January 1, 2023
Bishop, W. F. Houston, Jr.
Bible Study Reading:
Proverbs 22:4 (TLB)
*True humility and respect for the Lord lead a man to riches, honor, and long life.
The love of the Lord can be summed up in one word: humility.
As a lecturer and instructor, I have worked with many students who detested going to school yet were passionate about acquiring new knowledge. Perhaps you can relate. "School" typically refers to grades, tests, deadlines, hallway passes, and waiting in line. "Learning," on the other hand, is about exploring God's world, putting our growing knowledge into faith-filled practice, and giving Him the glory for all of it. A lot of scripture speaks about learning, a spiritual discipline that’s sometimes overlooked or misunderstood today.
Even though we live in a very educated time, this is strange. But there's no better time to talk about this than at the start of a new year when we usually want to make positive changes. After all, we'll be learning for the rest of our lives.
In order to achieve this objective, our objectives for the study this month include differentiating between godly and worldly learning or wisdom, investigating biblical examples of learning (or the failure to learn), and gaining an understanding of the purposes and motives for learning.
To begin, we will look at several definitions of learning as well as the benefits of learning.
To further our comprehension of what was covered in the first session, the second topic of discussion will be the educational practices of biblical characters. And last but not least, we will summarize all we've covered and hopefully boost our intrinsic motivation and commitment to learning.
As an introduction, I want to share a couple of verses with you today that illustrate a pair of fundamental truths: Authentic learning invariably results in change (v. 3) and being willing to change demands a healthy dose of humility (v. 4; and you can look at Isaiah. 33:6). Now there may be some asking - Why do you choose these two principles, Bishop Houston? And my answer to you is: Because for us to change, we must first acknowledge that what we know and can do right now is insufficient. Here's an example: An intelligent person will see an impending threat and adjust their behavior accordingly, while a simple or ignorant person will not. Instead of changing their behavior, they just "keep going and pay the penalty" (v. 3).
*Beloved, considering this month's focus on godly learning, what personal objectives might you create for yourself? Please take some time to ponder this question in prayer and record your thoughts.
Let Us Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, help us put aside our plans so that we can remain open to what You want to teach us as we pursue an understanding of what it is to be a student who honors God. Inspire us to celebrate Your wisdom and the truth with all sincerity! Amen.