How many of you wish you had paid more attention in school? You here your children talking about something you vaguely remember studying, but you can’t add anything to the conversation because you didn’t pay attention in class.
Monday morning the buses roll and school starts again. The students will have new teachers and new material to learn. They will be faced with opportunities to challenge their minds and excel in their different courses. Whether they excel in their classes is dependent upon how much effort they are willing to put into it. They can ride the bus to school each day and walk into their classes and sit and listen to their teachers day after day and do nothing else or they can review what they’ve been taught, read over the material again and try to memorize the facts. Eventually they will have a test to see if they learned what was being presented to them. If they invested time and energy into learning the material, they will do well on the test. If they simply took up space during class, they will struggle come test time. It all boils down to what they invested.
We face the same situation with our faith. Many of us go to church each week and we sit in our seats and listen to the message. We leave church and put our Bibles away until the next week when we go to church. Some of us may take it one step further and pick up our Bibles to attend a prayer meeting or a Bible study. We might even fill in the blanks to answer the questions of the Bible study but we don’t do anything with it. The difference between the Christian existing and the on fire Christian is their investment in their relationship with Jesus and the motive behind it.
If we want to be the on fire Christian, then we need to take a lesson from the student who excels in academics. Those who excel don’t just read the material or listen to a lecture. They spend time trying to understand what they are reading and what makes that material relevant to their lives. They see the importance of the information and spend time memorizing it. They don’t just prepare for a test, they prepare for life. Their motive to study is to grow as a person and broaden their minds, not to get an answer on a test correct.
It’s time to invest in our spiritual lives. We have to stop preparing spiritually for the test; we’ve got to prepare for life. God has been known to put you through the test first and the life lesson afterwards. When we spend time in the Word to grow in our understanding of who God is and who He says we are, then we have something to fall back on when troubles come [Joshua 1:8]. When we begin to memorize Scripture the Lord highlights for us, then we are ready with the Sword when the enemy brings challenges and we will be victorious [Matthew 4].
Dear friends, it is not about marking things on a checklist. That is what the Pharisees did. They kept score and it didn’t work for them. It is all about relationship. Jesus wants you to know Him. He wants to spend time with you teaching you about Himself and His ways. He wants to hear your heart cry and reveal His truth to you. These things cannot be done in a couple of hours each week. These things take time.
The bell has already rung. It’s time to hit the books. Your relationship with Jesus depends solely on what you are willing to invest in it. Are you going to sit back and rely on others to teach you about Him or are you going to invest extravagantly in your relationship with Him? The Teacher is waiting, now it’s up to you.