One of my earliest memories of church life, after becoming a Seventh-day Adventist Christian at age 22, is of teaching a young-adult Sabbath school class. I had agreed to be the teacher less than two years after I had begun to study the Bible myself.
Clearly I didn’t have the experience I needed, but I learned that God gives gifts and makes provision in ways that are beyond our abilities or means.
The subject of the lesson one week was the Sabbath. The class was full. I didn’t know many people in the class, and I guessed that visitors were present, but I lacked the knack of setting people at ease by opening with greetings and welcomes.
I was particularly afraid someone would ask a question I couldn’t answer. However, I had studied the questions, looked up the answers, underlined the teacher helps, and prayed that the Lord would help. With grit and determination I launched into the lesson—rather mechanically, I am sure—posing each question, eliciting each answer. The closing bell brought great relief to me, and doubtless to the members of the class.
In the ensuing years I have been privileged to teach many hundreds of Bible lessons—to individuals, to classes small and large, to evangelistic follow-up meetings, to convention gatherings, even to groups that had to have my words translated into Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. When I hear “Great lesson,” “I enjoyed that study,” or “I never thought of it that way before,” I say “thanks” and thank the Lord.
After that young-adult lesson about the Sabbath, however, I didn’t hear anyone say a word. They just rose and left—all except for Alan.
Alan sat in his chair until all the others had left. He then rose and walked up to me. I will never forget his words.
“I’m Roman Catholic. I’ve been studying the Bible and have come to believe in the Sabbath. I have been looking for God’s true church, and today I found it.”
Words cannot express my joy, then or now. By God’s blessing and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I pray that I may continue to be a faithful steward of the precious gift of teaching.
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
By Paul W. Robberson
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