I love it when God teaches us things and then gives us an opportunity to put them into action almost straight away.

Yesterday afternoon I was involved in a seminar for Porterbrook and we were talking about how to teach the Bible. Tim Keller, a church leader in New York takes the following approach:

When looking at a passage look at:

1. What you must do – what does the passage tell us we should be doing.

2. Why you can’t do it – no matter how hard we try on our own we will not be able to do what the passage asks

3. How Jesus did it – look at how Jesus is the one who was perfectly obedient, who could do what his father asks

4. How we can do it through him – because we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us by his spirit he helps us to follow him and be like him

It was great having this in my mind when talking to ‘Y’ last night. When she raised the issue of wanting to follow Jesus and be like him in being selfless she was seeing the first point of the outline above. The Bible calls us to follow Jesus. We had been talking about that in terms of forgiveness.

What she didn’t see was point 2 – on her own she can’t do that. So that’s where I went next. I explained how we fail.

We had already talked about point 3 – how Jesus has done it, so there was no need to go over that. Y already had seen how selfless Jesus was. So I moved on to point 4 – we can be selfless only through Jesus – its by his Spirit living in us that we can be like him. The challenge for Y at the end was to follow Jesus and have his Spirit come live in her.