I have taught the Bible a lot; like a whole lot. I usually go to the older children's section each year and share the gospel with them (I did this year as well). I've never actually worked in the Bible Study section of VBS. The Bible Study workers let me work in their section tonight.
I did not actually get to play a major part in the Bible Study. I played a rather minor role though I do think I played it pretty well. This year the Bible Study people were acting out the Bible lesson. They have done this for the last several years. I was impressed with the time and energy they spent in preparing for the Bible Study. The rooms had to be dark so they had memorized their different parts. They had dialogue, teaching points, and questions they had memorized. The point of the lesson was "When you are afraid, Jesus loves you." They took the lesson from the persecution of early Christians and focused in on Paul and Ananias. Ananias had to be afraid when he was told to befriend Paul. Other Christians had to be afraid when Paul started showing up at church. We had actors that portrayed Paul and unknown early Christians. I played a persecutor of the church. While the children were in a room listening to the grown-ups act out the story, I banged on the door and disguised my voice and said "Who's in there? Are there any Christians in here? I'm looking for Christians and I better not find any. Come on, men, let's move on." I think I did OK. Hannah Grace and Joel did not know it was me. Maybe next year the Bible Study people will let me take on a bigger role. I mean, I do study my Bible.
Our Bible Study crew; guess who played Paul?
We love teaching the little ones
Jesus loves the little children
Crocodile Jim and Saranel
It has been a fun week investing God's word in children's lives. The truth is that they will be afraid at times in their lives and will need to know that Jesus loves them. Not only children, but adults need to know and believe that as well. If we truly believe that Jesus loves us, then we can do what the Psalmist said in Psalm 56:3, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." We might be afraid of severe sickness, financial reversals, death, being outspoken for Christ, or rejection among many other fears.
Yet, Jesus loves us and promises to share life with us through all those fears. Perhaps if the children see the adults handling their fears with trust in God it would help them a lot. That sounds pretty reasonable. It is a lot easier to tell my children to trust God when they are afraid of the dark than it is for me to trust God if the doctor's report comes back bad (it hasn't; just an illustration).
Isaiah 26:3 is a great verse to help us in times of fear and anxiety. It reads (NCV), "You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you." Let's keep our minds fixed on Jesus and watch those fears melt away.
Staying fixed on Jesus for the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. VBS teachers who study hard and are well prepared
2. Grilled cheese sandwiches
3. Jesus loves us when we are afraid