Hungry to Learn

Classroom 031

“School House Rock”[1] was television’s attempt to teach children basic things about math, science and government. It aired in the 1980s during Saturday morning cartoons.  One phrase I recall was “conjunction junction what’s your function.”  Remember? It taught kids school subjects while they watched Bugs Bunny and others. I, too. have had the privilege of teaching in a Bible college, and in the local church as a Pastor and Teacher.  I have discovered that the best students are not always those who receive  “A’s”  (speaking as one who rarely received one!) but the best were those who loved to learn.  On the other hand, there were others who one could tell were not there because they choose to be there. In my annual Bible reading plan, I have arrived at the New Testament epistle the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. These people were absolutely amazing! We ought to try and bottle what they had! They had such an insatiable desire to learn but not just in the sense of “book learning.” They took what Paul taught them and lived it out.  They were any teacher’s dream! I can imagine that they sat on the edge of their seats waiting for every word to fall from the lips of God’s servant. As they heard the word of God, they accepted it as the word of God.  To them, Paul was not just another lecturer visiting them to talk about the latest philosophy to come out of Rome. When they heard him speak they understood that God had sent him to be his spokesperson.  It was more than a philosophical chat about abstract ideas. Reading from 1 Thessalonians 2, they understood that these were God’s words and as such they sat with rapt attention at the Word as it was taught. This word was received by them into their hearts and began to take root in their lives. How fervent was their desire to learn God’s Word? Such was their dedication to learning God’s word that they were willing to suffer at the hands of their fellow citizens.  I would call that dedication to learning! As they heard the word and applied it, they knew that they had become citizens of the kingdom of God and as such needed to live distinctly from the rest of the culture. What an impact!

This got me to thinking.  With what attitude do I come to the Word of God when it is preached and taught?  I think that we in North America have become so accustomed to coming to church and hearing God’s Word that it has become mundane.  We have lost the thrill of learning it to live it! Now, those of us who have the privilege and responsibility of teaching must to do so in creative ways.  As the late Bible teacher, Howard Hendricks said many times, “We don’t have the right to be boring when we teach the Scriptures.” But how do we hear the Word? 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.”  For babies, milk is fundamental for their growth and development, no one has to lecture them on their need for it. For the believer in Jesus, the Word is fundamental to learning to become all that God desires us to be.  You and I must long to grow in our relationship to God. It is fundamental! I often think that every time God gives me the opportunity to sit in on a sermon or in a small group that this is another opportunity to marvel at his grace, to deepen my trust in him and grow to become more like Him. I am on the edge of my chair, I don’t want miss a thing. You?

2 thoughts on “Hungry to Learn

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