Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Christians should be life-long learners

Christians should be life-long learners
By Paul Carlisle

“Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. (Matthew 11:29a, Msg)

For years, I struggled to “arrive.” I devoured books and seminars. I was up-to-date on the current thought, recent trends, and the latest authors. Yet none of those pursuits enabled me to graduate from my student status.

As Larry Crabb describes it in his book, The Safest Place on Earth, “… we should expect to grope a bit, to know we’re always wrong about a few things, and to change our minds more than once.”

The truth is that we will never master knowledge. We will never be grown up enough to be considered an expert about life. Instead, God calls us to a lifetime of discipleship.

Discipleship is one of our purposes. And being a life-long learner is not a bad way of living. Instead of seeking to know all about everything, we should seek the One who already knows it all.

God showed me the importance of being teachable through the life of Apollos. We learn in Acts 18 that Apollos was an eloquent speaker and knowledgeable of the Scriptures.

The only problem was that he still needed to be taught. He had many good things going for him, but he was still lacking – he knew only about the baptism of John, not the power of Jesus.

The difficult part? He got his instruction from a couple of tent makers.

If I were Apollos, I would have had a real problem being taught by people that did not seem to be as important or competent as I was. Yet when he was taken aside by Priscilla and Aquilla, he listened humbly.

The results of being teachable were amazing. Verses 27-28 say Apollos “greatly” helped those who had believed, and he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. What a beautiful picture of what can happen if we will but accept the gift of being a perpetual student!

Are you lacking in spiritual knowledge? Take comfort: God invites you to be a life-long learner. There’s no shame in saying, “I don’t know, but I’m willing to learn.”

Point to ponder: You will never stop learning. Life is discipleship.

Verse: “Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it.” (Matthew 11:29a, Msg)

What will you do about it: If discipleship is one of your purposes, and learning is a life-long pursuit, don’t let today slip away. Pick up your Bible and read a chapter or two. Go to the One with the answers and let him teach you.

Prayer: Tell God you’re ready to surrender your need to know everything. Thank him that he doesn’t expect you to have all the answers.

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