A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, July 9, 2020
"The Blessing Of Learning"
Message summary: The Spirit bearing fruit in our lives is a direct result of the application of the truths that we study, so let us resolve that we will keep learning and applying!
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"Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them" (Deuteronomy 5:1). "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel" (Ezra 7:10). "Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13).
Yesterday I referred to a folksy book written in the 80's titled, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" written by Robert Fulghum. The book makes some good points about how we learn the essential basics of life early on. I don't remember much about Kindergarten (actually nothing I can specifically recall), but I am sure I learned some good lessons that prepared me for my school years and life.
Last week on a bike hike at Swatara State Park we met a 3rd grade teacher from Harrisburg who was visiting Bordner Cabin with her nephew. Based on what we could observe, as she interacted with her young nephew, we think she was probably a very good teacher. She asked him many questions and also provided many answers to his questions.
I asked her when children are taught to read and she told me Kindergarten through 2nd grade. She explained it this way, "In Kindergarten through 2nd grade children 'learn to read' then in 3rd grade and beyond they 'read to learn'". That's a pretty nifty explanation!
I (Stephen) went to Cambridge Elementary School in Belton, MO meaning I can impress others by truthfully saying, "I went to Cambridge" although certainly not the elite college in England! Cambridge Elementary School is still open after 60 years plus. My dad's name is still on a plaque in the lobby since he was on the School Board when it was built.
My first grade teacher was Mrs. Wilson and I do recall a little bit about that being in that grade. Specifically, getting in trouble and the principal coming down to meet me outside in the hallway where he strategically placed the "board of education" and swatted my behind. I learned my lesson and, to the best of my knowledge, survived without any permanent physical or psychological damage.
Mrs. Wilson had a fundamental role in teaching me to read although I doubt if I ever thanked her. The ability to read (literacy) opens the door to essentially limitless learning and study. After we learn to read we can learn about anything we choose whether in a formal or informal educational setting. It just takes a desire to do so.
Learning should be ongoing over a lifetime for the growing Christian, especially the study of the Holy Scriptures. It's not merely while we are young or perhaps while preparing for ministry or another career, but learning should be a lifelong pursuit.
The first daily text is the introduction to the Ten Commandments. Moses told the people, "Learn them and be sure to follow them".
The second daily text provides a great example of a devotion to learning for us all. "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD." The NASV translates this, "For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it". That should be said of all of us.
Among characteristics I want others to observe in my life is this, "Stephen has devoted himself to the study and observance of the Scriptures and to teaching its decrees and laws to others." (Having the entire Bible in our possession I believe it proper to expand the "law of the Lord" to mean the entirety of the Scriptures.)
Our third text states, "Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). The Amplified Bible renders the verse, "Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth."
Finally we are blessed, especially as we age, by Paul's request for lifetime learning in what is likely the very last letter he wrote. As he recognized the time of his departure (death) was near, he wrote to Timothy: "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments" (2 Timothy 4:13). He wanted to study and keep learning right up to the end of his life on earth!
We hope our daily encouragement messages are one of numerous study components in your life and we make that our prayer each time we post these messages. But we desire the greatest study source for all of us be the Holy Scriptures. We pray that God's people will know His Word, His truth and experience His freedom.
"No studying" may sound appealing to those who have little motivation, but real growth takes place as we get serious in study; as we observe the truths of God's Word lived out in our daily lives and in the lives of other believers. So let us resolve that we will keep learning and applying God's truths as we grow more and more in our love and devotion to Him!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we want to be diligent as lifelong learners especially in our study of Scriptures, not only to receive Your approval, but to more fully understand Your plan for our lives. Thank You for the Bible that's like a road map showing us where to go and how to get there. It is Your Spirit that illumines our path so that we do not walk in the dark, but we walk in the power of Your Holy Spirit as You show us the way to life everlasting. Keep us on the right path, growing and maturing in our faith, and in our love to You. Amen.
Note: Providing adequate exposition of today's second verse would take a series!
Like Ezra we need to devote ourselves to:
2) and observance
3) and teaching to others (See 2 Timothy 2:2)
Personal note: The first daily encouragement was sent out in 1996. A personal blessing is that, just as preparing for a sermon or teaching a Bible lesson these messages require study, I keep learning in the process of preparing them for others. As most who have prepared messages know a lot of study goes into a lesson that may never make the final cut but the preparer still benefits. Here's another interesting verse to consider in light of today's topic. "Always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7).
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Preach the Word" Video Gold City
"Fullness of Joy" Video Shane & Shane
"I Will Wait For You (Psalm 130)" Video Shane & Shane
About fifteen years ago I stopped by Cambridge Elementary School in Belton, Missouri, along with my two older brothers Mike (R), who turned 75 yesterday and Pat (L). It was a new school when I started first grade there. My Dad had been on the school board when it was constructed and they still have a small plaque with his name, E.C. Weber, behind me.
As I prepared today's message I had some music in the background and a song came on called "Life Defined" by Shane & Shane (LIVE from Linger Conference) Video
But especially catching my attention were powerful words passionately spoken from a worship leader after the song cued up here. What a good word for our time!
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