Archive for February 2006

Give thyself wholly….that thy profiting may appear to all.

(Authors Note: This is the sixth part of a series of posts looking at the 4th Chapter of I Timothy, verses 12-16. While I try to typically make posts devotional in nature, this one seems like it is turning more into a study. Fault my inexperience at writing…but don’t despise my youth!)

15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Why am I here? What is my purpose? What do I want to do with my life? What should I do with my life? Who am I? Why do I like pizza so much? Why am I here?

These are all very good questions – questions worthy of answers. Questions I hear screaming out from people time and time again. So begins the search of many people…some try to find it in education, or intellect, by the “continuing quest for truth” as it were. Well, first off…you were created, and if you were created, then the one who would know your purpose is the one who created you.

It makes sense after all. When I “create” a pizza…the pizza could go to college all it wanted and never figure out who it was. The pizza could search for truth amid stacks of pepperoni and piles of cheese and never come up with its purpose. It could scream to the top of the oven “WHO AM I?” but the oven will never answer. Wouldn’t it make sense if the pizza just asked me? “Trevor, why did you make me like this?”. I’d say very hungrily… “Why? So I could eat you of course!” The pizza would finish out the rest of its short life at least having a sense of purpose before I ate it.

Thankfully, we aren’t pizzas!

The point remains however…you will never know your purpose on this earth, unless you ask the one who put you on this earth. If you ask Him, I believe he will tell you. What I also believe you will hear, is that your life isn’t pointless, nor does it lack purpose. God has something for each of us to do as individuals. We aren’t just to live good Christian lives…that’s great, we all appreciate a clean, Godly life. But isn’t there more?

Paul is telling Timothy in this scripture, “give yourself wholly to these things”. Why? “that thy profiting may appear to all”. The profiting he speaks of could be thought of as a sense of purpose and direction. People will look at you and say “there’s a guy who knows who he is and where he’s going. I wish I could be more like that.” “Yeah,” their friends will say, “some people just have it all together.”

You see, there is fulfillment in knowing what you were created for, and accomplishing that purpose. However, you won’t ever accomplish anything, unless you set yourself to the task of completing that thing with all that is in you. To be successful in something, it is necessary to give yourself wholly to them”.

God can do amazing things with what we give him. He can use you to do amazing things if you allow Him to do so. He WANTS to do so. He put you on this earth to be a vessel for Him. He doesn’t want to just use ministers, He wants to use everyone! Unless you give yourself wholly to Him though, your profiting won’t appear to all.

Let’s look at Samson’s life. He put the gates of Gaza on his back and walked off. Thousands of Philistines killed, the oppression of the Israelites, by the Philistines, had begun to be beaten back through Samson’s strength. A lion jumps out and Samson slays it. Strength, Glory, honor…the power of Almighty God coursing through his veins.

“YES!” I’m sure the Israelites shouted! “God is with us! Look at what He has done through Samson!” They began to see the profiting in Samson’s life.

There’s a slight glitch however…everything I’ve mentioned sounds really great, but Samson never “gave himself wholly”. Bro Branham tells us Samson only gave his strength to God, but his heart, he gave to Delilah. So now we find Samson, vexed by a girlfriend, lied to, shaved, bound, blinded, enslaved…

Imagine if he had given his heart to God. What if he had “given himself wholly”. He would not have been snared by this girlfriend of his. See Samson’s “profiting”, or lack there of, is apparent to all. We can see the success and fulfillment of His life. I don’t think there is a person out there that says “I want to be like Samson!” Why don’t we want to be like him? He didn’t give himself wholly to what God had planned for Him to do.

THE.FORGOTTEN.BEATITUDE_ CHICAGO.IL TUESDAY_ 61-0425EE-4 But I said this, that God can use what you yield. Like Samson, Samson would not yield his heart to God. He give that to Delilah. But he gave his strength to God, and God could only use his strength. That’s all. But if a fellow could only yield his complete being to God, now that’s it. If you can yield your–your body, God will use your body. If you can yield your mind, your heart, whatever it is, God will use what you give to Him to use with. He’s seeking to find somebody that He can find yielded like that.

So now it’s up to you. What will you give to God? Will you as David did, seek the Lord “with my whole heart”? (Ps 119:10) . Sure, David had the occasional problem, but I think His profiting appeared to all. His name is known throughout all the ages. He is known as a great great King. It’s because He gave himself wholly to seeking the Lord.

