By Shawn McMullen
While this issue of The Lookout focuses on the education of children, I’d like to broaden the topic here and ask, “What does the learning process look like for all faithful followers of Christ?” How can every disciple be a lifelong learner?
We know it’s important. The apostle Peter urges us,
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen (2 Peter 3:17, 18).
Every follower of Christ is responsible for his or her growth in grace (character) and knowledge (understanding). We don’t abdicate this charge to others. We engage in the church’s teaching ministries, but ultimately it’s all on us.
How do we fulfill our responsibility to grow in grace and knowledge? We spend time in God’s Word. Personally. Intentionally. Systematically. There is no other substitute.
Alexander Maclaren was a 9th-century Scottish preacher who knew the value of spending time in the Word of God. In an address to a class of ministerial students he made an observation that applies not only to vocational ministers, but to all of us.
I thank God that I was stuck down in a quiet, little, obscure place to begin my ministry; for that is what spoils half of you young fellows. You get pitchforked into prominent positions at once, and then fritter yourselves away in all manner of little engagements that you call duties . . . instead of stopping at home and reading your Bibles, and getting near to God. I thank God for the early years of struggle and obscurity.
Stopping at home, reading our Bibles, and getting near to God. This is the simple solution.
By the way, The Lookout publishes an annual Bible Reading Plan on this website. It would be a great place to start.