Remaining Life-Long Learners

Life Long Learners

During my years studying for my Masters, and working in the Residence Life Office of my university, I heard this phrase a lot.  Now, years later, many many years later if I am honest, it is sad to look around seeing who is a life-long-learner, and who has moored their ship and suffered shipwreck of their faith.  I am grateful that He has such a firm hold on me, and I want to encourage you persevere.   

Disciples are always growing, always learning.  

This year, I am re-reading the same Scriptures, yet beloved, they are not stale.  His Word is alive and active.  We do not make it so–it is not me to make them come alive, it is His Spirit at work.  It is marvelous, and awe inspiring.  One of the only appropriate uses of the word “awesome.”  His work through His Word is awesome.  I am in awe.

He still teaches His disciples, that is you and me beloved, with the same gentleness, compassion, patience, clarity, etc.  He is still willing to say “get behind Me Satan!” when we plunge ahead and try to teach Him, or try to manipulate His Word.  He still says “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples;  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

Continue.  Abide.

If you know me, you knew it would come around to this.  Abiding.  From Deep Simplicity: Meditations on Abiding in Christ, page 9:

“Devotion to Christ is quite often mistaken for what this generation calls ‘devotions,’ a quick snippet of time with the Lord and I’m set for the day.  Read a book that references a verse and walk away to get on with real life.  Well as you may have guessed, this is not one of those sorts of books, rather it is written with the desire that readers will run back to Scripture, dig deeper, cling to it, write it on your own hearts, and think upon it throughout every day of your sojourning.  At the heart of what Jesus taught in His call to abide is that abiding is not a task, nor a moment, rather it is living life in His presence.  In all moments, to do all things with Him and for Him and through Him (see Romans 11:36, perhaps meditate on it).  This call to abide is for all believers, it is for you, beloved.” 

Disciples have this mindset, this desire–to remain in His Word, to continue in His Word, to abide in His word.  Not to find a new word, not to update His words for Him, and not to grow weary.  We have the mind of Christ, the mind willing to listen and learn, the humility to admit that He has words of eternal life, and apart from Him we are in the dark.

Darkness is sometimes used as a beautiful Scriptural metaphor for absence of knowledge and understanding.  See here.  And then, here.

But the Son of God has come, He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature; and He has given us understanding that we may know Him, the One True God! And this is eternal life.   In the next post, we will be looking at what Paul tells the Ephesians about how they “learned Christ.” 

They learned! …but how do we learn?  

In the beginning of the Gospel of Luke, why does he write?  Yes, inspired by the Holy Spirit; but he made careful search and then wrote in order that Theophilus may KNOW!!!  He researched, and compiled, and wrote.  “so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”  “Have been taught” signifies that Theophilus had heard, had sat under some good teaching, been mentored perhaps as Paul mentored Timothy and Titus and others? 

But Theophilus was also to have the blessing of this written account, which we too would do well to guard and cling to, for it is the Word of God.  We would do well to admit that we too need teachers, mentors, and fellow believers who are also fellow life-long-learners with whom we can share what we are learning. And at some point, we have to wrestle with the notion that our growth should lead to our speaking and sharing, for “we all ought to be teachers by now…” (Hebrews 5:12)

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

We too have faith by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God; are we too are blessed by hearing and reading…  We learn by turning toward the faith once for all handed down, not by turning inward, not by thinking apart from revelation, …more on this in the following weeks, as we answer the question: How have you “learned Christ?” as Ephesians 4 states?   

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