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Monday, August 07, 2006

Homework for Bible Studies - not an optional extra

When you were a child, you were set homework for a reason. Many skills take practice, and if you don't put the effort in, you will not get the desired result. This is particularly true if the time for instruction is limited, and there would be plenty of time to forget what you have learned if you do not apply it.

There is also the advantage that you can come to a Bible study prepared. That instead of having to spend a large proportion of time warming up or recapping, the person leading the study can launch into the next part of the teaching.

Don't forget the possibility that you may also have the opportunity to testify how the homework helped you apply Biblical truth to your own life - that it enabled you to see new connections between faith and action in your lifestyle; that by having a structured assignment, God was able to speak clearly to you and work powerfully through you in a way that you would have missed out on.

When setting homework as a schoolteacher, I was sometimes conscious that for some, it would reinforce failure or bad practice because they did not have a supportive parent who could help them. With Bible study, that is one thing I don't have to fear because each one of us has access to a loving Heavenly Father who can reach out by His Spirit and give a clearer understanding when we encounter difficulties with His word.


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