For many of us we get to the point that we really want to stop studying! Think about it for a moment.
12 years of elementary and secondary education (not to mention all the extracurricular education you receive from your circle of friends!)
4 years of undergraduate work (or for most young adults today 4.5 to 5 years – especially since the modern degree programs require more hours – wink, wink)
And since a bachelor’s degree is the new minimum expectation, you can stack on an additional 2 years, 30 credit hours and $15,000 in debt so that you can rise above the rest of the work force! (or for those of us with a Master of Divinity degree – 4 years, 90 credit hours, and debt that would embarrass John Wesley.)
Is it any wonder that after 20 years of sitting, listening, reading, writing, doing research, doing homework, and pulling all nighters for tests that we simply want to get off the merry-go-round? Nope! It makes perfect sense…or does it?
In the circles of Christian community and leadership that I am a part of we are encouraged to be life-long learners. Really if you think about it, learning never stops. We are in a constant state of evolution and growth through learning. New technology, new methodologies, new programs, new, new, new requires that we keep learning at home and on the job.
So now to the Jesus question – do you have a daily learning component that centers on Jesus?
Our message series has a theme to it and you might have heard this mentioned a time or two – “it all starts at home.” While we pay professionals for everything from painting, to car repairs, to dentistry, to education of our kids, we cannot rely on the paid professionals at church to be the sole source of education about our Lord and Savior. (NOTE: If this last sentence did not cause you to squirm a little then read it over and over until it does). As one of the paid professionals who teaches about Jesus, I have to be vigilant about my learning time because honestly there are many moments when I would like to jump off and stop – but I can’t! Lives and souls are at stake and so I can’t stop learning about Jesus.
Whether you realize it or not – the lives and souls that sit around your kitchen table are at stake. One author wrote that we are “…in a spiritual battle for the heart of our kids.” And the main source of influence for faith and faith development are the adult role models who are around that same kitchen table – not a paid professional that they see for a few minutes on Sunday.
The challenge is for all of us to be life-long learners; people who hunger to know more about God and his self-revelation in Jesus the Christ. We desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit to intrude upon us, disturb us to spend time learning about Jesus so that our lives might become more and more like his. So how does this happen?
I quoted a statistic during the message – the average person spends about 4 hours per day watching television or roughly 28 hours a week. We all have the exact same amount of time each week; we have 168 hours to sleep, eat, work, play, learn, ect. What if we tithed our time and gave God 16 hours of our week? Sounds daunting so what if we started slowly and thought about giving God 30 minutes per day or 3 hours and 30 minutes a week? That is miniscule considering the 28 hours we spend in front of the TV. I believe that if we disciplined ourselves to this time of learning and nurturing our faith two things will begin to happen:
1) You will start to crave more of God, God’s Word, and the life of Jesus and so your time spent in reading and studying will grow from 30 minutes to 45, 60, 90, or more.
2) Your conversation and interaction with your spouse and your family will begin to take on a different character – a positive character because your words and deeds will sound and look more and more like the things Jesus said and did!
If you have a passion and heart-aching desire for the next generation to inherit a vibrant and living faith and tradition – it will take parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, adult mentors and the church family practicing the discipline of being a life-long learner of Jesus Christ!
I pray daily that you will catch the fever to learn more about Jesus!!! It should be your second priority in life.