Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Study To Show Yourself Approved

Our son, Matthew, always had a hard time studying when he was being schooled. He found it hard to concentrate and he was active, so sitting in one place for very long was torturous for him. But last year he enrolled in the CCA- Continuing Care Assistant, nursing, program at the local community college. At last he had found something he was interested in and wanted to study. He worked really hard, sometimes reading and re-reading the text books late into the night in preparation for an upcoming test. We were so proud of his diligence and it paid off: a few weeks ago he graduated with honors at the head of his class. Today I went with him for moral support as he drove to Yarmouth to write his provincial exam. While he was in the college writing, I was in the car praying. But I didn't worry. I knew he would do well because he had studied and prepared  himself for the exam. He was ready.

The Apostle Paul instructed his young protegee, Timothy, to 'study to show thyself approved' (2 Timothy 2:15). Paul knew that Timothy would face opposition as a young preacher. People would challenge his knowledge because of his age. Paul wanted Timothy to be 'ready to give an answer' (1 Peter 3:15) when questions would come his way. Timothy was a wise young man and did as he was told. He studied the Word. He prepared himself so that when a test came his way, he wouldn't be afraid but would know how to handle it. 

Paul gave Timothy wise advice and that is the best advice I can give to you, as a Believer: study to show yourself approved or in other words study so you will pass the test. As Christians we are constantly being tested. Our faith is tested. Our commitment is tested. Our testimony is tested and everything else that comes with being a Christian in a fallen world. We are living one great, big test. Will you pass the test? Have you studied the Word and know it? Is it part of your very soul? Do you lean on it and are you confident that with God's help you will pass the test? Will the world know you are a Christian by your testimony? Do others see Christ in you? Let me encourage you to study the Word, know it intimately, meditate on it day and night. 

Satan will do anything he can to discourage you from reading the Word. He'll keep you busy so you feel like you don't have time to read it. He'll tell you its too hard to understand so you shouldn't even try to read it. He does this because he knows that there is power in the Word. He knows that the Word is called the 'sword of the Spirit' (Ephesians 6:17) and  he can defeat you if you don't have your weapon by your side. Study to show yourself approved. Study so you can't be defeated. Study and keep your weapon sharp!

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