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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Qualifications of Teachers - Sunday School Teachers'''' Devotional    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Philippians 2:16
Date
   2008-06-22



Passage

Philippians 2:16
"...holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain."

Introduction

Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father for allowing and blessing this 2008 Sunday School Teachers' Devotional Service. Dear devotees, in order to become a teacher in this world a person has to pass the designated certification exam.

What is the reason that they have to take the exam? It's to evaluate whether they have the qualifications to become a teacher.

What if the Sunday school teachers have to take an exam in front of God?

Are you teachers all confident?

You should be able to boldly make a confession of faith that you are confident.

Or even if you think you are not really confident at this moment, I hope you will be thankful that you have the time right now to look back and reflect upon yourselves.

The primary reason for taking a test is to check whether the examinee meets the qualifications.
But another reason for an exam is to make the people diligently prepare to meet the qualifications while preparing to take it. As they study hard to meet the requirements, they leave nothing out and come to gain the qualifications.

Of course, we Sunday school teachers do not take an exam like the teachers of the world. Still, I hope that like the other teachers, you will gain the qualifications of Sunday school teachers with all your hearts and minds.

1 Corinthians 12:28 says, "And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers..."

The position of a teacher is very precious and high. If you fulfill your duty very well, you will receive great rewards in heaven.

I hope you will have the proper qualifications as Sunday school teachers through this message.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will bear abundant fruit as Sunday school teachers.

Also, I hope the parents, too, will gain wisdom through this message in raising your children.

Body

Dear devotees, to have the qualifications of Sunday school teachers, first of all, you have to have the power to hold fast to the word of life.

Today's passage, Philippians 2:16 says, "...holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain."

The apostle Paul held fast to the word of life wherever he went and guided many souls to the way of salvation.


When he preached the way of salvation, many souls repented and accepted the Lord.

Just by reading the letters that Paul wrote, churches and the believers alike have received solutions to their problems, and their faith has grown up day by day.

The power to hold fast to the word of life is something like this power to help others spiritually. We first have to discern and understand the word clearly and we should be able to brighten the way of truth for others with what we understand.
Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

The Word brightens the way of salvation, the way of eternal life, and the way of the heavenly kingdom like a bright lamp at night.

The most important role of a Sunday school teacher is to brighten the way for the students so that they can follow the light and go the way of life.

The students should be able to have spiritual faith through the word you teach them.

When you give advice with the word, all kinds of problems should be resolved and blessings should come. They should meet and experience God so their faith will grow up daily.

In order to do that, the teachers must have spiritual faith first and equip themselves with the word in spirit.

Spiritual faith is to believe the word of God fully, and what is the evidence of having spiritual faith? It is putting the word of God into practice.

James 2:26 says, "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." If we do not have the deeds, it is not living, spiritual faith.

When we drink water our thirst is quenched. If we truly believe this, when we are thirsty, the action of drinking water will follow.
Likewise, if we truly believe the word of God, we will practice the word.

To have this spiritual faith, we should not just store the Word that we hear, read, and learn as knowledge in our heads.

We have to practice it and cultivate it in us in spirit.

For example, the Sunday school teachers teach the students to long for spirit and sanctification. And the teachers should first try their best in spiritual matters. They have to attend all services and pray fervently. They try to gather together and work faithfully and read the word of God whenever they have time.

If they teach the word while setting an example, the word that is taught will become life to the students.

As teachers march on toward spirit with much eagerness and share the grace that they receive from God with the students, their message touches the students even more.

Above all, God gives them authority over the word that they teach.

Also, if they love God, they will have more hardworking faithfulness. Do you, as teachers, have this kind of hardworking and act faithfully in the church, family, and workplaces?

If you practice the word diligently and teach the word, the students will change. They will study hard, help their parents, and also work faithfully in the church too. Before you teach them to have peace with everybody, please, you must have peace with everybody first.

Then, you will be able to give the students practical solutions to the problems related with having peace with their friends and parents.

I hope all you teachers will be able to hold fast to the word of life and show the light to the students.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will guide the students in the way that they should go. It is the way of going through life happily and vigorously.

Dear Sunday school teachers and attendees, to have the qualifications of Sunday school teachers, secondly, you should understand the heart of the Lord and pass it on to the students.

The children and students whom you are teaching are the flock of the Lord who is the good Shepherd.

