NO SHORT-CUTS TO APPROVAL
My partner in this ministry and brother in the Lord spoke with me early this morning about a comment I made years ago related to those who go with us on our mission trips. I said at that time, and still strongly believe, that we require that persons work through our training material before going on a trip. Those who have not done the work find it difficult to join in the training sessions because they have not wrestled with the biblical principles.
Paul had a similar requirement which added elements we will discuss here. “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). Both requirements really needed today!
If we were very honest with ourselves and each other, we must admit that the approval of men drives much of what we do and say. Our first and ONLY consideration is whether we are approved in the sight of God. I have been studying the prophets in the Old Testament and have been reminded over and over of men who were very alone and hated because they honored God and spoke the truth.
The other point that Paul makes is to “rightly handling the word of truth.” That is what makes anyone serviceable and fruitful in the Lord’s work. If we in anyway distort the Word of God to satisfy what people want to hear, we are dishonest with God’s Word. That in turn means we will be ineffective and will rob God of His glory. These two points go together! We cannot seek man’s approval and “rightly handling the word of truth!” I urge you to be a person approved of God FIRST! He will help you through His Spirit to rightly handling the word of truth.”
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