Curriculum, a tool used for teaching and sharing God’s word with others, provides basic lesson plans, relevant scripture passages, ideas to encourage scripture memorization, Bible stories at specific age levels, games and other activities to encourage students to focus on God and learn His word. It also provides ideas, demonstrations and other means of teaching students the application and meaning of each Bible lesson. Curriculum for teaching Bible gives Christian workers tools and guidelines to help with planning and implementing their lessons, and it should make Jesus Christ the center of the learning. God’s word says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Curriculum, in itself, is only a powerless tool. Only God’s Word and the Holy Spirit revealing that Word, can provide the power in any Bible teaching for God’s Word is alive and powerful. Scripture tells us, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)
Curriculum doesn’t always work exactly as planned. Limitations such as physical abilities, class size, cost of materials, room size and other factors can make parts of any curriculum impossible to use. Personality can also be an issue. For example: a quiet worker may not be comfortable doing a skit or drama activity; an analytical worker may not be comfortable doing a craft activity; and a creative person may not be comfortable doing an analytical activity. Curriculums should offer several options for workers and students so they can choose according to their God-given gifts.
Also, a Christian worker may have the Holy Spirit leading him/her in a direction other than the main idea of the lesson in the curriculum. Sometimes this will happen because of special situations that arise in the classroom or community. Also lessons may need to address certain problems, such as behavior issues, that may need resolved before the class can move forward in the curriculum. Also, a church may decide to have a special guest speaker or event that may interrupt the regular class lesson plan. A curriculum needs to have the flexibility that a lesson can be changed or missed without creating confusion in the class schedule.
Though Bible curriculums may be somewhat different, they aren’t any more or less “spiritual.” They simply have different formats. The truth is that all Bible curriculum is powerless without God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in the teacher’s heart, bringing life and power into the classroom and the teaching.
The Word of God is the only powerful, life-changing word, and the only Word that can bring lasting revelation and understanding of spiritual truth to us. Man or woman, in his or her own strength, is powerless to do it. In John 15:5 Jesus tells us, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.”
Without The Holy Spirit all Bible teaching would be in vain. Scripture tells us about the Holy Spirit’s work saying, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:12-15) The Holy Spirit reveals God’s Word to us, teaching us the message God has for us. By the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit’s revelation of that Word, we learn how to live our lives to please the Lord, and how we can get the eternal life and salvation the Lord has provided for us.
God is all-powerful. He has power over everything, even the bad. God’s very nature is love, and though we may not understand it, what He says and does is done with a motive of love. Though we don’t understand His ways, He always works out His ways with goals of righteousness and love.
When many of us think of love, we usually think of the wonderful, heart-warming side of love that we all desire to have in our lives. But do you know there is another side to love? This second side is one of correction and discipline. I’m sure God probably doesn’t enjoy discipline. Yet, like our earthly parents, when we leave the path God wants us to follow He uses discipline to correct, train or direct us to the right path again. God wants to keep us from harm, and this is indeed love!
Sometimes we also have a warped definition of love. This definition of love is self-seeking. But God’s love is sacrificing self for the good of another person. Scripture tells us about God’s love saying, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:7-10)
Without God’s power and love, curriculum would be worthless. Though the tools help us with teaching God’s word, they cannot cause that word to penetrate someone’s heart, and heal and change their life. Only the power of God can do this! And God does it because He loves us!