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The Sunday School Textbook

Vance Havner gave a quote of Josh Billings, "I'd rather know a few things for certain than be sure of a lot of things that ain't so..."  Havner then goes on to say: "There are a few things that I believe are certain, and I leave you to quibble over the details.  For one thing, I am certain that the Bible is the Word of God.  either it is or it isn't, and either all of it is the Word of God or we never can be sure of any of it.  It is either absolute or obsolete..."

When you are discussing with teachers and leaders about the Sunday School curriculum or whatever tool you use to structure your lessons, please make sure that you keep in mind that the ultimate basis is the Bible.  It truly is the textbook for our Sunday School groups, even more than curriculum.  There are many people that get very defensive of what kind of curriculum is used and I agree that the points that are being interpreted need to have a sound apologetic and worldview taught.  The emphasis though is to turn the focus back to the absolute, not the obsolete.

Here are key ways to keep the Bible as the textbook for the Sunday School class:

1. Require its presence.  Yes I know that the curriculum often times prints the Scriptures that are being used, however, we are called to carry the sword of the Lord with us, so requiring its presence in classes helps to under gird the importance of the Bible as being the textbook.  Its just as if you were in a class and there came up homework questions to answer in the back of the chapter, you would want to have the textbook.  The same is true with the Bible in that it contains the answers to life and reveals the glory of God.

2. Read it openly.  Do not just speak through the points of the lesson without spending time reading God's Word, not just privately, but rather let it be open.  Show people how valuable it is to hear from God's Word and see the power that occurs from its hiding in your hearts.  We never know how much one verse or passage can be applicable to a person, if we truly read the Word and see it's truth unfold before us.

3.  Experience its truth.  As we make this progress we see that we are to read the Bible and to see its truth that exists.  We need though to grasp this truth and see how it makes a difference in what we understand.  What do I mean?  We see if there are areas that we fall short with in God's Word (don't worry there are plenty there) and we seek transformational change.  We see that what is being said either supports how we live or it counters, and we seek to make a difference.  Examples can be repentance, confession, renewed fellowship and others.  

4. Encourage its application.  The Bible is not just to be read, but rather it is to be lived out!  Remember how James said (paraphrasing) don't just hear it and walk away, but rather do what it says.  How is this happening in Sunday School?  Every lesson needs to seek to answer the question of how this can be used this week.  We approach the truth of the Bible and say sometimes, oh that was a good word to read.  But if we stop short there then we are missing the point of what we read.  Even when we read the toughest Scriptures that should point us to doing our faith.

The Bible, God's Word, truly is THE textbook that we are to honor!  It truly is the book that is to be encountered and experienced, that encourages us to live it out.  To try and have SS without it, would be a travesty, to try and spend a moment without His Word abiding, would hurt our fellowship.  But when it is valued, read, experienced, and applied, there is an awesome transaction that happens between His grace that sustains and the promises that He fulfills!

Stop and pray right now thanking God for his Word!

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