Training and teaching
September 23, 2013
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.” (Acts 1:1)

“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.” (Mark 6:30)

As we resume the teaching programs in our congregations after the summer break, it is good for us to be reminded of the responsibility we have for the teaching of the young – the responsibility which is primarily of parents, and which is reinforced by the church: Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Jesus left this charge to the church: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

We readily acknowledge that we learn not only through the words which we read and hear, but also, we are influenced greatly by actions of others which we observe, especially when we are young. As we grow older and we experience the struggle of “walking the talk,” we realize more of how actions and words work together in the teaching process.

The disciples of Jesus gathered around Jesus with humble attitudes, telling Him both of those things which they had done and those things which they had taught. Do we believe that they were speaking to Him, looking for praises and accolades from Jesus? Or were they opening themselves up before the Word, telling of those things that they had done and of the words which they had spoken so that truth could be verified, they could be counseled or further instructed by Jesus as they served him? In like manner, may we consider our actions before we either do them, or fail to do them, as well as the words which we speak, to this end – that they would be according to the Word of Christ.

Yes, the Word is being sown into their hearts through Bible instruction, but their behaviors and habits concerning their spirituality is being formed largely by our behaviors and habits in this area of our lives. For whatever is important in our lives, it will be shown through word and action.

Generally, that which is important to us as adults will be important to the young.

1 John 3:18 – “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

2 Timothy 2:1 – “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

May God bless the teaching of His Word into the hearts of the young, as well as into ours.

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