Senior Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Pondering can be read here, as seen in the printed church bulletin weekly.
Keep Learning and Applyingby Duane Mabee on August 8, 2019
For me to stay engaged, I must keep learning and applying new things, otherwise, I get bored. I often say that I want to keep learning and growing until after they lay me in a box and put me in the ground. Actually, I believe that we will keep learning and applying new things – especially about God – throughout eternity. He is far too magnificent for us to fully comprehend Him and He is too creative to allow us to get bored with Him or our eternal home. Heaven will be a continuous process of discovery and wonder.
I’m not alone in the need to keep learning and applying. We all need to. The moment we stop learning and applying, we start dying. That might scare some of us. We thought we were done with that learning thing the last day we attended school. OK, some of us stopped before that. But when we stop learning and applying new things, our brains start to atrophy. Learning and applying something that is completely different from what you normally do can help stave off dementia. Learning a new language or learning to play an instrument you’ve never tried before is good for keeping your brain alive and active.
What applies to your brain also applies to your soul. When we stop learning and applying new things spiritually, our souls start to deteriorate. Maybe that should scare some of us. Many of us came to Christ under a version of Christianity that emphasized the salvation experience but didn’t say much about spiritual growth after we were saved. But the soul that isn’t continuously growing more knowledgeable in the faith and applying what it learns will atrophy.
I hope you picked up on the fact that I have continually paired learning and applying in this article. That has been intentional. It is possible to learn a bunch of spiritual and religious facts without applying them. That is not beneficial. In fact, it can be highly detrimental. Each Pharisee knew more about the Bible and religion than most of us combined. Yet, Jesus unleashed His strongest rebukes on them. He told them they did not know God and did not belong to Him. They knew tons of facts, but they did not apply them in the right way. They did not use what they knew to grow closer to God and become more like Him.
Donald S. Whitney wrote, “An examination of the New Testament word disciple reveals that it means to be not only ‘a follower’ of Christ but also ‘a learner’. Are you a disciple of Jesus? To follow Christ and become more like Him, we must engage in the Spiritual Discipline of learning.”
A holy curiosity about Christ and the things of Christ is an act of worship. It shows that we hare captivated with Him. We want to get to know Him better and be more like Him. Are you a disciple? Are you continually learning new things about the faith and applying them to your life? If not, you might want to check the condition of your soul. It may not be as healthy as you would like.