One of my most enjoyable privileges in teaching is to help our ministry and missionary students fall in love with God’s Word and ultimately Himself. In Interpreting the Bible class I emphasize more than good interpreting principles. I help students see the Scriptures as one story by one author, the Holy Spirit. It’s an adventure and love story unmatched by any cinema effort. God pursues and woos our hearts to Him.
I want them to read and study the Scriptures from a redemptive context and not from a moralistic approach. For example, the David & Goliath story is more than killing giants in our life (i.e., be like David). It is telling us about the character of God and the coming redeemer. Story after story both in the Old and New Testament point to the Savior. When Jesus speaks to the disciples in Luke 24 on the road to Emmaus, he explains that the entire Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi points to Him.
When someone catches the music of the Gospel, how they study, how they teach and how they live out their faith changes. The music is God’s grace & acceptance. The dance steps (“to do & not to do’s” of the Bible) are in response to the music and not the other way around. Because, there is no life in the dance steps, only in the music!
What is your focus? The music of the Gospel or the dance steps? Jesus says in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.“
For the longest time I used to read verse 14 thinking that the Apostle Paul was saying that the key action was showing MY LOVE for Christ, but that is not what Paul says. The focus is not on MY love, but rather, the LOVE of CHRIST. What will control, motivate and focus me is not what I do, but it is focusing on what He has done and is doing. It is His love, His grace, His mercy that is poured out on me, undeserved. And as I think on Him and worship Him which is listening to the music there is only one response and that is to live for Him, not because I have to, but because I want to. Its a natural response to what God has done. It is as natural as dancing to the music.
What are you dancing to? Can you imagine dancing without music? Life is only found in God’s grace. And its that grace (the Music of the Gospel) that we dance to. The dance steps are important, but only when they are lived out in harmony with the music. Are you catching the Music?
– Dirke Johnson
Dirke has his doctorate in Church Leadership and is a professor for the Ministry Degree program at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He also teaches at Cru’s Institute of Biblical Studies. He specializes in Leader Development, creating high performing teams and has years of experience at ministering in urban cross-cultural and international contexts.