LESSON EXCERPT FROM GOD’S WAY TO AN A STUDY MANUAL
Day 5, Key 5E: A Christian student blesses others through his studies.
In this segment we will continue to list aspects about the nature of love.
7. Love of our brothers is the evidence of our love for God. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:20-21) How does the Christian student love in his studies? He takes schoolwork out of the dimension of performance and into the dimension of relationship.
Instead of just doing work to meet the professor’s expectations, he does his work to bless his professor. When I began to bless my professor in my work, I went the extra mile. I asked myself the question, "What would it mean to bless my professor?" The answers were many: I’d show up for class on time. I wouldn’t skip classes to study for finals. I would proofread my papers four or five times instead of one, because I did not want my professor to have to make any corrections on my paper. I’d pay attention in class and learn the material well. I’d be respectful. I’d develop a working relationship with the professor. When there was something that I did not understand or agree with, I’d talk to them, not judge and ignore them.
The following is a testimony of one student who learned the joy of blessing his professor: "I had to do a term paper for a professor on the subject of ‘The Main Teaching of the Book of Job.’ I was getting nowhere. Finally there were only a few days remaining before the day I was supposed to hand it in. I was getting desperate. It was as if I had a mental block on the whole thing. Then one day in the library, one of my classmates asked me how I was doing on my paper. I told him the truth. He dropped what he was doing and got down to some serious praying with me. I started by admitting that I was powerless to accomplish this task. If this paper was going to come to me, it would have to come from God. Next my friend prayed that the paper would not only come through research, but also through divine revelation. He prayed that this would be the best paper I had ever written. Finally, and most importantly, he prayed that God would take the finished product and use it to minister to others in the Body of Christ.
"As I sat down to write the paper that night, certain key ideas came so fast that I was afraid I would not be able to scribble them down quickly enough. I completed the paper just in time. In the end, I was the only one in the class to receive an A+. This was particularly overwhelming to me since I knew that my professor had been the editor of the Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, and had been on the translating team of the New American Standard Bible, and was not known for leniency in grading. The general topic of the paper was ‘Why Do the Innocent Suffer?’ Soon after I wrote it, God used it to minister to some people in my sister’s college fellowship. Last but not least, the Lord used it to minister to my friend himself, who needed ministry in this area soon after this time."
This whole episode represented the first time I had actually allowed God to be literally my study partner. Up to this time, I had prayed for God to help me study, and had kept Him at a distance during study. The value of literally incorporating God into my study has been immeasurable. What was once dry became thrilling. This was especially the case when I made showing God’s love to others, including my teacher (in whatever class it was), the primary motivation for doing the assignment at all. My prayer would be, ‘Lord, bless the teacher through this paper. Make him (or her) glad he came to this university. Make him glad he chose this profession. Make me, and this assignment, a source of fulfillment and blessing in his life."
The testimony of this student is a wonderful example of what can happen when a student begins to "dwell" in God. If you feel like you have come to the end of your rope, let go and fall into the hands of your loving Father. He’s been waiting for you for some time.