Makes Perfect Tense to Me

This post is going to reveal the nerdy side of me.  I love words.  I love grammar.  It was my favorite subject in school, and it is my favorite subject to teach (besides the Bible).  I especially love combining the two!  I was fortunate to have many wonderful teachers that fostered my love of this subject.  I remember diagramming sentences in sixth grade with Mrs. Orr and trying to fit every word in just the right spot.  It was like a puzzle to me, and fit well into my visual learning.  Unfortunately, neither of my school age boys share my same enthusiasm for this subject.

For the last few weeks in Logan's curriculum, we have been studying all about verbs and verb tenses. I loved this from our lesson a few days ago...."God wants us to be conscious of time because of its importance to life and to eternity.  The first three words in the Bible call attention to time: 'In the beginning God created heaven and earth.' (Genesis 1:1).

Time began with the creation of this earth, and it will end with its destruction.  Time is the short parenthesis between eternity past and eternity future.  Since time is always moving, it is divided into three parts: the present, the past, and the future.  Time unfolds in the present; but as time moves on, what is present time changes to past time, and what has been future time becomes present time."

Simple verb tenses are, well, simple.  It's not difficult to recognize past, present, and future.  We've been doing this since second grade.  In my Bible studies and in reading commentaries, there are several references to verb tenses that I don't really remember learning.  Perhaps I did, but it didn't sink in.  Here is a chart that I have referred to several times when I am not sure what they are talking about...

The tense, voice, and mood of Greek verbs will help us have a better understanding of the implications of the kind of action indicated in the Spirit-inspired Word of God.  Here are a few examples...

Present tense--continuous action.  It shows an action that is continuing.
* Jeff is studying the Bible.
* John 14:4b "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me."  We must continually abide in Christ.  This is not a one time instance.  It is a continual action.
* John 15:6-"If anyone does not abide in Me."

Perfect tense-action as completed. 
* Jeff is being transformed by having studied the Bible.
* John 15:3-"You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you."
*John 15:10b-"Just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love."

Today's lesson was on using perfect verb tenses.  Once again, I loved the way our curriculum explained the material and compared it with Scripture.  "An archaic meaning of perfect is 'mature or complete.'  God tells us to 'let patience have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.' (James 1:4).  In English grammar, perfect still means "completed."  The perfect tenses expresses action completed at a definite time.  In contrast to the simple tenses, which merely show the time of an action, the perfect tenses indicate the completion of an action.

Today, even though it was challenging and I was past my limit in teaching, I am thankful.  I'm thankful that I get this opportunity to teach them, even though I am stretched to my limit on most days.  He fills me when my strength and energy is depleted.

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