i have learned

I recently preached from a text in Philippians 4 where Paul made the statement, “I have learned”. I sit here now contemplating that phrase “I have learned”.

The first thought that comes to my mind is in the form of a question – What have I learned? What have I allowed the Spirit of God to teach me? What have I learned from decades of Bible reading and study? What truths have made it from my head to my heart and affected the way I thought and conducted myself? Where have I changed because of the revelation of scripture? Where have my eyes been opened to the realities of discipled living because of acknowledgement of God’s truth made known in my life?

I think that’s what learning is all about. It is not the memorization of mere facts – It must be the acknowledgement of, and acquisition of, truth that will produce change in our lives.

When I think about that I begin to wonder what it is that God is wanting me to learn next? What life changing truth lies just around the corner? What will I learn from my present circumstances, no matter how difficult they may appear, that will soften me, sweeten me, strengthen me? What truth is the Spirit about to open my eyes to so that I might see others as God sees them, and serve them as such?

Perhaps the greatest waste, and maybe even sin, is to finish this life the same way we started. Never changing. Never improving. Never learning. Never coming to an understanding of all “God has prepared for those who love him.” The first part of that Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:9) says “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived” those things. The next verse says that it is God’s Spirit that reveals all of them to us.


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