046 – Learning – Spiritual Disciplines Series

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“An examination of the word disciple reveals that it means to be not only ‘a follower’ of Christ but also ‘a learner.’ To follow Christ and become more like Him, we must engage in the Spiritual Discipline of learning.” – Donald Whitney

The Spiritual Discipline of Learning

“God has made us with a harmony of heart and head, of thought and action. The more we know Him the more we are able to love Him. The more we love Him the more we seek to know Him. To be central in our hearts He must be foremost in our minds. Religious thought is the prerequisite to religious affection and obedient action.” -R.C. Sproul

In today’s podcast episode I will continue the book review series of Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney. As a result of overwhelming response to my 2014 reader survey, I want to focus on the challenges of personal spiritual growth. Literally, 100% of those that participated in my readers survey selected personal spiritual growth as a challenge in their life. With that, I’m diving into a very influential book that offers practical application.

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney has been powerfully impactful on my personal spiritual growth. I’m convinced it will help you as well. I encourage you to get a copy, read it, and begin to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).

Book Notes:

  • “Why do many Christians live as though they’ve been told, ‘Choose you this day whom you will serve: scholarship or devotion’? I maintain that a biblically balanced Christian has both a full head and a full heart, radiating both spiritual light and heat.”
  • “Christians must realize that just as a fire cannot blaze without fuel, so burning hearts are not kindled by brainless heads. We must not be content to have zeal without knowledge.”
  • Luke 2:46-47 – sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
  • “An examination of the word disciple reveals that it means to be not only ‘a follower’ of Christ but also ‘a learner.’ To follow Christ and become more like Him, we must engage in the Spiritual Discipline of learning.”
  • Learning characterizes the wise person
    • Proverbs 9:9 – Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
    • “Wise and righteous people can never get enough wisdom or knowledge.”
    • Proverbs 10:14 – Wise men store up knowledge.
    • Proverbs 18:15 – The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.
    • Proverbs 23:12 – Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.
  • Fulfilling the greatest commandment
    • Mark 12:29-30 – Love the Lord your God… with all your mind
    • “One of the ways He wants you to show love and obedience to Him is by Godly learning”
    • “Many Christians do not associate learning with loving God.”
    • “We are to love God just as much with our mind as with our heart and soul and strength.”
    • R.C. Sproul – “God has mad us with a harmony of heart and head, of thought and action. The more we know him the more we are able to love Him. The more we love Him the more we seek to know Him. To be central in our hearts He must be foremost in our minds. Religious thought is the prerequisite to religious affection and obedient action.”
  • Learning – essential for increased godliness
    • Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
    • “The Word of God must go through our head if it’s going to change our heart and our life.”
    • “The Bible tells us to be like Christ, but it also warns us not to be foolish, untaught, naive, or ignorant. Taken together these two strands of truth tell us we must learn to be like Jesus.”
  • Learning is mostly by discipline, not by accident
    • Job 32:9 – The abundant in years may not be wise.
    • “Becoming like Jesus doesn’t happen incidentally or automatically with the passing of birthdays.”
    • “Learning that is mostly by accident does not lead to Godliness. We must become disciplined, intentional learners if we’re going to become like Jesus.”
  • Learning in a variety of ways
    • Some have legitimate trouble reading. Here are other ways to learn
      • Listen, audio books and videos
      • Dialogue with a spiritually mature Christian
  • More application
    • “Will you discipline yourself to become an intentional learner?”
    • “Where will you start?”
    • “When will you start?”

Links to resources mentioned in today’s podcasts:

Disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life

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