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Back to School

By Michael J. Brooks

Where has the summer gone? Area schools open their doors again soon, to the chagrin of many students and to the delight of many parents. It was always a depressing time for me as a child when the more relaxed summer schedule was done!

Michael J. Brooks

Christians go to school, too, for the New Testament calls us “disciples.” This word has two meanings: to follow and to learn. As someone noted, the followers of Christ are branded on their ears and feet, for we hear his voice and we follow him.
Jesus, the master teacher, invites us to learn from him. He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me” (Matthew 11:29).
How do we learn in the school of Christ?
First, God through his Holy Spirit equips some to teach the Bible (Ephesians 4:11). This is a significant gift because teachers impact our lives.
I had some very good Bible teachers as a child and teen-ager. These were laypeople in our church who loved the scripture and taught us to love it, too. I had good teachers at Samford University, too, where I majored in religion.
The late Dr. W.T. Edwards challenged us to apply ourselves and learn.
We’d complain, “Dr. Edwards, this material is over our head.”
“Lift your head!” he’d always reply.
I had good teachers at Southern Seminary in Louisville, too, including Drs. Dale Moody, Frank Stagg and Lewis Drummond.
The pastor is a teacher and we should value time we spend hearing the Bible taught from the pulpit. Sometimes people get a bit nervous when high noon approaches and the service isn’t done. My family sat in the Atlanta Braves stadium some years ago. When the tied game went into the 10th inning the announcer said, “Free baseball!” When your pastor goes past twelve you ought to think “free church!”
We also have several fine Christian radio stations in our area so we can access good Bible teaching while relaxing at home or driving.
A second way we learn is by studying the scriptures ourselves. Luke said of the Berean church that they “searched the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). There’s no magic plan to personal Bible study. The most important principle is to have a daily appointment and do it.
And the final way we learn is through fellowship with Christ.
“Abide in me,” Jesus said (John 15:4). Just as we invite Christ into our lives to bring salvation, we invite him every morning to walk with us that day. Fellowship with Christ teaches us more about him.
Dr. Sigurd Bryan at Samford once said that the school of Christ never graduates a class, for we continue to learn until we die.

Reflections is a weekly devotional column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.

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