(we apologize for the poor audio this week)
2 Timothy 2:1-15, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. [we can not serve two masters.] 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. [we cannot just do whatever we want—there are rules!] 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. [he must first taste the food, before he can tell others about it. How do you know your corn is sweet unless you taste it for yourself first. ] 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In verse 15, the phrase “rightly dividing” was used of a skilled craftsman cutting something straight. In the context of Bible study, it means taking the time for diligent and careful study, while prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
1 Corinthians 9:25, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”
People who pursue fitness do what they should no matter what the circumstances are. People who are constantly improving themselves make progress an ongoing thing in their lives—they cultivate learning habits in their lives.
- Preparation: When individuals are intentional about learning something every day, then they become better prepared to handle whatever challenges they meet. Deuteronomy 5:32-33, “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” Do not neglected your daily walk with God (devotions). He wants into our everyday lives.
- Contemplation: Time alone is essential to self-improvement. It allows you to gain perspective on your failures and successes so that you can learn from them. It gives you the time and space to sharpen your personal and organizational vision. And it enables you to plan how you can improve in the future.
- Application: A time comes when we need to stop waiting for the person we want to become and start being the person we want to be. In other words, we need to apply what we have learned. When I was in sales, we could learn all about the product, but if we were not willing to knock on the door, we didn’t make a sale.
Correctly handling the Word of truth
Takes diligence and care;
So make the time to study it
And then the truth declare. — Hess