Do you ever feel like you’re not really qualified to teach anyone the Bible? The apostles probably felt that way at some point. They had relied entirely on Jesus’ divine words and instruction for three years, and then He was gone. Jesus had taught “as one having authority” (Mark 1:22). How would these common, “uneducated and untrained men” (Acts 1:13) be able to pick up where Jesus left off?If you feel that way, just remember that the apostles had no natural authority to teach others anything about God. But Jesus had taught them, and it was enough that each apostle became “like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). Their authority would be supernatural, coming from Jesus and the Holy Spirit and not from themselves (see John 15:26-27, 16:13-15). If you’re following Jesus, and reading His Word to become like him, then you’re walking in the same shoes as the apostles did. And don’t miss the bigger truth: All of what the apostles had then to start the church, we have now collected in the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and twenty-seven books of the New Testament. In your Bible, you have all you need to lead and teach with the authority of Christ.The apostle Paul foresaw that the Scriptures would be all that followers of Jesus, then or in generations yet to come, would need in order to grow in Christ and become mature. Paul was in a Roman prison waiting to be martyred when he wrote his last letter to Timothy, his son in the faith and ministry protégé. He reminded Timothy not to worry that he (Paul) would soon be gone, but to continue to teach what he knew to be true:
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
Paul boldly declares that “all Scripture is inspired by God.” It is not just a passive repository of inspiring information, but “God breathed” words that are useful and beneficial “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training righteousness.” By God’s design, its purpose is to make every person who is dedicated to Him adequate and capable to live for Him, “[fully] equipped for every good work” (see Ephesians 2:8-10). In the same spirit, Paul admonished Timothy earlier in the letter, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2:15). Scripture is the tool for whatever work we do for God.As a Mom Heart group leader, you have a “good work” to do. God wants to use you to help others grow in Him. When you read the words “the man of God” in 2 Timothy 3:17, Paul meant you as a woman, too. The term for man, anthropos, is more accurately translated “the person dedicated to God” (NET). In other words, the power and purpose of Scripture is for every person, male and female. God has given Scripture not only to help you become mature, but also to make you capable and fitted to the work of ministry and fully equipped to help others become mature. Scripture, the Word of God, is the heart of your ministry as a Mom Heart group leader—it is the message God has equipped you to teach.Ask yourself the following questions about your teaching ministry of the Word of God:
- What biblical truth and wisdom have I “learned and become convinced of” as I have followed Christ? What influence has Scripture had in my life since childhood? Who has influenced me as a believer?
- When reading the Scripture, am I reading words about God, or the God-breathed Word of God? How do others know that the Word of God is “living and active” when I teach?
- How have I profited from Scripture’s teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness? What specific benefits has it added to my life?
- As a “person dedicated to God” (NET), how has Scripture enabled and equipped me for life and for ministry to others? If my Mom Heart group is a “good work” that God has equipped me to do, is there any reason I should feel inadequate or unprepared to fulfill that ministry? How do I teach my group that Scripture can fully enable and equip them as well?
Excerpt from Taking Motherhood to Hearts