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Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 163: “How to Preach a Visionary Lesson”

It should be taken for granted that God is visionary, and speaking about him should inspire vision. Before saying anything else – we need to have this in our own hearts! That’s the reason we have times of quiet with God – even on a Sunday morning!

It is possible to speak on love, prayer and even the cross without really talking about God. One of the most frequent pieces of advice I give young speakers is to talk more about Jesus. 

I have benefited recently from reading the short booklet, “Living in the vision of God” by Dallas Willard. This teaching tip is too short to do justice to his brief but masterful exposition of how vision goes astray. However, I would quote him about the significance of a God vision:

“The love of God, and only the love of God, secures the vision of God: keeps God constantly before our mind.”

Why is this so important? Willard again:

“Vision of God secures humility. Seeing God for who he is enables us to see ourselves for who we are. This makes us bold, for we see clearly what great good and evil are at issue, and we see that it is not up to us to accomplish it, but up to God – who is more than able. We are delivered from pretending, being presumptuous about ourselves, and from pushing as if the outcome depended on us. We persist without frustration, and we practice calm and joyful non-compliance with evil of any kind.”

Perhaps the key Scripture in this regard is from Proverbs:

“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’S voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil!” (Proverbs 3:5–7 MESSAGE)

How do we prepare a lesson with a healthy focus on God? Consider asking these questions, or at least some of them as you prepare your lesson, and as you review it.

Questions:

  1. What does this passage reveal above God’s character / heart?
  2. What inspiring aspect of God is highlighted by this lesson?
  3. What am I saying about God that is unique to him?
  4. Is God’s love for me/the world clear in this lesson?
  5. Is God the core of this lesson?
  6. How does this lesson inspire a God-vision?

What do you think about these questions? What helps you to keep God at the centre of your lessons? Do you think I’m over-egging the point here?

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the YouTube teaching tips playlist

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org

Thanks again for listening. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm