Yesterday’s Sermon From The Ranch – Instructing One Another

(Each Sunday, This Day’s Thought is blessed to share Eric Elder’s sermons from his wonderful ministry, “The Ranch“)
The Ranch: A Place of Healing and Restoration
 

Instructing One Another

Lesson 34 from Romans: Lessons In Renewing Your Mind
By Eric Elder

 

One way to renew your mind is to teach others what you’ve been learning.  It’s a way to both review what you’ve learned, and to bless others at the same time.  So today, I’d like to encourage you to consider taking some time to teach others what you’ve learned in life.

Sometimes we get caught up in the idea that we haven’t learned enough to be able to teach anyone else.  Sometimes we think we need more training, or that others may be more qualified to teach than we are…both of which may be true.  But this doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want us to teach others who could benefit from what we’ve learned so far!

I’ve been praying for a drum teacher for some time now for my two younger sons.  They’ve been wanting to play the drums, and we have a drum set, but they didn’t have anyone to teach them.  A few months ago, I ran across a high schooler who played the drums for a worship team in town.  I asked if he happened to give drum lessons and he said he did.  He pulled out a business card with his name on it.  At the top, it said:

“Drum Lessons For Beginners”

That was just what I needed!  I signed the kids up and they’ve been learning and loving the drums ever since.  What I loved about this high schooler was that he told us up front exactly what he had to offer:  “Drum Lessons For Beginners.”  He made no claims that he was the best drummer in town, or that he’d be teaching them advanced music theory.   But he did have exactly what we needed:  a willingness to teach what he had learned so far.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he told them that he had wanted to come to them many times before, but had so far been hindered from doing so.  I’m sure Paul would have been a great teacher for them, and they could have learned a lot from his time with them.  But Paul pointed out that they already had people to teach them:  they had each other!  Paul said:

“I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14).

Paul was convinced that they were already filled with enough goodness, knowledge and competence to “instruct one another.”  What a boost that must have been to the Roman Christians!  They didn’t have to be like Paul or wait for Paul to benefit from godly teaching about the Lord.  They had what it took to instruct one another!

Paul knew the power of an encounter with Jesus.  He had taken his own advice from the beginning of his ministry.  The book of Acts tells that within days after Paul had his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was already telling others what he had learned.  The Bible says:

“Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.  At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 9:19b-22).

Even as a brand new Christian, Paul had something to offer.  “Bible Lessons For Beginners,” so to speak.  Yes, he preached to anyone who would listen, including kings and the highest religious leaders in the land.  But his heart always beat for sharing the gospel with those who had never heard about Jesus before.  That is, in fact, why he was so often hindered from going to Rome, where there were already Christians capable of teaching one another.  Paul said:

“It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written: ‘Those who were not told about Him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.’ This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you” (Romans 15:20-22).

Several years ago, I was shopping for a new Bible.  I like to read the Bible over and over, and sometimes like to read it in different versions, because I learn something new when I do.  But as I was looking for a new Bible, I felt God was saying to me something like this: “You don’t need another Bible, Eric.  You need to be writing to others what you’ve learned from the Bible already.”

I had already begun writing devotional messages like the ones I send out now every week, like this one.  In each message, I simply share a passage from the Bible with others, and share how God has used it to speak into my own life, encouraging others to read their Bibles and let God speak into their lives, too.

I don’t make any claims that I’m better at reading the Bible than anyone else, or that there aren’t other people who may be way more qualified to teach the Bible than I am.  But what I do have, I’m willing to offer to others.  What I’ve learned from God through the Bible has so affected my life that I want to share it with anyone who will listen.

Although it’s good to learn as much as you can, and get as much training as you can, and check and recheck your theology and ideas so that you’re not leading people astray, the truth is that the best prerequisite for teaching others about Jesus is that you’ve been with Jesus yourself.

This is just what the Bible says about the first disciples.  After Peter and John healed a man, thousands of people heard their message and put their faith in Christ.  The rulers and elders of the people were astonished.  The Bible says:

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

Peter and John were ordinary and unschooled men, yet they had one thing that many of you reading these words today have:  they had been with Jesus.

