Woe to the Teachers

July 21, 2009 at 11:06 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, False teaching, Wisdom | Leave a comment

          I am at Ponderosa Baptist Camp near Colorado Springs with our church middle-school youth group for the first few days of this week.  With the loss of our youth pastor, many people are filling in wherever they can.  My wife Cathy will be here all week, but Pastor Wes will replace me tomorrow.  Fortunately, I don’t have to do all the small group leader things, so I can do some of my own work while I’m here.  We brought 12 kids, including my daughter Amber, and I pray they would encounter God this week.  Both Cathy and I have prayed how to balance our own work and alone time with the opportunity to invest in young lives.  May God use us to help direct these kids this week.

          This morning I read Matthew 23 and was pondering the idea of being a teacher.  I am called a “teaching pastor;” the Bible says that some are gifted as teachers, and that some are given to the church as teachers; even in this passage Jesus promises to send prophets, wise men and teachers.  Yet the balance to that is found in the words, “You are not to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one teacher, the Christ.”  That passage is followed by six “Woes” to the hypocritical “teachers of the law.”  I would hope I fall into those who are sent by God as teachers, not into the group who are cursed, but I cannot presume that.  I can only take the “woes” to heart:  I am one of the condemned teachers if I make entering God’s kingdom difficult; if I get caught up in the details of righteousness but neglect mercy and justice; if I look wonderful on the outside but am full of greed and self-indulgence and deadness on the inside.  Help me God never to presume to be a teacher, but to humbly accept the teaching opportunities you give me, and to accept them with a deep reliance on you, understanding my own depravity, greed and self-indulgence.

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