Friday, August 14, 2009

Daily Devotional Thought--From the Confessions (Life-Long-Learning)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Recently, in a discussion at our Board of Evangelism meeting, a comment was made about Mt. Calvary's adult Bible Class. It went something like this: Those people can quote the Scriptures backward and forward, but they want to dig deeper.

The following day, while reading from the Treasury of Daily Prayer, Luther's words from the Large Catechism made the point sink in, and described the life-long-learning from Christ that is the Christian Life, a process called "Catechesis." (Keep in mind that the Catechism is simply the teaching of the Word, and is filled with Holy Scriptures.)

Enjoy Luther's words. I think you'll find them most applicable today, nearly 500 years after he first penned them:

Oh, what mad, senseless fools are we! While we must ever live and dwell among such mighty enemies as the devils, we still despise our weapons and defense [2 Corinthians 10:4], and we are too lazy to look at or think of them!

What else are such proud, arrogant saints doing who are unwilling to read and study the catechism daily? They think they are much more learned than God Himself with all His saints, angels, prophets, apostles, and all Christians. God Himself is not ashamed to teach these things daily. He knows nothing better to teach. He always keeps teaching the same thing and does not take up anything new or different. All the saints know nothing better or different to learn and cannot finish learning this. Are we not the finest of all fellows to imagine that if we have once read or heard the catechism, we know it all and have no further need to read and learn? Can we finish learning in one hour what God Himself cannot finish teaching? He is engaged in teaching this from the beginning to the end of the world. All prophets, together with all saints, have been busy learning it, have ever remained students, and must continue to be students. (emphasis added)

It must be true that whoever knows the Ten Commandments perfectly must know all the Scriptures [Matthew 7:12]. So, in all matters and cases, he can advise, help, comfort, judge, and decide both spiritual and temporal matters. Such a person must be qualified to sit in judgment over all doctrines, estates, spirits, laws, and whatever else is in the world [1 Corinthians 6:2-3]. And what, indeed, is the entire Book of Psalms but thoughts and exercises upon the First Commandment? Now I truly know that such lazy "bellies" and arrogant spirits do not understand a single psalm, much less the entire Holy Scriptures. Yet they pretend to know and despise the catechism, which is a short and brief summary of all the Holy Scriptures.

Let us pray:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate our study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Have a great weekend. Amen.

No comments: