Printed at the top of the Morton AC Church calendar is a new memory verse each month. July's calendar displayed 2 Timothy 2:15.
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." (KJV)
Study... a word with a possible negative connotation for some of us (especially the college students :-) but when it comes to knowing His Word, it's essential. Raise your hand if you've ever sat down with your Bible in your lap and you start in on devotions, reading along, word by word, paragraph by paragraph... and afer about 5 minutes you realize that the only thing you've accomplished is worrying about whether tomorrow's test will be that hard even though you have only studied 10 minutes, or whether that project you are working on at work is coming along how it should.
Study. Not worry. Study. Not skim. Study. Not read. STUDY. It's a mind thing. It's a focus thing. Sometimes, I literally have to stop reading my Bible for a second and say, "I am doing my devotions now. No more thinking about MY life!" Becasue after all, it's not about our petty little life. It's about Him... and His Word. Are we studying it as diligently as we should every time we read it?
"To show thyself approved unto God." APPROVED. Acceptable. When I think of myself being approved unto God, I am humbled. Isn't it great when someone gives you the thumbs up sign? GREAT JOB! Well done! You did it! That's approval. That's affirmation. And it feels good. How are we to be approved by God? When does He give us the thumbs up sign? My Life App says, "... we should build our lives on His Word and build His Word into our lives." We can't do that unless we know the Word... and how do we know it? By studying! As we continue to become more acquainted with what He says, we'll establish that firm foundation in our lives.
"A workman that needeth not to be ashamed." WORKMAN. We are workmen for Christ. We are here to do His work. "If we are the body..." We all know that song. Most of us have probably heard it a thousand times and are completely numb to its words by now, but if you stop and think about its message, it can be convicting. We are a workman for the body of Christ. How are we doing?
Aside from being a workman, are our hearts where they should be? A real quick test for myself to see if my heart is in check with my studies in the Word is for me to consider the phrase, "that needeth not to be ashamed." I may read the Word, I may know it, I may even have it stored away in my heart. Yet is it doing any good with me if I'm not sharing it? Living it? Proclaiming it?! It amazes me how easy it is for me to shy away from that when that is the very reason I am here. Sometimes I forget that I'm not here for ME. And most certainly, I'm not here to get others' approval, either. There is only One who needs to approve of me, and that is God (as mentioned earlier in the verse!) So why do I look around and bite my fingernails and become all nervous when I think of possibly sharing that joy of Jesus with others? Becasue THEY may not approve of me? Logically speaking, who really cares? So they don't approve of me. Ok. Whoop dee do. That shouldn't be a problem unless I have incorrectly placed my security in THEM rather than in CHRIST! Where is our security? Where SHOULD it be? If it is where it should be, then "being a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" should come pretty easily. If it doesn't, let's try to dissect our lives and figure out why.
"Rightly diving the Word of Truth." The NIV says, "And who correctly handles the word of truth." With what we have been given- His Word- and with what we study- His Word- how do we handle it? It is 100% correct. If a teacher handed you the answer key to your final and said, "Here. Study this. These are all the right answers." Would you study it? Uh...YEAH! You want to pass the final! Ok, so we want to pass this "earthly final," so to speak, that God is putting us through. I do believe we have the answer key. Are we studying it, and using it correctly?
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."
Ok, so I was going to dissect both the July and the August verses tonight but I think I wrote enough with just one, so we'll look at the August one another time. I previously got done writing an essay on Internet Art and I felt the urge to be spiritual :-) as I often do late at night (that's when my inspiration mode kicks in), so I type in www.blogger.com and let my fingers type. I love using this as an outlet for my writing needs, even if no one reads it.
Well, all of my room mates have been in bed for a couple of hours now, so I best follow suit. I don't go to work until 11 tomorrow, but I need to train my body that it is not acceptable to stay up until 2 a.m. EVERY morning, even if I am 80% more productive. GOOD NIGHT EVERYONE! I love you all.