This week our children go back to school. Mothers around our community are letting out a collective sigh of relief. No more screaming kids. No more hearing, “I’m bored,” every five minutes. The house will once again be quiet from 8 AM to 3 PM. School is back and that means it’s time to get back to the routines, football practices and homework.
But as my daughter gets older, I have noticed something about her homework. It’s actually a little embarrassing to admit, but here goes: Her homework is hard. No, not for her… for me! I consider myself a pretty educated guy, but there are times when I look at her math homework and it looks like a foreign language. I never realized how much I had forgotten from my school days – or how much I never really learned.
The same dilemma often rears its ugly head in our spiritual life. Our parents take us to church as kids. We go to Sunday School. We learn about Abraham and Moses, Mary and Martha, Peter and Paul. We memorize the Commandments. We learn to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know” and to trust that he is our Savior from sin.
And so we graduate. We take our first communion. We get confirmed. We get into high school and college and stop going to church. We know what we need to know. We believe in God. We believe that Jesus is our Savior. So, why go to church?
What we often don’t realize is how easily we forget. What we often don’t realize is how much we still have to learn. The devil loves to lull us into complacency, overconfidence – into thinking we know more than we really do.
The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthian Christians, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful you do not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). The Apostle Peter encouraged believers everywhere, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
We all need to hear, read and study God’s Word. Why? Because if we don’t, we quickly forget what we learned. God gets pushed to the backburner in our lives. We start to think that we are good enough on our own – that we are going to heaven because of what we do. The devil whispers in our ears, “You’re okay. You’re a spiritual person. You think about God. In fact, you are probably more spiritual than all those hypocrites going to church. You don’t need some preacher telling you what to believe. You’ve got it all figured out.”
But it’s a lie. We need to hear God’s Word because we easily forget and because there is so much that we still have to learn. I started attending Sunday School when I was four years old. My parents took me to church every Sunday. I went to a Christian grade school, high school, college and seminary. I have been a pastor now for 15 years. And I am still learning new things from God’s Word!
A new school year is about to begin. It’s time to get back to school, time to get the kids back into the routine, time to help them with their homework. But, if you have been away from God’s Word, it’s also time for you to get back to school, time to learn and grow and find the peace that only God gives.