2 Peter 1:2-11
…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…for by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises…so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Now for this very reason also,
applying all diligence (eagerness), in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance (steadfastness, enduring,patient continuance or waiting), and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…
for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble (fall, sin, fail)
Each child’s name had been listed on the board. The Bible class teacher asked each student to tell her what they were good at doing, and as they, in turn, told her, she wrote each one down.
Some things listed were, talking to others, cooking, reading, drawing, math, sports, riding a bike, helping, taking care of animals, etc.
She said, “From these lists, I see good things for each of you in the future.” One might be a preacher, or someone who cooks meals for others, a Bible lesson illustrator, a church professional who keeps track of money given and money spent, an honest sportsperson, or a veterinarian who takes care of God’s creatures.
The students seemed to enjoy the fact of actually being able to look at what was listed under their names and think about where these things could lead them.
“Being good at doing something is kind of exciting,” Commented one of the boys.
The teacher answered, “Yes, it is and it feels good to know we are good at something. But how does it feel when we aren’t very good at something that we should be doing?”
“Kind of scary or sometimes embarrassing,” Answered Mary Rose.
The teacher went on to say, “It is just as important to know what we aren’t good at as well as what we already are.
“Why?” asked Mary Rose.
“Because, when we know what we aren’t good at or may not have the courage to try because we are unsure of our ability, we then know what we need to work on. A good idea is to ask someone to train us in an area we are unsure about. The main thing is that we try, try and try again. That’s what learning and growing are all about!”
“A big word for keeping on or continuing is to persevere.”
Galatians 6:9 says, Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
The teacher had them think of things they learned to do and are better at now than when they first tried. For some, it was easy, but for others, it was hard. Like learning to read, write, or learning to say the books of the Bible. She also asked what it was that encouraged them to keep trying and practicing something that may not have been so easy?
Mary Rose spoke up and said, “Because it looked like fun when someone else did it!”
Another person said because I was promised a reward!
Mary Rose thought of when she first started learning how to ride a bike and how nervous she was even though her training wheels helped her keep her balance. She became more and more sure of herself and as she saw more and more kids around the neighborhood easily riding their bikes without training wheels the more she wanted to try with her training wheels taken off. She had a picture in her mind of herself riding without training wheels and before she knew it came true! But she did remember how difficult it was at first.
All geared up with her gloves, helmet, knee and elbow pads she began.
“I can do it! I can do it!” Mary Rose said to herself.
Daddy was holding onto the back of her bike seat as she took off with him running beside her, but as soon as he let go of her seat she lost her balance and fell over. She kept getting up and trying again until finally, she was riding fast, free, a little wobbly but without him holding the seat.
She heard Daddy calling from a ways behind her. “You’re doing it! You’re doing it!
She was really glad she had tried. It was worth all the effort, and the more she practiced the easier it became and the better she got at it!
Mary Rose raised her hand and said, “It’s kind of like learning to ride a bike with training wheels!”
“Absolutely,” Replied the teacher. “And if we don’t lose heart and continue to keep trying we will be riding on our own without the training wheels!”
The Bible person they were talking about that day was Peter. The teacher held up his name along with a face that was supposed to be Peter’s. She also had a fisherman’s net, a paper with waves, a rooster, a sad face, a fish with the number 153 written on it, a jail cell, and a face with a smile. Peter was a fisherman who became a special helper of Jesus. When Jesus first saw him, he was by the sea of Galilee casting a net into the water with his brother Andrew, Mark 1:14-21. Peter was good at his fishing job. At this point in his life, he was most likely not expecting a job change to come his way to become one of Jesus’ close helpers. The change that was coming in his life was one that he had to learn about and not lose heart in for it to work. Jesus, and later the Holy Spirit, taught Peter and the other apostles how to help more people know how to become followers of God, John 14:25-26. One time Peter and the other disciples were in a boat on the sea. They saw Jesus walking on the water and Peter was very excited. When Jesus called Peter to Him he got out of a boat and walked on the water going toward Jesus but became afraid and began to sink. It was a good thing Jesus was there to help him, Matthew 14:22-33. Peter was very sure of himself and knew he would stand up for Jesus! He thought he would be completely ready when a challenge came, but when he failed the challenge he felt very sad, Mark 14:66-72, but he tried again. Several times Peter did things without really thinking them through and found himself needing help, and having to try again. But the main thing is, he didn’t give up. He kept trying and trying! And Jesus didn’t give up on him either! It takes a lot of effort to not give up. Peter was strong in his body and his spirit. One time when Jesus was on the seashore, He told Peter to bring some of the fish they had just caught so Peter pulled a net full of 153 large fish up to shore, John 21:9-11. Wow! He was strong! At that time Jesus also had a special conversation with Peter about teaching others about Him, John 21:15-17. Peter had a very strong spirit for he didn’t give up teaching others about Jesus even when he was put in jail for preaching! Acts 5:17-29 God wants us to learn how to do good things for Him even when it may be hard. But let’s remember that Jesus is there to help us continue to try. We also have followers of Jesus who are just like training wheels! Parents, aunts and uncles, teachers, and real friends who will train us to live for God.
We will be happy to find we can do it and go further than we ever thought we could!
Greetings! To My Sister Bible Class Teachers,
Each one of us most likely knows that nervous feeling when trying something new. I will never forget how nervous I was the many first times I allowed myself to be trained. To teach Bible class, meet and greet others, lead a Bible study, invite someone into my home, make a visit, plan a bridal/baby shower, make food for someone in need, organize a funeral dinner, fill communion trays, teach in V.B.S., organize V.B.S., teach classes in Future Teacher Training camp, The truth? I still get a little nervous. But to grow I have to persevere and try and try again. Have a willing, eager heart and act upon that heart.
2 Peter 3:9
My prayers and encouragement go with you,
Sincerely, In Him,