Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wholly committed: I Timothy 4:12-16

"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. " I Timothy 4:12-16

As believers, we've all been given a calling. Now God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called, meaning He doesn't choose your ministry based on your skill set, He chooses you for a ministry and then gives you the skill set to perform it. This is good when you think about it, because that means that rather than trying to find someone who happens to have the qualities He wants, he makes sure He gives you what you need and you can know that God has specifically equipped you for your ministry. What does that mean for us?

Since God wasn't random and didn't give us senseless gifts which would be totally unnecessary, we need to be wholly committed to using them for His glory. It is necessary to take full advantage of the gifts God has given you. This is true for many things in life, so how much more for our Spiritual lives? For example, imagine a skilled musician. He may have the gift and the potential to produce great music, but he must commit himself wholly to his music. He needs to be constantly playing music, listening to music, practicing music. If he isn't committed, then we say his talent is going to waste.

Timothy is our example here. We know from Scripture that he was a skilled teacher. Paul exhorts him to be wholly committed to that. Notice some of the exhortations he gives in the above passages. "Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" and, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine." should stick out. Notice how they are specific to teaching, Timothy's strength. He isn't called to do everything in the church, he is called to do one thing as well as he can.

Obviously, in order to expand on your strength, you must fist know what it is. Is it teaching like Timothy? Maybe it is worship, evangelism, missions, working with children or youth, or maybe it is something else. Whatever it is, it is very important to identify what God has given you in order to discover His calling for your life. If He hasn't given you a heart for children, he obviously has not called you to work in children's ministry. If you can't play an instrument or sing well, you most likely were called to do something outside of the worship ministry.

Once you identify your gift, work on building it and usuing it to the fullest. If it's teaching, get in the Word, listen to the Word, saturate yourself in the Word, pray about the Word. If it's something else, wholly commit yourself to expanding on that gift and praying that God will use that gift for His glory. Think of what it would be like if you got to Heaven and had to explain why you totally neglected a gift you had. Then think about how awesome it would be for Him to tell you, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Remember, these are gifts, not superpowers or acquired skills. What I mean by that is that we must remember, we were not born with these, nor did we attain them, nor does God owe it to us to impart them on us. These are purely from Him, they were His to give, it was His choice to give them, we did nothing to earn them, and, like most gift-givers, He would be extremely disappointed if we didn't use them. What are you going to do about this?

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