Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Keep on Growing!

And I pray this: 
that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.  

(Philippians 1:9-11, HCSB)

My sixth grade English teacher, Mrs. Sheppard, earned her pay working tirelessly, helping me and many others learn the art of grammar. Even though she was a great teacher, I still struggle with my grammar as some have probably noticed! But I know this: she believed in me then and she still believes in me now. Not only was she my sixth grade English teacher, but she eventually became principal of the elementary school I attended, and even hired my wife to teach when we lived in my hometown of Frostproof, Florida!

Now, as a retired, gracefully-aging senior adult, she communicates with me through Facebook! What a joy to stay connected to someone who was so patient, kind, and influential in my life. Just hearing from her periodically reminds me of the things she taught me as a young adolescent and the trust and support she gave my wife and me as young adults. It also reminds me to check my grammar!

Paul prayed for his pupils. He had invested in teaching them, but he didn't want them to stop growing. Though not physically in their presence, he communicated with them his desire for them to contine to grow!
  • This growth was vital, giving them the knowledge and discernment that would help them navigate life and embrace "the things that are superior, pure, and blameless". 
  • This growth would enable them to be filled with the fruit of righteousness given through Jesus Christ Himself!
God, may we pray Paul's prayer for our Bible study group members. May we use his prayer as a guide for teaching our groups, and may we never quit encouraging them onward to growth, even when they are no longer in our groups. I pray those we teach will be filled with memories of sound and sincere Bible teaching and that those memories will spur them on to further growth long after they have left our groups.