Over the past couple of decades, Western society has emphasized the idea of lifelong learning. Rather than restricting education to formal school settings, lifelong learning promotes voluntary and continual growing in knowledge and understanding, both practical and theoretical.
Yet millennia before this current way of thinking, Jesus told his followers to become lifelong learners of him. He called it discipleship.
Over and over, the Gospel writers record Jesus saying, “Follow me.” Jesus called men, women, and children to follow his way of life and do the Father’s will as he did.
Our purpose, as Christians in the twenty-first century, is the same. We must spend our lives learning from Jesus. We must study and copy Jesus’ submission to the Father; embrace God’s words about sin, repentance, and forgiveness; follow the Spirit’s teaching on love, righteousness, and justice.
Too often we promote making disciples but forget about being disciples. In fact, we can’t produce followers of Jesus without following Jesus ourselves. It must begin with us.
Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV). Another translation puts it this way, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV).
So, as lifelong learners of Jesus, we copy Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, and urge others to copy us. Inviting fellow believers to imitate our actions spurs us to act rightly. We don’t follow Jesus perfectly, but day by day, month by month, year by year, we learn from him and become more like him as he transforms us by his Spirit.
Jesus, I want to learn from you. I want to think right. I want to hear the Spirit’s voice and obey. I know I can only do that through studying your Word and obeying it in the power of the Holy Spirit, whom you have given me.
Throughout This Day: Seek to learn from Jesus, talking with him throughout the day and following any directions he speaks into your heart.
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