Four most important marks of a “faithful man” are outlined by Paul in the following verse: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). Let’s take each of these points and see how they apply to us in any culture, anywhere in the world, any time and under any circumstances.
· “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved.” The injunction in ‘doing your best’ is that we are to be “eager to do this quickly”. I am afraid that much of our eagerness is directed toward an audience from whom we see approval (see John 5:44).
· To “present yourself to God” indicates that we are “standing near” Him because He is the only one who matters. HIS APPROVAL IS THE ONLY APPROVAL THAT MATTERS!
· “A worker” is a person who is “characteristically engaged” in pleasing his Master. Shame will only happen when we know in our conscience that we are not pleasing the Lord. Be very careful that your conscience is always being acted on by the Holy Spirit.
· A faithful person is one who “rightly handles the word of truth.” The words “rightly handles” is one word in the Greek meaning “to give accurate instruction, to teach correctly, to expound rightly.” We must remember that Scripture does not belong to us as preachers or teachers. Its interpretation belongs to God as the author (2 Peter 1:20-21), NOT MAN!
All four of these areas have been sadly neglected by leaders and the Church in general. If we are honest, there will be no need for illustrations. If pastors, elders, teachers, leaders and missionaries became very serious and committed to these four requirements, the work of God would immediately expand beyond our imagination.
I will give one positive illustration from Liberia where Randy is training today. “A great report here in Liberia. We have about 15 very eager leaders who are taking God at His Word and relying on the Holy Spirit. Also, we got my visa for Sierra Leone yesterday. Will be traveling there Sunday after the service and training leaders Monday through Wednesday.” Praise the Lord for His work!
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