Pator Paul Rieger - Associate Pastor - Trinity Lutheran Church
A Life of Learning
Again, a new school year starts. That leads me to think about education and wonder what we’re doing for education. So what are you doing for education? Do you read constantly? Do you watch videos online? Do you find new hobbies to learn new skills? It’s generally a good idea for us to constantly seek to improve ourselves, through learning new skills and the like.
So what are you doing to improve your skills when it comes to being a Christian? Is it even possible to improve? I think that while our works do not improve our salvation, they definitely improve who we are as God’s children. I’ve always thought that the life we live as God’s children is a life of learning, always improving who we are and deepening our relationship with God. This life of Christian learning and improving starts after we receive our faith from God. So God starts everything for us and sets us down the path of improvement.
We always talk about the role of good works, that they are not for our salvation, but it is important to understand that they have a very important role in our lives. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 that God prepared good works for us to walk in, and James tells us that Faith without works is dead.
So how do you improve through good works? I found that the first time I would do something to serve someone, I was very nervous about it. The first time I helped serve the homeless in St. Louis, I was terrified. Now, walking up to people to help them has become almost natural, even though I still struggle. What I want you to see is not how great I am; I am not trying to brag, but I want you to see that through these works we learn and improve to better serve our God and our neighbor.
So what opportunities present themselves in your life? Can you be more vocal about your faith? Can you be more intentional to reach out to someone? Can you give some of your time to serve others? What can you do?
Finally, dear friends, the best way to learn and improve as a Christian is to study God’s Word. Anyone can serve and love others, but knowing how God loves and serves us is what will help you the most. We learn through God’s Word our sad state as sinners, but we also learn from God’s Word that we are given the greatest gift through Jesus Christ, the gift of life eternal through the purity of the forgiveness of sins. You will then learn through Scripture how that one day of crucifixion and that one day of resurrection started the vast history of our
church and faith. Get studying, fellow Christians, improve yourself for God and His people.