Handling God's Word

2 Timothy 2:15:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

diligent- constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything
approved- pronounce or consider agreeable or good; judge favorably
work- exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something
ashamed- distressed or embarrassed by feeling of guilt, foolishness, or disgrace
rightly- in accordance with truth or fact; correctly
dividing- to deal out in parts; distribute in shares; apportion

In order to really have the truth revealed, we have to "dig" into the Word of God and see what is really going on. There is more to it than reading a few verses or listening to the preacher on Sunday morning. Preachers are challenged with trying to get a point across in a short span of time. So we have to invest time in finding out what God is wanting us to know. The more you seek and search, the more truth that is revealed to you. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." In layman's terms, the more you know, the more you grow.

It is especially important to study God's word if we are going to be messengers of it. Would you try to tell someone how to bake cookies if you did not know which ingredients to use? Of course not. It is no different with God's word. You can't tell someone how to live the word if you do not know what the instructions are yourself. One might ask, what do we need to do? Let us see what Paul is telling us in 2 Timothy 2:15.

The first thing he says is, "be diligent." Being diligent means to be in constant effort. We should be constantly studying, searching, praying for the revealing of further truths in God's word. We have to give 110% to finding out what it is God wants us to know.

Next, the text is telling us that we need to be able to present ourselves approved to God. We need for God to be agreeable with our messages that we deliver. If we are diligent to ensure we have learned the knowledge for God to agree with our message then he will judge us favorably. If the message does not agree with the Word of God, then it is not of God! Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, "That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun." There are no new books, no new prophecies. What we need to know is already given to us in the bible. God is God, God doesn't change.

Then Paul tells us to be a worker who does not need to be ashamed. What is work? Work means to exert energy into accomplishing something. We want our accomplishment to be spreading the good news (gospel) of Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish anything, there is a certain amount of work that has to go into it. We can't expect to read someone a verse or two out of the bible and they convert. It would be great if it were that easy! We also do not want to be ashamed before man and especially before God. Being ashamed means being embarrassed or disgraced. If we do not educate ourselves then people that are of the world can easily pick us apart. If you are not properly equipped with knowledge of the Word, you could end up doubting your own faith and your own doctrine by the time someone with worldly wisdom is done with you. We do not want to be ashamed before God by failing to effectively deliver his message because we were too lazy to put in the work!

Finally, we have to be able to rightly divide the word of truth. You want the message to be in accordance with God's word which is truth. You must know the facts. It is similar to being a good salesperson. No one will buy a product from you if you cannot provide facts for what makes the product useful. Although the gospel is free to those who accept it, people still want to know the facts about how the truth can be useful to them.

If we are handlers of God's word and sharers of truth, it is our responsibility to put forth the effort to be properly equipped. We have to be ready to prove God's word useful and we also have to be ready to defend it. If you are not a handler or a sharer but a listener to God's word, you need to be able to verify that what you are being taught lines up with God's word. God bless you!! We love you!!


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