Continue thou...

by Dr. Ken Matto

(2 Tim 3:14 KJV) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Lord Willing, tomorrow I will have the privilege of delivering a commencement address at the graduation of Russell Collins of Middlesex, NJ, who will be graduating from Home School. The above verse is one of the verses I plan to use for the message. One thing we must keep in mind is that upon graduation, our real education begins. When we are studying in school, it is normally in a sterile or sequestered environment which is suited for learning. When we graduate, that environment is now traded for the reality of the day to day world and all its pitfalls. Book learning only constitutes a very small part of a person’s life-long education. Hopefully, what we learn can be beneficial to, not only ourselves but to others we meet along life’s journey. To the unbeliever, education may be a hopeful stepping stone to great future of good jobs, big money, and an easier life. To the Christian, education should have a different meaning.

As believers we should always view education as a vehicle to make a greater impact for the Gospel of Christ on this present earth. This is why it is vital that we select our educational goals very carefully. If we seek a career with the same frame of mind as the unbeliever, then we will have neutralized the reason that God still keeps us here on earth after we become saved. Our education must always be God centered and must be used for the furthering of the Kingdom. A Christian that knows computers very well may easily start their own business or work for a major corporation at a good salary. However, there are also many good Christian organizations who may need the qualifications for a good computer person to help in their outreach. It is a shame that too many Christian parents provoke their children to get a good education and then a good job, but very rarely ever goad them on to work for Christ in a ministry.

When God saves a person, their values and outlook on life should definitely change. If they are truly converted their desire will be to help in the Great Commission. Many have been saved at an early age and have been under the teachings of the Gospel. Our verse tells us that we are to continue in what we have learned and that we should not allow any educational learning to throw us off course by diverting our spiritual goals and desires. The word “continue” carries with it the meaning of “abiding or dwelling.” As Christians, our primary reason of existence is to the Glory of God and not the aggrandizing of self. (John 3:30 KJV) He must increase, but I must decrease. In that decreasing we find an increasing of Christian values and desires overshadowing our personal needs and wants. There is nothing sinful about education unless our intent is to use it as a catalyst to boost the “Big I.” Strive for humble intelligence and God will use it for good. Strive for prideful intelligence and you are on your own. He who has ears to hear!  (5/30/03)