastor and One in Twelve: An Introduction to Christian Worldview are scheduled to begin in January. Sign up today or write me for more information.
Many thanks for your end-of-the-year gifts. You can donate by clicking the donate button or by sending your gifts to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158.
T. M. Moore