5-24-2017 Graduation To Learning

Many are graduating, or advancing in institutional instruction. Some think they have learned enough to quit learning altogether! Solomon said: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9 NKJV). You must know that learning is a life-time experience! Solomon could say: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 NKJV); “And the complacency of fools will destroy them” (Proverbs 1:32 NKJV). Don’t turn your back on more learning, but education doesn’t begin and end in the classroom. In fact, some try to live their lives in a “class-womb,” by “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 NKJV). Their treadmill of ignorance leads to nowhere that is good and productive.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#class-womb, #fools, #graduation, #learning

Those feelings of loneliness

Do you ever feel alone? When we feel that way, we’re probably not really alone. Feelings don’t do a good job of reflecting reality. They’re a result of our interpretation of events and situations. Since our views of reality are often skewed, our feelings seldom reflect what’s really happening.

But let’s say, for sake of argument, that there are times when we’re really alone. Isolated. Estranged. Closed off from people. What would that be like? How would we really feel? Continue reading

#corollaries, #learning, #loneliness, #relationships, #suffering

Life a constant learning process

After 45-plus years of typing and keyboarding according to the proper system taught back then in the public schools, I learned that this too has a right-handed bias. I had always had a bit of problem reaching the number 6 with the index finger of the right hand. Recently, I tried it — against all True and Proper Doctrine of Typing — with my left hand. Problem solved!

But could I adapt easily to reaching the 6 with my left hand, after all these years of forcing the right? I found I could, after just a short time. Continue reading

#corollaries, #law, #learning, #persecution, #righteousness

What is the Value of Knowledge?


#inspiring, #knowledge, #learning, #motivational

Some people just never mature

I’ve met several Christians throughout the years who are exactly what I try to avoid being – too “smart” for their own good spiritually speaking! Their “Bible knowledge” is so complete they have no room for growth…and it’s a major turn-off to the majority of people around them without them even knowing it, or caring enough to realize it.

But can’t you know the truth, some may ask? You sure can according to John 8:32! But that knowledge, in its completed form, comes from continuing in the truth – it comes from growing in it (John 8:31; 2 Peter 3:18).

Does that mean we can never know the complete the truth about a particular topic from day one? Absolutely not. Just think about the nameless eunuch of Ethiopia (Acts 8:35-37). But at the same time remember the growth process that the apostle named Peter of Galilee had to experience concerning the possibility of salvation for gentile people years (literally years) after publicly preaching that the benefits of the gospel would reach “those who were afar off” (Acts 2:38-39; Acts 10).

My advice, which I strive to remember to follow myself, to anyone who gets asked a Bible-based question from someone who tells you that they’re not trying to be argumentative but simply asking a question that they’re curious about because of a statement or position that you’ve publicly proclaimed is for you to take the question seriously and try to recognize the validity of the point that the question is raising. Phew! Talk about a run-on sentence. But I suppose run-on’s are needed when you talk about a marathon length problem.

Concerning the sum of the situation, this one thing I have learned: when you are going to ask people to recognize their error you have to be able and willing to do the same with yourself! And the failure to do so reveals a lack of spiritual maturity that becomes obvious to everyone other than the person who stares back at us in the mirror. That’s why we’d all do well to be an Apollos-minded person, and not a Diotrephes.

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:24-26)

#attitude, #knowledge, #learning, #spiritual-maturity

One Way to Avoid Becoming a Pharisee

Study the interactions between Jesus and Pharisees long enough and you’ll notice that they were more interested in disciplining the Law of God than they were in allowing the Law of God to disciple them!

And if we want to avoid the same fate we must avoid the same mentality.

But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13)

#attitude, #learning, #pharisee


Studies in the Book of Proverbs

(#6) God Gives Wisdom to Those Who Listen 2:1-9

Verses 1-5: The word “if” often is connected by conditions that must be met in order for a “then” to state a blessing or benefit. Since “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7), then it is absolutely essential to obtain knowledge. “Fear” here refers to “respect, awe, reverence” of the Lord. Without respect for the One who possesses the knowledge, the student will not learn! To “understand the fear of the Lord,” and “find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:5), a person must meet the following conditions:

Verse 1 – “receive my words;”

“treasure my commands;”

Verse 2 – listen to wisdom;

apply yourself to “understanding;”

verse 3 – “cry out for discernment;”

speak out for “understanding.”

Verse 4 – to “seek” wisdom as one goes after “silver;”

or “search” for wisdom as one would dig for “buried treasure.”

Learning is not automatic, nor by osmosis, but comes only by effort and application, just as the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15. Knowledge requires the infusion of God’s Truth, exercising of the mind, and diligent evaluation of action.

Verses 6-9: “God gives wisdom…” through the following means:

(1) “From His mouth,” comes “every word” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3) which He has written for us to know (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 3:1-2);

(2) “knowledge,” or accumulation of data from all sources, including the Word of God (Colossians 1:9-10);

(3) “understanding,” is comprehension of what is learned (Luke 24:44-47; 1 John 5:20).

God “stores up sound wisdom” for the “upright” who will increase their faith;

God “is a shield,” or defense for those who “walk uprightly” in obeying the Truth;

God “guards the paths of justice,” by showing Divine balanced decisions;

God “preserves the way of His saints,” which is following Christ (Acts 18:25-26; 24:14).

“Then,” and only then, can a person “understand,” or fully grasp:

“righteousness,” or the upright way; “justice,” or honesty with God’s Law; “equity,” or evenness of application to all; “every good path,” which always leads to the right thing to do or say. This list in 2:9 may be close to the “weightier matters” in God’s Law, addressed by Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:23).

