School is resuming in Kansas City this week, as well as in many parts of the country. I’m reminded of this cute story shared by Scott Mareten about his Pre-school son who was learning the alphabet
Scott says it was a crisp Minnesota fall afternoon, when his four-year-old son was helping him rake leaves in the front yard of their farmhouse. He glanced up just in time to see a flock of geese flying over and pointed out how they flew in a perfect formation shaped like a “V”.
The little fellow patiently watched them as they disappeared over the horizon and then turning to his Dad asked, “Do they know any other letters?”
The word of the week is “learn.”
The Bible puts a great deal of emphasis on our need to learn. The word in its various forms is used over 63 times. The word knowledge is found 164 times. But how do we learn? How do we acquire spiritual knowledge and wisdom?
(1) The Book of Revelation.
After receiving the law, Moses took the book of the covenant and read it to the people (Ex 24:7). After entering the promised land, Joshua gathered Israel and read to them the word of the law of Moses (Joshua 8:34-35). And following the Jews return to their homeland from Babylonian captivity Ezra, the scribe, assembled the people and “read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8).
Reading the Bible is fundamental to learning about Jesus. The apostle Paul both affirms this and admonishes us with these words: “…how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery, as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ…” (Eph. 3:3-4)
There’s no way around it. We must get into the book. Read it. Study it. Meditate on it.
(2) The Book of Nature.
“God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone,” wrote Martin Luther, ” but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” The Bible says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” (Rom. 1:20)
An understanding of the laws of nature, the complexity of the cosmos, and the order and design of the universe, can teach us a great deal about God’s creative genuine and awesome power.
(3) Personal Experience
Our intellectual knowledge should lead to experiential knowledge. The Bible says that even Jesus, “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb 5:8).
As we follow the teaching of the Bible, we will grow closer to God, feel His presence and experience His peace. The Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
(4) Counsel of Others.
We learn by listening to godly parents, like Timothy learned from his mother and grandmother (1 Tim. 3:14-15). We are exhorted to learn from the influence of the apostles. In Philippians 4:9, Paul wrote, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” And we learn by heeding the counsel of those who are older and spiritually mature. “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel” (Prov 1:5).
Finally, learning should not be an end within itself. As Jim Rohn put it, “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman