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Devotional: November 5, 2020

Show me how you work, God; School me in your ways.

Take me by the hand; Lead me down the path of truth. You are my Savior, aren’t you?

         Psalm 25: 4-5     The Message

Wise men and women are always learning,     always listening for fresh insights.

         Proverbs 18: 15  The Message

Learning has always been part of the practice of Christian faith. The first twelve disciples followed Jesus in order to learn from Him. Learning has been interwoven with how the faith is handed down from generation to generation. Many credit Christianity in general, and Sunday School in particular, with some of the original inspiration for all public education. 

Are you eager to learn from the Lord?  Would you be classified as one of the “wise men and women” who are always learning? These are good questions for any follower of Christ to ponder.

One reason we resist learning is that it takes some effort to learn. Not an overwhelming amount of effort, but some effort is usually required in order to learn something new. Yet in the long run, the effort required to learn from another is often less than figuring something out on your own. Taking the time to learn from others, rather than practicing the “do it yourself” method, can save valuable time. Most likely, you will learn some valuable lessons.

Even when we can or must figure out something on our own, an eagerness to learn something new can pay dividends. Often it is wiser to slow down and learn how to do things right, by taking the time to go over details. This strategy is better than charging ahead, assuming you know more than you do, and sometimes making a mistake. (I say this after assembling some IKEA furniture!) 

The same thing goes along with the scriptures. Taking the time to truly study the bible, to absorb the words into our lives, and to make them a part of our daily practice is exactly what these passages are speaking of. Going to church is extremely important. However, one meal a week cannot keep you strong and sustain you for the other six days. Just as we need daily physical nourishment, we also need daily spiritual nourishment. This is done by learning from and leaning on the scriptures for inspiration and strength.

Jesus offers us a surprising perspective on learning from Him alone. He promises His disciples, (all of them, including us), that learning from Him is not a burden. Rather, it is a blessing. 

I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases Matthew 11:29-30 in The Message:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

In 2020, many of us are experiencing these emotions. We feel the need to “get away”. Here, Jesus is giving us instructions on how to do so. Walk, work, and watch what for the Lord has to teach you. His blessings will overflow into your life, resulting in genuine peace: a peace which passes all understanding.

May all of us learn to live freely and lightly with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Prayer

Lord of all knowledge,

You are the perfect teacher. You want to guide me step by step through my day. Open my eyes to see the lessons You want to teach me. Help me to reach out to You for direction. Let me be a true disciple, as I absorb your teachings. Keep me from being a stumbling block to others. Thank You for desiring to be with me, and to help me. 

I pray this prayer in Your Holy name. Amen


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