Trust God’s promise that His Word ‘will not return to me empty’
by Billy Graham
Columnist
January 05, 2013 12:18 AM | 1315 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I've been teaching a Bible class at our church for several years, but I'm about to give up. The class is for junior high students, and I just don't feel like I'm getting through to them. How can I know if it's time for me to quit? — Mrs. B.F.

A: You aren't alone; almost everyone who's ever taught this age group probably has felt the same way at one time or another! But I hope you won't give up — not until God leads you to do so.

I often think of Jesus' parable of the seed and the sower (you can find it in Luke 8:4-15). In this passage, Jesus told about a farmer who sowed seed in his field. Some of it failed to grow; it was choked by weeds, or fell on hard soil, or landed among the rocks where it couldn't put down roots. But some, Jesus said, fell on good soil — and eventually produced a bountiful crop.

This, Jesus said, is what happens when we teach or preach God's Word. Not everyone welcomes it, but some will, and God will use the "seed" of His Word to produce lasting faith. It may take time, but God has promised to bless His Word.

Pray regularly for the members of your class. Ask God also to help you be the best teacher you can possibly be — well-prepared, interesting, kind, and so forth. (You might ask another teacher you trust to sit in and suggest ways you can be a better communicator.) Above all, point your students to Jesus and His love, and urge them to open their hearts to Him. And trust God's promise that His Word "will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

Q: I understand why God is important, and I understand why Jesus is important, but what about the Holy Spirit? Where does it fit into my faith? It's all some people talk about, it seems, but I'm not sure what I'm supposed to believe about it. — Mrs. F.D.

A: The Holy Spirit is God Himself, as He works in the world and in our hearts today to accomplish His purposes. (This, incidentally, is why we should refer to the Holy Spirit in personal terms — not as "it" but as "Him").

In other words, just as Jesus was fully God, as well as fully man when He lived on earth, so the Holy Spirit is fully God as He works today. Jesus promised His disciples that after He returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit would come to take His place. He said, "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16-17).

Because He is God, the Holy Spirit is eternal and all-powerful, and He is everywhere. But when we come to Christ and commit our lives to Him, the Spirit also comes to live within us. In fact, before we ever come to Jesus, He is already at work in our hearts, convicting us of our sins and convincing us of the truth of the Gospel.

Thank God that He has not abandoned you, but that He is present within you by His Spirit. Ask Him to guide you when you pray, and also to give you wisdom when you have decisions to make. Ask Him also to help you read the Bible and apply it to your life, and to change you into the person God wants you to be. Most of all, ask Him to help you point others to Jesus.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.
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