"Happiness is not a goal, it's a by-product."
September. Regardless of our age or family/life circumstances, it is difficult to walk into September without some Back To School thoughts. And so here we are.
Some of us are, in fact, returning to school, either as students or teachers/staff. Others of us are sending children back to school. Some of us are relieved to have put our school years behind while others look back with longing for those good old days. Regardless of our current situation, September stands as a reminder of our continual need to grow and as an invitation to do so. This is a wonderful time to consider going back to school, so to speak, under our spiritual Schoolmaster, Jesus Christ. The Bible reminds us that a life of faith is a life of learning and growing. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling as the indwelling Holy Spirit does His work in sanctifying us (Philippians 2:12-13).
Our faith-work takes multiple forms, but one of the most significant and powerful elements of Christian growth remarkably echoes our school years: Bible study. Reading, studying, and meditating on this Book is our foundation for a growing life of faith. God has provided His Word for us, that we might learn who He is, who we are before Him, and what a faith relationship with Him looks like.
Bible study is more than the book learning that my Back To School analogy would suggest. The ultimate goal of Bible study is to be transformed by the renewing of our mind and to be conformed to the character of Christ and His kingdom. As we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, our minds and hearts are touched. We become better able to love as Christ loves and better able to explain Truth to others. We become informed and wise, yes, but we are changed from the inside out for all eternity. This is a far greater reward than the grades we earn/earned from our school studies. May we eagerly and gratefully return to the Lord’s schoolhouse of His Word, sit at our Teacher’s feet, diligently study His Word, and humbly submit to His work in us.