“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Philippians 1:6.
Lifelong learning has grown in importance over the last few years. Rather than restricting education to college or formal training, lifelong learners continue to grow knowledge and understanding over time. The idea of lifelong learning should be no surprise to the Christian. Centuries before this way of thinking became in vogue, Jesus told his followers to become lifelong learners of him. He called it discipleship.
Our purpose, as Christians today is the same as in biblical times. We must never stop learning about and from Jesus. Paul said, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) Another translation puts it this way, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (ESV)
We will never 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. Philippians 1:6 is comforting: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished. . .” Yes, we have the great promise of completion, but there is an additional line: “…on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” The loop of learning doesn’t close today or tomorrow but could well last a lifetime.
The focal point and center of our lifelong learning is the person and work of Christ. All things are in Him, through Him, and for Him. “He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” (Colossians 1:17). The heart of lifelong learning for the Christian is not merely digging deeper into the seemingly bottomless store of information there is to learn about the world and humanity and history. The center of lifelong learning for the Christian is knowing God Himself through the gospel word and the written word of the Scriptures. But you can’t say you have a high view of scripture and then ignore it. You need to put it into practice.
Lifelong learning of God’s Word is something God commands us to do, but it is not a burden. Instead, we are to abide in God’s Word in our habits, thoughts, actions, and words in a variety of ways throughout life. Never stop learning. Nourish your relationship with God every day. Keep on growing in His grace—and your lifelong learning of His truth.
- What does lifelong learning mean to you?
- What can we do to ensure that we never stop learning?