Let the wise hear and increase in learning (Proverbs 1:5a).
Do you remember being excited as a child about going back to school? There are times in my life now that I want to go back to school. I would like the routine of a school day to structure my busy life. The curriculum is all laid out for you when you are a student. It is easy to always be learning when you don’t have to decide what to be studying. When you are done with a unit, you get a grade. This shows you have completed the topic and your hard work is acknowledged. It’s nice to be acknowledged for a job well done.
I need to set my own routine now that I am an adult. There is no specific set curriculum. I just need to be sure there are clean clothes to wear, food to eat, beds make to sleep in, and people are in the right place at the right time. But I have to figure this out on my own. I don’t get a grade when I do a job well. I may get a “thank you” once in a while or the occasional griping if something isn’t clean or we are late to an event. I am still always learning something—a new recipe, a new method to clean, a new stain removal technique— something new daily.
How about our faith life? I know when I start my day in the Word, the curriculum is set for me. Whatever I read from God’s Word guides my day and all that comes my way. I tend to be distracted and unfocused on days that don’t start with time in studying God’s Word. The lessons learned on those days are not nearly as valuable.
Learning and wisdom go together. Studying leads to wisdom. Wisdom leads to study.
W – Word
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).
The Bible lights our way in our journey of learning.
I – Imitators
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:7-8).
Wisdom is revealed to us not only directly through God’s Word, but indirectly from those who teach us His Word in church, through sermons and Bible study.
S – Solitude
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed (Mark 1:35).
Even Jesus needed to be alone with his Father.
D – Discipline
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it( Hebrews 12:10–11).
Our disciplined, routine time with God will train us and be beneficial.
O – Obedience
If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).
Our love and obedience go together—they can’t be separated. We love God, so we obey His command. We study His Word, always trying to learn from it.
M – Meditate
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your way (Psalm 119:15).
Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works (Psalm 119:27).
Precepts are teachings. We meditate on these teachings as we learn and grow in our wisdom.
God’s Word provides its own reward. This reward does not come in the form of a grade. It is a reward that does not come through our own hard work. We are saved through Jesus’ death on the cross for us. Through this gracious gift of His life, our reward will be eternity. What better grade is there?
Heavenly Father, help me to daily spend time growing in Your Word. Let me use it as a guide, to light my way and keep me on the path, always learning what You desire me to learn. Help me to be obedient and disciplined, meditating on Your lessons for me daily. Thank You for providing the curriculum to direct my learning. Amen.
Scripture references are from the ESV.
Written by Anne M. Hartman, Eau Claire, WI
Published by Lutheran Women’s Missionary League 2009