You are like little shepherds who are tending the flock of the Lord. I am also a shepherd taking care of the flock of the Lord.

You little shepherds, being in the middle place, should be able to pass on the heart of the Lord to many souls.

Then the souls will feel the love of the Lord and trust Him and follow Him. They will be guided to the green pastures and quiet waters.
The heart of our Lord is the heart of the 'Good Shepherd'. A shepherd takes care of the flock day and night.

Always checking whether the sheep are hungry or thirsty and trying to water and feed them diligently, a shepherd is very busy.

He cannot sleep soundly with the worries that wild animals may attack the sheep.

If any sheep wanders outside of the fence and gets lost, he feels heartbroken and tries to find it. Our Lord loves us with the heart of this shepherd and finally, He even gave His life to save souls.

He did exactly as He said, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

Because I know this heart of the Lord, I have been working without rest as a shepherd to tend the flock of the Lord.

Because they are such precious souls bought by the precious blood of the Lord, and because they are the flock entrusted to me by the Lord, I can do nothing other than consider them more precious than myself.

That is why, if there was any person who lost spiritual strength, I fasted and prayed for him earnestly.

Many times I clung to God with tears.

Even though I couldn't sleep, eat, or rest, I just wanted to guide the souls.

When I saw the flock advancing towards better heavenly dwelling places with joy and fullness of Spirit, I couldn't have been more joyful and thankful.

Even though I had to take on the burden for these souls, I never felt the burden was heavy.

To the extent that I feel the heart of the Lord and serve the souls with the heart of the Lord, I saw that the souls could also feel the love of the Lord.

They tried to live by the teachings of the Lord and in the word of God.

It's same for Sunday school teachers. To the extent that they feel the heart of the Lord and cultivate the heart of the Lord in them, they can pass this heart of the Lord on to the students.

They can let the children and students feel how much our Lord loves them.

They can also pass on the heart of the shepherd who wants to guide them with the heart of the Lord.

Even little children, if they feel the love of the Lord, will try to live by the word of the Lord, the word of God.

Also, they will try to obey the word of God that they hear through their shepherd.

And if the teachers do not clearly know the heart of the Lord, they may cause the students to have misunderstandings about the Lord.

For example, suppose a child is not worshipping in spirit and in truth.

In this case, which way of speaking would be the wiser, saying "If you talk and play around like that, our Lord will not be happy!" or saying, "If you worship God beautifully without talking and playing around, God will be so happy, and He will give you many rewards later in heaven."?

Obviously it's the latter.

God is love itself. And if the children think that the Lord is somebody who is always grieving because of them, how can they feel His love?

If they make a mistake because of their weak faith, they may be disheartened thinking, "He will be sad because of me again. He will not love me."

But what if you always teach them about the God of love and the hope for the heavenly kingdom?

They can feel the love of God and understand that God always wants to give them good things.

They can also feel and profess, "I can please God with a little deed of goodness!" and in that way they can actually practice the truth more actively.
As they understand the love of God more, they will desire more of spiritual things and the heavenly kingdom, not things of this world.
Therefore, the teachers have to first feel the love of God and the love of the Lord in their deep hearts. They also have to feel the heart of the shepherd towards the souls. But the heart of the Lord cannot be understood by brain.

It is naturally felt in the heart to the extent that you cultivate the word in you and have spiritual faith.

Namely, to the extent that you cultivate the first qualification, you will come to understand the heart of the Lord.

I always want to pass on the love of the Lord to the little children and students.

But as the church has become so big, it is very difficult for me to meet each individual personally.

Therefore, I urge you teachers, in the name of the Lord, to become the messengers of love passing on the heart of the Lord to the students.

Dear devotees, to have the qualifications of Sunday school teachers, third, you have to have the fruit that can be the boasting of God. What is the reason that the apostle Paul worked so much for gospel?

As he confessed, "so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory," it's because he hoped for the day to boast of the souls before the Lord.

For your endeavor not to be in vain, you should also have the fruit to glory, so that you can gain honor and praise later.

To bear fruit as teacher you should be well-grounded in both spiritual matters and the fleshly and physical matters of this world.

First, 'spiritual grounding' is the power to revive the students with love and generosity.

Of course, it is important to have revival and bear the fruit of evangelism in numerical figures, but the more important thing is to revive the student themselves, to give life to their spirit.

