Weekly Devotion

 

Approval

2 Timothy 2:15

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Every Wednesday night, the guys and girls of AWANA at Friendship recite this verse with exuberance as they begin their trek through the night’s club.  To me, the louder they are the better!  It represents an excitement that each of us should have toward the Word of God and what we know in our hearts. (If you haven’t heard it, we would love to see you join us and become a part of our AWANA ministry!)

We do a lot of things for approval from our group of peers, sometimes going out of our way or to great extremes to impress those that we don’t believe deep down will accept us for who we really are.  (Sounds like friends worth having, right?)

But how much attention do we pay to living IN God’s approval?

Notice, I stress the word “in” (not “for”) because the whole idea of grace is that we have God’s approval and acceptance based in the incredible work of Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection.  We don’t have to (actually, we cannot) earn His approval, but He chooses to graciously love us and call us into His Kingdom (and family).

So instead of living “for” God’s approval, if we understand it is already ours to possess, then we can live “in” His approval of us.  That means that because He has already given grace to us, we can live radically different lives in light of that gift of grace.

So, how do we live our lives “approved unto God”?

First, let’s answer this question:  What does the Lord require of His people?  FAITHFULNESS!  The Word of the Lord says, “Moreover it is required that a steward be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).  Revelation 2:10 says, “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life.”  God expects faithfulness from His people.

Second question: How are we going to be faithful to Him?  How can we know it means and live in faithfulness unto the Lord?

The verse above (2 Timothy 2:15) provides the answer.  It is only in light of God’s Word that we can know Him and live in faithfulness to Him throughout our days.  We need the Word of God in our lives!

So, Paul wrote, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God.”

Studying the Word of God means much more than a cursory reading or skimming of its contents.  It means more than reading our Open Windows or Journey/Stand Firm or any other devotional content.  It means more than simply finishing a Bible-reading plan, though that is a great goal to fight for.  It actually means to read it carefully and “flesh it out” (or apply it) through our lives.

Wendy shared a video with me recently where Francis Chan humorously challenges the audience that we don’t memorize Scripture just so we can recite it back to God.  We learn it so we can live it! Watch it at – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLOb0ZWuONI

We must study the Word to live approved unto God.  I heard this week that when you are in God’s Word you remember 10% of what you hear, 25% of what you read, 50% of what you study, 100% of what you memorize, and 100% of what you meditate on.

Because we are approved, let us live like it by allowing the Word of God to permeate and illuminate our lives to the glory of God.

Then, when we live out what the Spirit of God teaches us in study, we can live without shaming the name of Christ or bearing shame in ourselves.

It is the person with lip-service and no life-service that brings shame upon the name of Christ.  It is the person who knows what to do, but doesn’t do it that brings shame upon himself.

But there is no shame in living the Word of God out our lives.  There is no shame in living “approved unto God.”

Here’s the simplicity of living a life “approved unto God”: Study God’s Word to know it! Live God’s Word to show it!

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    • Carolyn Sandeson
    • February 27th, 2013

    Wonderfully said Wendy. Makes me realize even more, I let to many things get in the way. love ya

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