Thursday, November 8, 2012

God's Stamp of Approval

UV 573/10,000 2 Timothy 2 v 15 The Stamp of God’s Approval “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We need to study the Word of God diligently with the seriousness and doggedness of a researcher. The Word of God contains unsearchable truths, truths that cannot be searched for and found on a search engine like Google or in any other book in the world. The searchlight of the Holy Spirit needs to be flashed at the Word that we are studying. We need to approach the Word with reverence but at the same time, we must be like the chemist who breaks a substance into its parts to study the properties of the parts. We need to dissect or divide the Word of truth. When we are doing so, we are breaking the Bread- as we break the Bread, the power of God is released in our lives. It is interesting that a certain sister while remembering me in prayer, saw a vision of my breaking bread and giving portions to a lot of people. The apt word needs to be fed to the apt person at the apt time. It is the glory of God to conceal secrets and it is the glory of kings to seek it out. When we seek the secrets of God hidden in His Word, we are given His stamp of approval: Royal Quality. The Lord has a quality control division of Heaven. Studying the Word of God is like a treasure hunt. The Lord has left several tell tale clues en route. We must carefully collect and crack these clues. We must be excited as we engage in the pursuit. The treasure at the end of the hunt is about what the Lord is going to reveal. Sometimes, we must keep a particular Word or portion of scripture for months in our minds before we get a handle on it. Suffice it to say, we do not need the seven habits taught by the Mormon workman, Stephen Covey in order to be effective. We need only one habit- studying the Word of God, applying and imparting it correctly. However, the “royal image” should not go to our heads. The Lord compares us with a “hands on” workman. He uses the image of the workman to show that we need to focus on being practical, real and true-to-life. A skilled workman enjoys a certain professional esteem and confidence in his expertise while a lazy workman finds faults with his tools. When the Lord examines us as part of His regular quality control measures, we should have no occasion or reason to feel embarrassed. We must not engage in needless controversy or pointless arguments. We must not “major on the minors” as my mentor used to say. We need to give emphasis where emphasis is due, not telling people what we like to say or what they like to hear but what God wants us to know and understand from a particular passage or verse. The workman works with certain effective and appropriate tools. We must sharpen our intellect updating it constantly even as software is updated. We need to study the context of the text and contemporize it wherever needed even while being careful in not tampering with the eternal and unchanging significance of the Word. A workman does not just potter around with tools making a racket-“ all sound and fury, signifying nothing.” He creates something new or at least repairs something old, either way it should be useful to him or to others. Our studying and our working should be PEP or purposive, effective and productive. Prateep V Philip

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