Thought: “A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” Proverbs 1:5.

#bible-study, #knowledge, #learning, #proverbs, #understanding, #wisdom

Experience is the Best Teacher

“Experience is a teacher, not the best one, and the tuition is high.”

Brittany Davis

Many people will agree with the experience is the best teacher quote without knowing the entire phrase. The Norwegian Proverb actually says, “Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high.” I agree, the tuition is high but experience is not the best teacher. For instance, as a child, I learned not to lie by lying. That lie cost me a very sore bottom. I learned obedience by being disobedient and again it cost me a sore backside; as you can see I needed lots of instruction. But God doesn’t intend for His children to learn through experience.

The Bible is a book of prevention; if one is willing to listen. God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit so they would not die (Gen. 2:15-17). Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,envy, murders,drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Here, God tells us plainly that we cannot go to Heaven engaging in these acts.

God affords us unlimited opportunities to repent and come back to Him but sometimes the consequences of our actions prevent us from utilizing those chances. Nadab and Abihu were priests and sons of Aaron. They’d seen the proper ways to offer sacrifices and work in the tabernacle many times, but in Lev. 20 they took matters into their own hands. They offered profane fire to the Lord, fire which He did not authorize. They didn’t get another chance to correct their actions because God sent fire to devour them. For these young priests experience taught them a fatal lesson.

While God won’t send fire to destroy us today when we sin, we need to learn His word so that we can save ourselves the extremely high costs of learning from experience. The costs could be anything from shame, disease, a marred reputation or even death. Experience is not the best teacher, God’s word is and if we’d trust that He knows what’s best for us we could save ourselves a lot of heartache and stick around to make use of those innumerable chances He offers. What lesson can God’s word help you learn in order to avoid experience’s costs?

In Christ, Steve Preston

Sign up for BibleTalk, short messages from

God’s word, by sending an email to

or on the web at

#experience, #learning, #wisdom

On Boredom

Regarding boredom, I’ve can always find something profitable to do – even in a doctor’s waiting room. I always take a good Bible-related book written by one of the brethren, so that I’m constantly learning while I’m waiting.

As I grow older, I’m very aware that time is of the essence:

As our Lord once stated:

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).

Here’s an article I wrote on being productive in a doctor’s waiting room:

#book, #boredom, #brethren, #doctor, #find, #learning, #profitable, #room, #waiting, #written

Learning Styles

I am currently writing an article on a debate I attend that never took place. My wife just rip me up in proof-reading (which is what I asked her to do). In the course of the article I mentioned that I learn by critical examination. I want my position critically examined in order for me to get a better handle on what is correct. I try to defend my position, but I am aware enough that when I am on the short end, I must rethink. This benefits me a lot.

How about you? How do you learn best or, perhaps, to ask differently, how do you prefer to learn?

#debates, #learning

What Can I Do?

My two chief talents are writing and thinking.  I spend a lot of time thinking and working through ideas and studying people and the ways of our culture. As a writer, I have committed myself to studying human nature and tendencies. When I preach and write, I try to discern how people will respond to what I am presenting. Accordingly, I desire to answer their rationalizations before they form them.

I am ostensibly the absent-minded professor type. I need a secretary following me around to help me remember things. This is why I need to write full-time. I am filled with ideas, quotes, etc. I need to study, learn and write. It could fill my days, weeks, months and years. My mind is always hungry and life’s activities intrude. It gets very frustrating at times. But, this is how life is, I guess.

I work on my novel in my head every day but I’ve not written a word all year. Life always gets in the way. Anyway…

#learning, #studying, #writing

Post Title

Recent advice I’ve given a Christian: The Old Testament is there for our learning. So when you study the historical accounts, the prophecies, and the poetry it captures, ask yourself, “what did God want me to get out of this?”

#learning, #old-testament

Kevin W. Rhodes writes in his last blog …

Kevin W. Rhodes writes in his last blog post, “The Learning Curve:”

One of the more frustrating situations people can encounter when they become Christians is the feeling that they are so far behind everyone else in biblical knowledge, understanding, application, and just life itself. Whether this is accurate or not depends on a whole lot of factors—age, background, and upbringing among them—but where you are when you begin your walk with Christ does not really matter that much. Everyone must begin somewhere and sometime in order to have a relationship with God. Therefore, it is more important that you recognize the value in beginning and persevering than worrying about how much you have to learn.

His site doesn’t provide the usual page links, but you can read the rest by clicking HERE, then clicking on the link, “From Faith to Faith.” This post will be at or near the top. Worth your time.

#bible-knowledge, #growth, #learning

God’s Providence

When God wants to make an impact on people’s lives, he usually sends another person. My parents, preachers, and other family influenced me profoundly in my developing years to become a Christian and to pursue ministry as a life. I was baptized by Carl Wills after hearing the preaching of a blind man, Tom Silva. Steve Bracken influenced me to preach the gospel. Many men mentored and blessed my life in those early days, giving me opportunities and showing me methods and techniques.

In all of this I realize that it is God who makes us adequate as His ministers (2 Cor. 3:5). Preachers have always been my heroes, and God uses men to shape other men in this undertaking for eternity. God blessed me with wonderful, godly, and faithful teachers in my university experiences. I am so thankful to them.

At 58 years of age and 40+ years of experience I am still learning and developing in my new ministry. God is opening up great opportunities to grow in His grace and knowledge. And I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.

I so deeply appreciate all the posts I see in TFR. I am learning from you all how to think more like Christ and how to grow in faith. Thank you for being my brethren.

Christ is all and in you all. I can see Him when I read your posts (Eph. 3:17).

#christ, #faith, #god, #learning, #providence