Acts 17:11 Archives

Teaching and Truth in Living

In response to the question, "Must I live something before I teach it." by Dean VanDruff.

Yes and No. I can teach that Jesus said "Be perfect" for example, but there is a way of teaching about things over my head that is VERY different than speaking about things that I "know". And it is very dangerous to confuse the two, to be teaching authoritatively and over our heads.

John 3:11 (NIV) "I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen..."

The sign of spiritual authority and power is living truth. As you say, and rightly so, you must show that what you hope to foist on the body really WORKS by keeping clean and living holy. Right? If you have seen God and have something from Him to give, LIVE IT first. If you fail, God will severely rebuke you if your calling is real. Teachers will be judged more harshly. Count the cost.

Jas 3:1 (NIV) Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Back to my testimony of my own "release" to ministry and heart for it, a brother named Reggie Kelly (presently with Art Katz up at Ben Israel)--whom I barely knew at the time and who had no idea of our Bible Study ministry--reported the following dream to me over the phone. He saw me on an large, open, flat, rooftop/patio area preparing impossibly large and thick steaks to be grilled. These were being seasoned very simply, for the steaks themselves were the "main event". The important feature of the dream for Reggie was the attitude in which I was working. He said he had never seen such joy, such delight, such love. There did not seem to be a thought in my head about who would come, numbers, "success", etc., but just the thrill of being able to prepare such huge slabs of beef. Anyway, this greatly ministered to me as this IS the motivation of my heart. I hope it is all "beef", and I hope to be a good steward of what God has entrusted me with, and it is certainly a JOY unspeakable to be able to share such a bounty.

So we prepared the meat of the word for a few of our friends. Then God led us in 1994-5 to post some of these, which we without passion or enthusiasm did. Turned out the "Acts 17:11 Bible Studies" were a major hit, and now millions of people around the world use them for personal study, small groups, sermon preparation, and home-church discussion points. Sort of funny, isn't it. We had no idea that anyone more than the few people we knew would partake of these "steaks", but God had another idea.

Aim high, end up low. Aim low, end up high. Have you ears to hear this?

Ps 138:6 (NIV) Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.

Isa 57:15 (NIV) For this is what the high and lofty One says--he who lives for ever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Eze 21:26 (NIV) This is what the Sovereign Lord says... "It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low."

Along these lines, we have two Bible Studies that might be edifying for you if you have not seen them already: Servanthood and Servant Authority.

..."Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them". (John 13:17)

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