In other words, you have to guide them so they can bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The children or students you teach are younger in age. Also, they usually have weak faith.

So, when you teach those souls, many times you have to patiently endure and sacrifice yourself.

That is why Sunday school teachers must have love and generosity.
Only with love and generosity you can accept and embrace any kind of student with a broad and warm heart.

To the extent that the teachers humble themselves and serve the little students with love and generosity, they will come into the bosom of the Father.

They will not dwell in the world, but instead they will dwell in the love of the Lord.

To the extent that the teachers have love and generosity, they can become the connector that joins the Lord and the students. I hope you teachers will all have abundant love and generosity.

Your love will become the nutrients and the students will bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit abundantly.

For your students to bear fruit, you should also have physical grounding along with the spiritual grounding.

First, you should have the knowledge that is needed for Sunday school teachers. Of course, I am not saying you should have so much knowledge like the teachers of the world.

But Sunday school teachers should know at least as much as to be able to answer the questions of the students. At a minimum, you should never give an incorrect answer to any question.

If you do not know the answer to a question, you can study about it and give the best answer you can at a later time.

Just because Sunday school teachers teach spiritual things, it doesn't mean you don't have to have secular knowledge. You should have basic knowledge and also know what is going on around the world. You should also try to know more about the many things that are related to your students.


To have physical grounding, along with the knowledge, you should have proper etiquette.

Teachers do not only deal with little children.

They have to meet with their parents and school teachers who are around the students.

Everybody has different levels of education, social and economic statuses, and also different characters.

So, the Sunday school teachers should try to have a good education and good character so that you can be recognized by everybody, not just by little students.

You should not just act as you want thinking spiritual things are more important and faith can overcome anything.

Then, you are very likely to act rudely.

For example, a teacher may call the student late at night thinking that it's OK because the student's family is all Manmin members.

But another teacher calls the student around the time when the student finishes his daily schedules, not to be too late.

Which teacher is wiser and virtuous? Obviously it's the latter. Even though that family can understand, it is not good etiquette to make a call late at night.

Especially, for an unbelieving family, you have to be even more careful. They do not know about our church very well.

So, according to how you act, they will have different impressions about our church.

Therefore, you have to be very careful not to be rude and not to go too far in any case. For example, suppose the Sunday school teacher is calling a family of unbelievers quite often. Or this teacher releases the students from a meeting at very late hours.

Suppose a student's parents do not want their child to go on a summer retreat. If you say to the student that it is 'faith' to participate anyway, what will happen?

Then, the student may cause problems in the family and face more persecutions.
In this case, you should teach the student to prepare for it with prayers and accumulate good deeds in the family.

You have to show trustworthy deeds so that his parents can feel, "We can entrust our child to that teacher. That teacher will have a positive influence on our child."

To achieve this, you have to make the tone of your voice, your verbal expressions, attitude, and even appearance neat and appealing. Namely, you have to have the education and manners of the Lord.

The manners of the Lord originate from the heart of the Lord who does not act rudely to anybody and you have to be considerate of others all the time. You must never cause any discomfort to them. As you try hard in every matter with this heart, you will have the neat appearance and positive attitude in your body language.

Then, even unbelievers will be touched and give glory to God.

I hope you will bear much fruit by having spiritual and physical groundings as Sunday school teachers.

I pray in the name of the Lord that, in so doing, you will please the Lord and become the pride of our church.

Conclusion

Dear devotees, how did you come to devote yourself as Sunday school teachers of this church?

Probably it is because you tasted the word of life given through the shepherd and the fruit that is born through power of God, the fruits of love and devotion.
Namely, you trust the church and the shepherd. If you hold fast to the word of God you learned here, cultivate the heart of the Lord, and pass it on to the students, you will also bear the same kind of fruit in them.

Then, God will be gloried greatly, and He will reward you for all the fruits that are borne.

There is nothing more precious than souls. In that sense, all of you who are working to save souls are also very precious.

Have you been able to reflect upon yourselves and check how qualified you are as Sunday school teachers? Even if you find shortcomings, you don't have to be discouraged. You can begin to have spiritual and physical qualifications from this moment on.

I urge you to have the qualifications of the Sunday school teachers and become teachers who are valued the most by all and who move the hearts of students so you can save many souls.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be able to boast of the fruit of your endeavor before all believers and the Lord.

[Amen]

 
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