September A Gentle Nudge

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As I was thinking about an article and I soon remembered it was September I remember how challenging learning can be for some children and young adults. It seems like some can grasp it and others have a more difficult time. I also realize that if we want to live a fruitful and successful life we keep learning throughout our lives.
That’s the way it is with our spiritual lives. We need to keep studying, learning and digging to make our lives better. So many think that once they graduate their learning is finished. That is not true. We take every experience we have, every circumstance that comes our way and we learn from it. 
I also know reading the Bible is something we continuously do. We gain new insight each time we open our Bibles. Reading from the Bible can also be challenging and we may not always get it. I know some who can open their Bibles and it comes easy for them while others open their Bibles and it’s a struggle to understand each verse. For some sitting down and taking the time to do Bible Study is a breeze. It is something that is included in their daily walk with God while others struggle to find five minutes to sit quietly and read. I have been in both places. I will share with you my walk with God is a lot easier when I take the time to start my mornings with God before I do anything else. When you put God first on your mind in the morning you are more aware of him during the day. 
With so many new versions coming out it is a lot easier to understand the Bible. I suggest if you struggle with what is being said in your Bible you pick up The Message or some other easy to understand verse and compare the scriptures. I know when I have struggled with a certain verse I will open up multiple translations trying to understand the scripture. Reading one or two verses often times hinders our understanding. There are times we need to go back into the scripture and read where the verse is coming from and what is happening surrounding the verse. Understanding the characters surrounding a particular verse is beneficial as well. Before long you will find yourself studying and learning and grasping scripture. 
Being in Bible Studies with others is often a great tool to learning. When we immerse ourselves in Bible Study we may discern scripture through others. Others often share their insights into a particular verse and the light bulb comes on for us. My friend Dan has a great source of knowledge. I love to be in study with Him and learn new things. He loves sharing his knowledge of the Word and I love learning from him. I suggest if you are not in a regular Bible Study that you find one. We need each other to help discern what God is telling us in scripture.
Another important tool in learning scripture is prayer. When I struggle with scripture I often go to God in prayer and ask him to open scripture up for me. Before I sit and study I often ask him to clear my mind of present day things and to guide me as I study his word. I often ask him to show me what it is he wants me to learn from today’s scripture reading. Then of course I pray that he helps me apply it to my life. James 1: 5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” God is always ready to give us wisdom if we ask. 
Tests were always tough for me. Tests are tough in life too, but when we study the Word and we know the material and know how to apply those things we have learned and read then the test isn’t so bad. When I took the time to study the material I usually passed the test. We will past those tests God puts in front of us when we study and apply scripture to our lives. 
 I never want to stop learning what God has in store for me. I never want to stop reading, studying and applying scripture to my life. September for me is a gentle nudge to remind me just because I am out of school I am not to stop learning. September reminds me to keep on studying, learning and growing in Christ. 
Take this month and spend some time evaluating where you are in studying the Bible. Are you in the elementary stages of life, or middle school, or are you in high school or maybe like my friend Dan you are at the college level. Where ever you are keeping moving toward the next stage. Dan continues to study and gain knowledge so he can share it with others. He often shares that he’s has gained new insight as well. That should be our same goal. Not only will studying the Bible benefit us, someday we may be able to help others.  
God bless you this month and I challenge you to pray daily for our students, teachers, administrators and yes, even parents as they struggle with homework and the many afterschool activities. 
Dear God: I pray for all those precious children and youth who are back in school and studying this month. Help them to get back in the swing of things and open their minds to soak in those things being taught. Be with the teachers and the administrators and all the support staff. Give them understanding, wisdom to handle children and help them as they guide our young folks. Be with us as we sit and study your word. Help us to keep growing, learning and reaching out. Thank you for books that make us stretch and grow wiser in your ways. Amen
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