II Timothy 2:14-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
Approved and Disapproved Workers
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Suppose I knew where buried treasures are, more valuable than gold. Available to all, without any cost.
--Would you be interested? If so, blessings abound!
--I found them, in the Bible! The blessing book.
--That's what the little girl called Grandma's Bible.
--It has worked for millions, it will work for you!
II Timothy contains good advice, to young or old.
--What is it all about? I outlined it like this.
--Chapter 1 -KNOW THE SAVIOR. "I know Whom.."(12).
--Chapter 2 -KNOW THE SCRIPTURES. Key verse 15.
--Chapter 3 -KNOW THE STRUGGLES. Key verse 12.
--Chapter 4 -KNOW THE SUCCESS. "A crown.." (8).
My desire is to help you have God's full blessings.
--In Chapter 2 we see seven figures we are helped by.
--"Son" verse 1; "Soldier" (3); "Athletics" (5); "Farmer" (6); "Worker" (15); "Vessel" (21); "Servant."
--Let's focus on verse 15, "Study..to be approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." To "study."
--You are prospecting for gold, in all God's Word.
--"Rightly dividing" or rightly understand it all.
--Sixty-six books in one, and the basis of salvation is always the same - in "The Lamb of God ..."
--My friend, praise God, that "Lamb .. is Jesus!"
I heard of a boy, given a Bible, leaving for college.
--He didn't know it, but in it were five $100 bills.
--Parents said goodbyes, and the son left for school.
--In the Bible, wisdom of God and money he could use.
--Unopened, he never found either! Until years later.
--He discovered what he had been missing all along!
--Are you missing any that God's Word has?.
Young Timothy found them! "From childhood you (Timothy) have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 3:15). Think about all this.
--Where did he get this faith and love of the Bible? --Taught by "grandmother Lois, mother Eunice (1:15).
In our work-filled, busy lives why study the Bible?
--Look at II Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given, by inspiration of God. and is profitable ..."
--God gave it, "all (not just some), all inspired."
--Why study it? It "is profitable." Worthwhile.
What is it profitable for? "For doctrine," teaching.
--"For reproof .. for correction .. instruction in righteousness .. so we may be complete .. thoroughly equipped for every good work" (v 17). What we need.
The Bible is God's instructions for best results, for His creation. Every product has instructions to use.
--For all human beings, the Bible is this, for us.
Some people say, "I read the Word, but I soon forget; I can't seem to retain it, like I used to."
--That is perfectly natural, for all ages of us.
--It reminds me of a story I heard years ago.
--A wise father and a grown. son went fishing together.
--The son had said about the same thing to his dad.
So the father said, "Son, fill this basket up in this river with water. Let God show us something."
--The boy said, "Dad, its a basket; it won't hold."
--The dad replied, "That's all right, fill it up."
--The boy did, and it soon ran all out.
--"Do it again," he said. Again, and again and again.
The young son did as instructed. The water ran out.
--The father said, "Well, son, what did you learn?"
--The boy thought, and replied, "I learned the basket didn't hold much water .. but sure is cleaned up!"
"Good," said the dad, "we may not retain much of this Bible, but a daily reading, sure cleans us up."
People say, "Why read the Bible, its so ancient."
--Yes, but as up to date, as tomorrow's paper.
--It tells us the moral state of the world or nation.
--It has a pulse on the heart of every one of us.
--It contains the good news, that everyone can use.
--"To be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
--To counter-balance the world news with God's Word.
We study the Bible to know God's thoughts and will.
--God says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says the Lord" (Isaiah 55:8).
--So how do we get God's thoughts, and ways?
--We get them in God's Word. In prayer, and...worship.
In times like these, so much uncertainty, we need it.
--To know God's direction. His presence and help.
--Perhaps as never before, do we need this Bible.
--For there is a famine of Bible knowledge all over.
--Television, sports, internet, the media, crowd out time for Bible study and worship, for many today.
--Honestly now, shouldn't we give God some time too?
Howard Hendricks and my wife were in the same school in Philadelphia, now a professor at Dallas Seminary.
--We saw him in Detroit at a huge Sunday School Convention, where he spoke. We visited him after.
--He pointed out, there are 3 stages of Bible study.
--"The Castor Oil" stage - you study for you know it is good for you - but you may not enjoy it.
Next, Hendricks said, is the "cereal and milk" stage.
--Where Bible study may be dry, and uninteresting.
--Sort of like eating shredded wheat or Grape-Nuts.
The ideal third stage of Bible study is "like a meat and potato, peaches and cream" stage, in God's Word.
--It is when we read it to "feast on the Lord."
--To commune with the Lord, Who died and rose again!
--Who ever loves us, and "makes intercession for us."
What stage are most in these days? Or need to be?
--The believers in Berea, "gladly received the Word, with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so" (Acts 17: 11). That's how the church grew in evangelism.
It is possible to know the Word of God, without knowing the God of the Word! Who is, God of the Word?
--My friend, Jesus Christ has revealed Him!
--Want to know what God is really like? Know Jesus!
--The whole 66 books of the Bible focus on Jesus.
--Promised in the Old Testament; produced in the New.
--Proclaimed in His resurrection power, henceforth.
--He is believed and lived by His followers in faith.
Other books inform. The Word of God transforms.
--Jesus is its grand subject; salvation its purpose.
--Scripture should fill our memory; guide our steps.
--When you know its Author, the Bible is so precious.
Daniel Whittle was given a Bible by his parents when he went to war. It blessed and saved his life!
--Later he wrote many hymns we sing, "Moment by Moment," "Showers of Blessings," and "I Know Whom I Have Believed," and many others, in love for Jesus.
--All because he was given the Book of blessings.
No wonder James 1:22 says, "Be doers of the word and not hearers only." Better still, "be born again."
--That is what Jesus invites us do in John 3.
Our Scripture in II Timothy 2:19 says, "the foundation of God stands secure, having this seal, the Lord knows those who are His, and let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
--The Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, and Word, is a divine detergent that cleans us up in holiness!
--"Having this seal." What is that?
--That is a "changed life, like unto Christ."
--It shows authentic ownership, paid by Jesus' blood.
--Which He shed for us on the cross of Calvary.
So we may say, with David, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psa. 119:11). Stow the word in our memory. It pays.
Receive the Lord Jesus, then let His word mold us.
--To put His Spirit infilling our whole being.
--To let the Bible speak to us daily from its pages.
--To ,correct and clean our life. To richly bless.
--A few verses in the morning, the day, and night.
--D. L. Moody wrote, "The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to save and change us."
How about you dear friend? Make Jesus your Lord!
--Let His Word bless you!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 877