How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119: 9-16 NIV)
Teachers, more than anything, we need to provide an environment that inspires our people to study God’s Word daily. The Psalmist in Psalm 119 expresses joy & praise for God’s Word as he expounds about it throughout the Hebrew alphabet as an acrostic. Here are some thoughts to inspire your class:
Share appropriate passages with your people outside of the classroom. Look for opportunities to text, e-mail, Facebook passages as they apply to life at that moment.
During a thunderstorm, share Psalm 29. This is a powerful imagery as the Psalmist praises God and God’s power as he watches a thunderstorm.
During the birth of a child, share Psalm 139:13-18.
During a crisis or grief, share Psalm 46 or Isaiah 40:28-31.
Set the example of daily Bible reading and share with your class your plan. There are many “read the bible through” plans out there and devotional books. Pick one and begin sharing with your class some options. If you have a smart phone, you can get the app, “YouVersion,” for a daily Bible plan, verse of the day and devotionals of many kinds.
Encourage memorization of Scripture. One of the passages I memorized as a child was Psalm 119:11(NIV): “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Jesus often quoted the Hebrew Scriptures when facing temptation. If Jesus did, so should we! Encourage Scripture memory by placing a verse from the passage each Sunday on a poster on the wall. How can the truth of Jesus set us free if we do not know the truth from God’s Word?
I have also discovered from personal family experience that Scripture memory and hymns brings comfort when our memories fade later in life. Alzheimer patients may not remember their name or their family. They become frustrated trying to remember, but Scriptures and favorite hymns stay with them. My mother-in-law had Alzheimer’s disease and could not remember us at times. If you began reciting the Lord’s Prayer, she knew it by heart!
Scripture brings guidance for life. Psalm 119:105 (NIV) reiterates the passage I started with: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” There have been many times in my life when I faced crossroads. Prayer, Scripture reading and reflection brought answers from God. If we are to be teachers of God’s Word, we must spend time daily doing so and not just to prepare a lesson!