Knowledge

Tuesday Devotional: Acts 8

bibleRead Acts 8:26-40

A relationship with Jesus is one of ongoing inquiry and curiosity.  We are repeatedly confronted with questions concerning his sacrifice, his teaching, his person.  Yet, it seems that for as many questions with comfortable solutions, more questions arise, and our search to know more continues.

The Christian’s pursuit of knowing does not arise out of a desire to arrive at a singular conclusion, thus completing our search.  Our pursuit is a result of looking upon something that we cannot look away from.  The glory of pursuing the living God is unlike anything we’ve ever known.  It surpasses what we know to be beautiful and forces us to redefine the word beautiful itself.  Love is redefined.  Peace is redefined.  Hope is redefined.  Victory is redefined.  You think you know, and you think you know, but then you realize that you will never fully know until you are with him, made like him in a place where there is nothing but him.

Protect and defend this childlike nature that persistently asks why and how.  We were designed to learn, but we were ultimately designed to learn about all things in order to increase our love for our creator.  To learn with any other motive or objective leaves us with information that we cannot take with us when we part from this world. Any knowledge but this will, over time, wither and fade just as the grass and the flowers of the fields.  Knowledge is of this world, but truth is eternal.  Open up the scriptures seeking to behold the glory of the Son.  Seek to know truth and the truth will set free: not because it is moral, virtuous or logical, but because truth itself is embodied in the physical manifestation of the living God in Jesus Christ himself.

Spiritual Gifts: Teaching

gifts

For the next four weeks, we will examine the role of spiritual gifts in our Christian walk. Just as the baptism of the Holy Spirit has been debated throughout church history, the nature of spiritual gifts has also been a topic of much debate. This reflection series will outline four of the most debated spiritual gifts that often follow a baptism by the Holy Spirit. There are other gifts, such as prayer; however, for the moment we will only discuss four. The four spiritual gifts are:

  • Teaching
  • Tongues
  • Prophecy and Vision
  • Healing

All four of these gifts have a core purpose in common but as we will see they are unique from each other in the way they are used. This week, we reflect on teaching.

As Jesus said, in order to spread the message of the Gospel to a fallen world, there must be teachers to assist people in understanding challenging teaching. The gift of teaching does not rest on a foundation of successful research.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

   the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. -1 Corinthians 1:18-25

In fact, the gift of teaching has very little to do with knowledge. The gift of teaching goes beyond the mind. This gift is strengthened and powered by wisdom: not the wisdom of men but the wisdom of God. A person gifted in the area of teaching can go beyond well-rehearsed lessons or sayings. They instill in the learners something deeper than mere mental assent. With the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the teacher channels the wisdom of God in the same way that Jesus did during his ministry. Jesus was able to see things that no one else could. He could see the heart of the issue before anyone else seemed to know the topic. It is this very nature that is given to an individual blessed with the gift of teaching.

The gift of teaching enables the teacher to teach to the heart, the place that needs teaching the most. The gift of teaching also enables the teacher to speak clearly to a variety of listeners. In the Gospels, Jesus’ effect on hearers is not limited by the demographic of his audience. Jesus spoke clearly to every heart ready to listen. The gift of teaching allows an individual to teach clearly and succinctly, in a way that differs from man’s teaching of spirituality, codified and complex philosophical webs of theological nonsense that result in confusion and not liberation. God always desires to be well understood.

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ -Jeremiah 33:3

The gift of teaching allows an individual to teach about God in a way that achieves this goal.