Do you realize that God is your maker and thus had a purpose in creating you? If you realize this…why not give yourself to God. I tell you that all will see your profiting. As you read and grow in Christ, not only will others see your profiting, but you will have peace, purpose, and fulfillment. The answers to your questions will be found in Christ, in His purpose for you. He loves you and knows you. Once you know who you are, and what your purpose is…you will find your fulfillment and happiness you seek. The “quest for ultimate truth” will continue on forever, and you’ll always be seeking something, until you come to God’s Word and find your answers there.

The Bible talks about this kind of person, “ever learning, and never coming to the knowledge of the truth.” Talk about lack of purpose. Talk about a miserable life. Do you think anyone will say “There’s a guy who’s got it all together”. If they did, you would know better. You would know that you’ve searched and searched but never found.

Find your answers in Christ, give yourself wholly to them, that your profiting may appear to ALL. That includes you. Don’t you want to see yourself happy and fulfilled?

Give yourself wholly to Christ.

Meditate upon these things.

(Authors Note: This is the fifth part of a series of posts looking at the 4th Chapter of I Timothy, verses 12-16. While I try to typically make posts devotional in nature, this one seems like it is turning more into a study. I also note here that at the end of the last one, I indicated the next post would be “give thyself wholly” and that will actually be after this one. Fault my inexperience at writing…but don’t despise my youth!)

15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Imagine you are an Olympian. You are a part of the world renowned bobsled team. Girls don’t like bobsledding? For guys that read this…you’re bobsledders…you girls can be figure skaters. Ok, now that’s settled.

So how did you get to become this great athlete? Let me guess…Mom said, “Hey, what about bobsledding/skating”. In reality she was hoping to get your mind off that boy or girl you’ve been thinking of lately, but wham! Inspiration hit and you took off with a pair of skates to the pond, or with your buddies up a hill with a big cylinder on blades. Overnight you became a world renowned champion, and it’s all because of your mom suggesting that, and inspiration hitting all at the same time.

Sound to good to be true? Most likely…

Just as Olympian must train and practice to be good at their sport, so must we train and practice at becoming better Christians. I’d love to hear someone tell me “Hey Trevor, loved the blog…man, because of your words, I am a changed person, I have become super-Christian!” While I might dream of such grandeur…such things are exceptionally rare.

Paul tells us to meditate upon these things.” What? Paul wants me to sit around quietly with my thumb touching my pointer finger and ponder about what it means to be a Christian? Nah, that’s not what he’s saying. I checked the definition of “meditate” in the lexicon.

Meditate: to care for, attend to carefully, practice

Paul is telling us to care for these things, to give them our attention and practice. Someone who hardly cares about being a Christian hardly practices. Someone who really cares about this because of a love for Jesus on the inside would attend carefully to practicing.

What are we supposed to practice? Practice at being an example in purity, or in conversation. Practice the use of your gift. Sing a special…don’t be shy! Practice at getting yourself in the habit of reading your Bible and praying every day. We don’t expect to be super-Christian by simply running to the altar and asking forgiveness for sins, or by listening to a tape, or by reading a blog on the subject. An oak tree does not become an oak tree once a little water is poured on an acorn in the ground. It grows. We must also grow, practice, and meditate on these things. We’ll become better and better with each passing day if we meditate upon our walk with the Lord, and how we impact others.

Bro Branham tells us “In these last days the true Bride Church (Christ’s seed) will come to the Headstone, and she will be the super church, a super race, as she nears Him. (Church Age book) Want to be a super Christian?? It doesn’t say over night…it says “as she nears Him”

You don’t run a race expecting to win, or expect to be a super-athlete without practicing do you? Neither should you expect to be a part of the “super-church” without meditating upon these things.

So meditate upon these things, so you can run the race. And “run, that ye may obtain.” (I Chor 9:4)

Yes, imagine yourself now after all that practice. There you are on winners platform, gold medal around your neck. The world sees you now as a champion, as someone who’s practice and endurance to the end has paid off. What a glorious feeling!!

Now imagine yourself on God’s platform. Gold medal of the super-church around your neck. Has your practice payed off now?

Next Post: “give thyself wholly” coming soon!

Neglect not the gift

(Authors Note: This is the fourth part of a series of posts looking at the 4th Chapter of I Timothy, verses 12-16. While I try to typically make posts devotional in nature, this one seems like it is turning more into a study. Fault my inexperience at writing…but don’t despise my youth!)

14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

We are all very familiar with the parable of the talents. We’ve read the story, and we’ve heard preaching on this parable. We find Timothy is also being exhorted not to neglect the gift that he has been given by his Master. While Timothy received his gift by prophecy and laying on of hands, it may be different in your case. Maybe you didn’t receive gifts in such a way, but everyone has been given a gift from God.

These three young men were given gifts in the Bible. Two of them used their gifts and doubled them; one “reserved” his gift and buried it, saving it for his master only.

