I love Sunday School! I have loved Sunday School from my earliest memories. The images of Bible characters that my teachers painted still live in my mind. Things I learned in Sunday School have had a profound influence on my preaching.
This affection continues to this day. I live in a community that boasts an outstanding Christian university and one of the largest seminaries in the United States. I have worked with and beside many great teachers. I am now privileged to sit under the teaching of one of the finest Sunday School teachers I have ever known. John is a bank administrator by training and career employment, but I believe he is called of God to teach Sunday School.
Recently John was teaching from the Book of Acts. The material was well-researched and effectively presented. Many statements were well worth remembering, however one statement really caught my attention. Although the statement was a simple declaration of a familiar Biblical truth, it had a new and profound impact on me.
Near the end of the class, John said, “We are all here today as beneficiaries of the Great Commission, and we are stewards of it.” As this truism sunk in, I felt both joy and conviction. I experienced joy in knowing that my Sunday School teachers, ministers, Christian friends, and especially my wife, had cared enough to see that I was a beneficiary of God’s grace. I sensed conviction in that I had not always been as faithful a steward as I should have been.
We need to live with the Great Commission in mind. We need to ponder its relevance to us and to those around us. As beneficiaries, we need to be deeply thankfully to those who responded to Christ’s charge and carried the gospel to us. As believers, we must be stewards of the gospel. We must accept the responsibility of sharing the gospel that others brought to us. “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48). We can do no greater good than to carry forward the mandate of Christ. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
In a time when Sunday School attendance is alarmingly low, there seems to be a corresponding lack of spiritual knowledge and commitment to advancing the gospel message. Are you attending your local church Sunday School? Are you preparing yourself to be a good steward of the Great Commission? For the sake of Christ and for your own sake, be a steward as well as a beneficiary. “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8).
~ Brother Roy