Monday, August 29, 2011
SCHOOL IS FOREVER
We’re never finished with our learning. Whether it’s trying new words or styles of writing, building a better mousetrap, or identifying a new animal or plant, we’re smart to always be open to the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. So it is in the Christian life. The more we read God’s Word, the more we learn about Him. The more time we spend meditating and praying, the closer we become to Him. Now, there’s a goal to pursue! He alone is worthy.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
The seasons dictate who starts school when. In the natural world, spring is the time for baby animals to learn vital lessons from their mamas. Birds learn how to fly, fawns how to protect themselves from danger, and foxes how to hunt for food. Humans, on the other hand, usually start school in the fall. Kids around the globe learn how to read and write and solve math problems.
As animals and humans learn, they study for the inevitable tests they face after lessons are completed. Passing a test of strength, ability, and cunning can mean life or death for an animal. Passing school tests can mean future success or failure for a student. Smart students study for tests. I remember many late nights reviewing everything I’d been taught. I didn’t want to miss any test questions.
We grownups keep learning new things, too. If we review the information, we’ll be able to apply it to our lives or avoid repeating mistakes. We’ll gain self-confidence, expertise, and success for our efforts. Perhaps you remember the joy in learning how to build a set of cabinets, or can dill pickles, or use the Internet. Practice and review made it easier and, in essence, you passed the test of success.
Learning new things applies to a Christian’s life, too. As we study the Bible we discover that living a life for Christ means more than attending church on Sunday, saying the right words, and doing the right things. The test comes when we realize that being a Christian is much more than that; it is accepting Christ as Savior and Lord of our life.
Such testing requires self-examination. Do we truly believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Or, like many, do we believe there are various paths to heaven, that Jesus was simply a good man, or that our good deeds will give us entry to heaven?
Paul said, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Being “in the faith” means being righteous through Christ’s gift of salvation. Without that, we fail the test. But through self-examination, we can learn if we fall short and then take steps to mature in our Christian walk.
Lord, as we grow in Your grace, stumbling and falling along the way, we take joy in knowing that You are always with us to encourage, empower, and restore. May we ever strive for maturity for Jesus’ sake. Amen.