I had to write a book!
God has called me, a common man, to teach, and has given me an uncommon lesson to teach. And with each such calling, He expects action. He doesn’t call us to be ‘couch potatoes’, He implores us to ‘let our lights shine before men’! Thus, I am letting my light shine as a common man entrusted to deliver His holy message—both inside and outside the classroom. What a privilege to have such an honor!
In thinking about it, God has a history of using common men. As you well know, He called a trio of common fishermen, a couple of common tax collectors, a common little Judean shepherd boy, a common carpenter and his virgin fiancé, etc, etc, etc. Even God’s own Son became a common man in order to reach common sinners. He was born in a common stable rather than a palace and chose a common donkey rather than a chariot to ride triumphantly into Jerusalem to die a common criminal’s death.
Perhaps He uses common men to fulfill His purposes because we tend to break down the complex things of life into such simple words and deeds that even a child can understand. I am reminded of the late Dr. Harry Ironside who often said, “Be sure to always put the cookies on the bottom shelf so the children can reach them”.
So, as I look back on notes from my 40 years of teaching, it is quite apparent that the most thrilling lessons came as God was teaching me. Through the years, as various questions would come to mind, God would often show me common everyday experiences to illustrate uncommon little hidden treasures contained within the Scriptures—hidden treasures traditionally overlooked by the casual student.
To illustrate, I often wondered: How long were the ‘days’ of creation? Was the earth really ‘without form, and void’ on creation morning? Which land mass is older—Mount Everest or Hawaii? How did sea shells get into the top of mountains? What was the Holy Spirit doing before Pentecost? What specific areas of our bodies does Satan want to control? Why did God include so many lists of names in His holy Word? Are our cherished pets going to be with us in Heaven? Will the United States always be friends with Israel? Could there have ever been a Lock Ness Monster? Why is there no mention of dinosaurs in the Scriptures? Was Gideon ever involved in a pity party?
Questions, questions, questions! But I nearly always found that God has answers! In most cases, He used both Scriptural and natural experiences to answer any and all such questions. Ah, and then when He leads us to such answers, we can say with the Psalmist, “ I rejoice at your Word as one who finds great treasure” (Psalm 119:162 NKJV). I could hardly wait to lead my classes in discovering those treasures and share the same excitement I had experienced.
What a joy it has been to relive those experiences and recall the lessons they brought to mind. I chose 58 favorites of those lessons which seem too beautiful not to be shared beyond the simple confines of my classrooms. Thus, I had to write a book!