“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
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.
Seek to learn from Jesus, talking with him throughout the day and following any directions he speaks into your heart.
“While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate.” Acts 10:17
Praying on a rooftop in Caesarea, Peter, the apostle of stomp and snort, is hungry, and while he waits for his daily bread to be prepared, he seeks the everlasting bread of life (John 6:48). Deeply submerged in the presence of God, Peter sees a vision of food forbidden.
He recoils, saying, “Surely not, Lord! . . . I have never eaten anything impure or unclean” (Acts 10:14). A heavenly voice says, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:15).
Peter’s perplexed, but at the same time, God is working his plan. Across town is a centurion seeking the one true God. He is a Gentile; he is, in a figurative sense, food forbidden. But God says to look for a man named Peter; and Peter, still wondering what the vision meant, sees three men from Cornelius approaching on the street below.
The Holy Spirit says to Peter, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them” (Acts 10:19-20). Peter follows the men to Cornelius’ house and finds a crowd already waiting to hear the good news of Jesus, the Christ.
Cornelius tells Peter that, four days before, God promised to send a messenger. In that instant, Peter knew he was the messenger and that the vision meant the gospel is for all people, even Gentiles.
And as Peter began to tell Cornelius’ crowd how to make peace with God, the Holy Spirit descended upon them all, even those who were Gentile.
Oswald Chambers described God as the Great Engineer, creating circumstances to bring about moments in our lives of divine importance, leading us to such divine appointments.
You’ve seen how God did this in the lives of Peter and Cornelius; will you watch now for how God engineers divine encounters in the life you can no longer call your own?
Question: Do you expect God to be at work in your own life?