To become a Christian is to become a lifelong learner. There is no end to the task of the study of God’s nature, character, design, and work. I find it quite humbling to consider that no one can ever master the topic of God. The best we can do is to scratch the surface.
And yet, not only is the study of God humbling, but it is also mind expanding. In the words of the great 19th century preacher/theologian Charles Haddon Spurgeon: “He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe....Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.”
In this issue of the newsletter, we turn our focus to discipleship and the many opportunities we have here for the study of God’s word. We encourage you to take advantage of these classes – learn to sharpen your mind by listening to others’ insights and questions. However, we also encourage you to spend time on your own in personal study. Read God’s word often. Read it slowly and mindfully. Let the words of scripture shape your thought patterns. Ask questions of scripture. More importantly, let scripture ask questions of you.
However, be forewarned, the study of scripture is not some dispassionate practice where you pin the text under a looking glass and dissect it. “For the word of God is alive and active,” says the author of Hebrews,
“Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
You will not come away from an encounter with the word of God unaffected. The Spirit works powerfully through the word. As God says in Isaiah:
“[my word] will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11).
So I encourage you to study God’s word – study it in groups and study it on your own. And as you study, be open to the power of the Holy Spirit working in you to enlarge your intellect and magnify your soul.
Soli Deo Gloria,