Links Daily Devotional

Becoming Teachers

… though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! (Hebrews 5:12, NIV)

It amazes me how often when I give a golf lesson I find a personal application for my own golf swing. I’m teaching not only another, but me!

I also have noticed that the things I’m working on in my game are pertinent for others and easy to teach. That is why it’s important for instructors to always be working on their own game.

Your ability to multiply what Jesus taught has very little to do with your ability to preach a sermon or teach a Bible study.I find this to be the case when I lead Links Fellowships or write devotions as well. The things I teach are often the things that God is working on in me; usually the process of preparing and teaching is where my greatest growth happens. This is the mindset of a teacher, and it’s true when they say, “The teacher learns the most.”

The author of the book of Hebrews understood this principle and made this point in today’s verse. We don’t know for sure who the author was, but we can gather that this individual embraced the way of Jesus. The Gospel writer Luke quoted Jesus as saying, “Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher” (Luke 6:40, NLT). Matthew wrote Jesus’ final words to his most devoted students as, “Go therefore and make [students] of all the nations, [immersing] them in the [character] of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB, with synonyms of translation).

Jesus’ ministry was not successful because of the mass demand for the content of his teachings; after all, he did not write anything down that we know of. However, it was the multiplication process that he taught his disciples to spread throughout the world that made such an impact. He taught them how to love and lead with compassion, mercy, and grace. He changed the world forever via his students, whom he taught to become teachers themselves through the way they lived and interacted with others.

The apostle Paul also endorsed this principle, writing to his apprentice, Timothy, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2 Timothy 2:2, NLT). Paul went on by reminding Timothy of the way he lived and loved others and instructed him to teach not through argument or savvy words, but through a life worthy of being imitated.

So, as I make my appeal to you to become teachers yourselves, I’m not necessarily asking you all to find a group to teach, as that is just one area of gifting. However, I am urging you all to embrace the lifestyle and mindset of a teacher. The greatest sermons in life often don’t need any words, and so your ability to multiply what Jesus taught has very little to do with your ability to preach a sermon or teach a Bible study. The impact of your personal ministry, which Jesus wants us all to have, will be found in your willingness to embrace the mentality of a teacher. If nothing else, you will grow even if others around you are slow to.

Josh Nelson
July 18, 2017
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