The old saying in corporate settings is to start out like you can hold out. I am a fan of doing the exact opposite in the first night lecture in the children’s program at BSF. I do my best to get as much excitement and energy as I can possibly get – even knowing I may not be able to match it every week – but I want the kids to know that I love this stuff and I think it is cool and exciting and fun. I rarely write out my lectures, preferring to use some simple notes, because I want to feed on the spirit and the energy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go in unprepared, but I also don’t write down word for word what I’m going to say so I feel trapped reading it.
The scripture for our first night is “the bible”. Pretty all inclusive – but also a great visual. “OK, let’s all turn to …. our bible.”
The Aim is to cause the student to learn that the Bible is the true Word of God.
I’m going to open with and spend quite a bit of time talking about truth. What is it? What is true? Does 1 + 1 =2? Sometimes? All the time? Is the sky blue? Sometimes or all the time? I’m going to talk about swearing in at court (or at least how they do it on TV): promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What is a truth that isn’t the whole truth? What is something that is in addition to the truth? Then back into the one truth – the word of God. Always, absolute, complete.
Section 1: The bible tells us the truth about who God is: Eternal, creator, sovereign, holy, trinity. Easy subjects to discuss and have fun with. I’m going to do it in a playful way… “OK, the bible start out saying that after there had been a lizard crawing around on the earth for a while and he started talking and stuff he was throwing a party one night and decided… hey, let’s make god, right? NOOOOO. Did a lizard make God? Did a man make God? Which came first God or lizards? Which came first God or men? When was God start? Lot’s of emphasis, lots of moving… lot’s of excitement. I want the kid’s to be doing everything they can to keep from yelling out… noooooooooooooooo. I also want to emphasis what sin is – missing the mark.
Principle #1: The words of the bible are the words of God. This isn’t a story. It isn’t a book about people like the Apostles and Moses and Joseph and Samson and Esther and Lydia. It isn’t even a book about God. It is a gift. These are God’s words that he gave us so that we can know Him. Are you reading God’s words? Can you think of something more important that you should be doing? How do you think God will respond if we say we didn’t find the time to read what he gave us?
Section B: The Bible tells us the truth about what God has done. Revelation of God through time, history (his story), that he is a man with a plan (just rhymes better than God with a plan), Salvation has always been His plan for His chosen people, this plan enables a future and hope of eternal life (clarifying that hope does not mean uncertainty, it means looking forward to.) Critical in this is that God is DOING. This is in direct contrast to the belief that God set things in motion but is now missing. It is also counter to the “Lion witch and wardrobe movies” where Aslon sweeps in and out but is gone for large periods of time. The bible tells about what God has actively done and from that we know that He is actively doing even today in each of our lives.
Principle #2: The Bible is the final authority for all the events of life. This is not a reference guide. It is not a rule book. It is not a fable or foible or action drama. It isn’t a love story, although there is plenty of love in it. Have you ever done the hokey pokey? right leg in, left leg out… So here is the most important thing you are going to learn all year… see these words? See the voice of God in these words telling us about Himself and His plan for me and for you? This IS what it is all about. When you have questions about right and wrong, where do you look? When you think about role models, are you looking at magazines or this book?
Section C: The bible tells us the truth about who we are and how we are to live. Ever person is: made in the image of God, created to bring glory and honor to God, is a sinner, needs a savior. God didn’t make trash. I’m not something He spit out. He made me different than any and every other thing in all of creation. He made me like Him. He gave me the ability to make choices. He gave me the ability to decide and He loved me so much that He let me do it even knowing that I would mess up. No other creature sins. Rocks don’t sin. Birds don’t sin. Our ability to choose, to accept or reject is something that makes us unique in all creation. And we have always chose wrong (all of us except Jesus that is). But did God say, oh well.. let’s start over? No, He had a plan all along.
Prinple #3: The bible is without error. The bible cannot be wrong any more than God can be wrong. God doesn’t make mistakes. His Word does not have errors. When you need to stand on something, when you need to build on something, do you want something that can change? something that is true some of the time but not all the time? something that is partially true, but not all the way? something that is mostly true? No, you want a rock.
This book is the True Word of God.