Remember when you were young and just beginning to learn to paint? You probably didn’t even receive a paintbrush back in those days. Finger painting was your medium.
Perhaps you discovered a love for art, and graduated later to water color brushes and paint-by-numbers. Eventually, you learned and grew to using different kinds of media — pencil drawings, chalk, oil paintings, and perhaps you even went 3-D, into the medium of sculpture.
“Keep on learning and growing.” That’s good in the art world. And it’s exceptionally good in the spiritual realm.
That phrase represents one of CrossWalk Church’s key values. We believe that church was designed by God to be a learning organization filled with people who want to be life-long learners.
Christ-followers are never satisfied with the knowledge they have today. We are on a continual quest for deeper and deeper knowledge. We possess a constant thirst for training that leads to us becoming more solid, steady and secure in Jesus.
The author of the book of Hebrews voices this value as important for the church of the first century. He wants his listeners to grow up and move forward into a mature faith. He wants them to become fully-developed followers of Jesus Christ.
And while the basics of our doctrine will always remain necessary and important, he says, it’s time we move into deeper teachings. We must study the whole word and will of God and familiarize ourselves with the entirety of God’s revelation found in the Bible.
Furthermore, Jesus makes it clear that maturity is not a “classroom only” type of experience. What we listen to, we are to believe, and in faith, learn to obey. What we receive from the word, we must act on and put into practice in our lives.
Anything less will not lead to maturity. Anything less will lead to us being weak, vulnerable and susceptible to spiritual attack.
Listen to God’s word — all of it — and put it into practice — all of it. Then we will be taken forward by the Holy Spirit to maturity.
God permitting, we keep on learning and growing for a lifetime, and become stronger every day.
“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so” (Hebrews 6:1-3, NIV).
Lord Jesus, through your word and sacraments send me your Holy Spirit so that by his power I may keep on learning and growing.
Our Bible reading for Wednesday, November 4, is Ezekiel 4:1 – 6:14, Hebrews 5:11 – 6:12 and Proverbs 26:23 – 27:4.
Header image based on "20050904151031-0" by Cesar Rincon, CC By 2.0