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Introduction

Bishop Sharma Lewis casts a vision for the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in June. The vision states, “A disciple of Jesus Christ is a lifelong learner who influences others to serve.” In this 3-minute Stir video, Bishop Lewis talks about what it means to be a lifelong learner.

Watch

Reflect

  1. What does it mean to you to be a lifelong learner?
  2. What are some times when you have experienced scripture being misapplied or twisted?
  3. Read 2 Timothy 2:15. How do these verses help you understand the need to be a lifelong learner?
  4. Why should we study the Bible in a spirit of prayer?
  5. Bishop Lewis states, “God gives the gift of knowledge.” Do you think that this gift is always viewed as such? Why or why not?
  6. What do you think of the eight steps of studying the Bible that Bishop Lewis talked about? (They are listed below.)
  7. After watching the video, and having this discussion, what do you plan to change or add to your Bible study/devotion practice?

Ponder

A disciple of Jesus Christ is a lifelong learner.  We are not passive disciples, sitting around and waiting for someone to teach us. We are responsible for growing in our spiritual formation. This can take many different forms. We can go on a spiritual retreat, where we learn new practices or hone our spiritual disciplines. We can do daily devotions and daily Bible reading.  We can read other Christian thinkers. I would recommend reading books from a different perceptive from your own to challenge and stretch yourself. This is true for clergy and laity alike.

Engage in a small group or Sunday school class by asking and welcoming questions. Not to trap other Christians, like the religious leaders did to Jesus, but to grow in your own faith development. Spiritual giants like Henri Nouwen teach us that being a lifelong learner is done in community as well as on our own. We need each other’s stories as we develop our story.

To be a disciple who is a lifelong learner, to is engage in ongoing, voluntary, and self-motived study. It becomes part of our spiritual journey.

8 Steps of Studying the Bible

  1. Plan your study.
  2. Set aside time and place to study.
  3. Get a good study Bible.
  4. Choose a translation.
  5. Study with an attitude of prayer.
  6. Pray allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal new things and thoughts.
  7. Dive into and enjoy the richness of God’s word.
  8. Apply God’s word to your life.

Pray

Holy God, may your Holy Spirit move through us as we study your Word each day. Equip us to study your Word in a spirit of prayer. Open our eyes to see new things. Guide us to be disciples who are lifelong learners.  Amen.

Engage

In what ways are you a lifelong learning disciple? Leave a reply below.