If you’ve been with Jesus, spending time with Him, reading His words, praying and interacting and learning from Him, He wants you to share what you’ve learned with others.

As Jesus told His first disciples:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).

One of the characteristics of being a disciple is making disciples.  It simply goes with the package!

Don’t let your training or lack of training stand in the way of sharing what you’ve learned with others.

When I first graduated from college, I spent five months in Bangladesh teaching some people at a disease research center how to use a computer program for their work.  I didn’t know much about the computer program myself, but I had a book about it and was able to read enough as I went along to test out the program and teach them what I learned along the way.

I imagine they might have learned more if they had taken a class from a professor in computer programming, or someone who had worked with the software for years already.  But there weren’t any professors in computer programming around, nor anyone else who had worked with the software before either!  But I was willing to go anywhere and work with anyone, so somehow God sent me.  The people I taught were grateful, and I was blessed to be able to use my skills, no matter how limited to help others.

I’d like to encourage you to consider sharing with others whatever God may have shared with you, whether it’s drum lessons, Bible lessons, or even these lessons on renewing your mind.

If you’ve been with Jesus, through the Spirit and through the Word, and have benefited from your time with Him, you can be sure that others can benefit from what you’ve learned, too!  I am convinced, as Paul was about the Christians in Rome, that you yourselves are “full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.”

Take what you’ve learned and share it with others.  You’ll be blessed as you review what you’ve learned, just as you’ll be a blessing to those who may be learning it for the very first time.

Will you pray with me?

Father, thank You for teaching us so much about who You are and how You want us to live our lives.  Help us to share what we’ve learned with others so that we can pass on the blessings that You’ve passed on to us.  Help us to overcome our fears of speaking and writing, teaching and preaching, so that we can be like Paul, boldly going where no man may have gone before, proclaiming the good news about Christ to anyone who will listen.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

P.S.  God wants to raise you up, not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of others here on earth, too.  If you need a bit of a lift this week, I’ve posted a beautiful instrumental version of the song “You Raise Me Up” on my website that you listen to and enjoy.  I’d also be glad to send you a copy of the single on CD, that you can take with you anytime, day or night.  My sister, Marilyn Byrnes, is a gifted pianist, and has recorded this special song to encourage my wife and I as we walk through my wife’s battle with cancer.  Marilyn would be glad to send you a copy on CD as a thank you for your gift of any size to our ministry this month.  Just use the links below to listen to the song online, read the lyrics, or make a donation and get a copy for yourself on CD.
Listen to “You Raise Me Up” online

Make A Donation and Get the song on CD

 

Lyrics for “You Raise Me Up”
(Music by Rolf Løvland, with lyrics by Brendan Graham)

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

  

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

  

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

  

There is no life – no life without its hunger; 

Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

  

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;

You raise me up… To more than I can be.

  

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

  

You raise me up… To more than I can be.

Questions for Reflection

1. Read Romans 15:14-24.   What was the message that Paul said he had been preaching everywhere he went?  And to whom had he been preaching that message to?
2. With all of Paul’s learning, training and experience, why do you think he still loved preaching to those who were brand new to the message of Christ?
3. What kinds of things has God taught you from which you have greatly benefited?
4. Can you imagine anyone else who might benefit from learning what you’ve learned?  And if so, would you be willing to be the one to teach them?

To read more from this series, Romans: Lessons In Renewing Your Mind,please visit:

The Romans Study

 

To get more inspiring books and music like this, please visit:

The Ranch Giftshop

 

To read Lana’s blog, please visit:
Lana’s Blog

 

To invite Eric to speak to your group, whether by Skype or in person, please visit:

Booking Information

 

To find us on Facebook, please visit:
Find us on Facebook

 

If you’d like to invite your friends to join us in receiving these regular messages directly, just forward this email and invite them to sign up at the link below.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Yesterday’s Sermon From The Ranch – Instructing One Another

  1. This is so very true. One of the best ways to learn and apply what you’ve learned is to teach what you’ve learned to other people. Though it is also important to keep in mind that you are still learning. It’s important to always remain open to more learning.

    1. Thank you Arch Angel!! Yes, it is certainly true and so is what you said as well about remembering that we are still learning at the same time! blessings, Terri

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s