We easily see the result of their actions. The first two young men DOUBLED their gifts! How? Perhaps by acquiring new talents within themselves, or perhaps, by using their gifts, they were able to bring others into the kingdom of God (make “increase of the body” see Eph 4:16 above). If you add their original gifts (5 or 2), plus the gifts in the lives of the ones they brought in (5 or 2), you double the number of their original gifts (10 or 4).

5 + 5 = 10
2 + 2 = 4

It’s really just simple math.

There are some however that think their gift was only given to them to praise God with. They feel they should “reserve” their gift for God alone to be blessed by.

The math here is

1 + 0 = 1

This is altogether unscriptural as it is not making “increase of the body”.

Our gifts are supposed to edify the body in love. The edifying of the Body of Christ!! This is the reason we are given gifts…for EACH OTHER!!

So don’t “reserve” (read “neglect”) the talents/gifts God has given you. Paul also told Timothy to “stir up the gift of God,” (II Tim 1:6). Stir up what God has given you! Be zealous about it, kindle it, feed it…let it grow!

Remember what happened to the guy that reserved/buried/neglected his talent for the use of his master only?

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Ouch! My guess is we all want to use our talents!! We certainly don’t want that picture happening to us!

I had a conversation with a brother not very long ago, (I’m sure he’s reading this too) who told me that he was focusing so much on one of the gifts in his life, that another of his gifts was kind of fading away. I told him that I didn’t think God gives you one gift, only to take one away. Why? Jesus said in this parable of the talents that the master had given the servants “to every man according to his several ability;”

I looked up several, it means “their own”. God won’t give you more gifts than you are able to handle. Also, if we think of this in the manner it was discussed in this passage; the one with five talents invested ALL FIVE and gained five back. If he would have only invested four, it stands to reason that he would have had a return of four more, and had a total of nine talents, and not ten.

Math Example

5 + 4 = 9
2 + 1 = 3

Note: this is not the same amount as above!!

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…any and all gifts! Use all that God has given you for His glory and for making “increase of the body”.

Has He given you a gift of song? Then sing for Him…A gift of exhortation? Then lift someone up with words. Maybe a gift of prayer? We certainly need prayer warriors!! We are here to strengthen each other, to lift each other up to add to our talents by bringing others in.

So, rather than the weeping and wailing part that comes with the neglecting of gifts, I think we should increase this body of Christ. While not using gifts is so unprofitable to God and the Body, the use of your gifts is so very profitable to us all!

Next Post: “give thyself wholly” coming soon!

I’m Here!

(Authors Note: This is the third part of a series of posts looking at the 4th Chapter of I Timothy, verses 12-16. While I try to typically make posts devotional in nature, this one seems like it is turning more into a study. Fault my inexperience at writing…but don’t despise my youth!)

I Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

In school, they take attendance, “Is Johnny here today?” they ask. They do this everyday. Everyone that is there answers: “Here!” when their name is called. God does not take attendance in this way, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want you to show up each day for His service. I know that God loves it when you just show up of your own accord, and say “Hello Jesus, I’m here!”

“give attendance to reading…”
Have you read the Bible today…Yesterday…Everyday?This is what giving attendance to reading means.We MUST read His Word daily. We show up and say “I’m Here! to read God’s word.”

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

So, if you expect to “live” as Jesus was speaking of in the preceding verse, you must live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.How are you going to live by something you’ve never read or heard?

“give attendance…to exhortation…”
Now that you have been giving attendance to your reading, a wonderful thing has happened, you now have much of God’s Word written on your heart” (Heb 8:10). Since this has happened, it is only natural that you share this Word with others. That you lift up your friends with encouragement. Why? Because you know what life is, what it is all about, and as you love your friends, naturally you want them to know too. So show up each day and say “I’m here” to exhort others to follow after Christ with “purpose of heart” (Acts 11:23).

“give attendance…to doctrine…”
What?Give attendance to doctrine? Isn’t that for the “learned men”? Please! As we said in the first post, do not despise your youth, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Tim 1:7).If you have a question have you
searched the message for yourself to see what you can learn? I do still recommend speaking with your parents and your pastor for doctrinal issues, but there will come a day when YOU are the one that must step up to the plate and be knowledgeable in doctrine. You can say “I’m here” to “give attendance…to doctrine” and allow the Holy Spirit to quicken and make alive these things to you.

While you are young, you have more time than you ever will after you are married, and especially, start a family. Give attendance to what is really important to you now. After all, Jesus is the most important thing to you isn’t he? Show Him your attendance.

“I’m Here!”

Next Post: “Neglect not the gift” coming soon!