“The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful -
for he cannot deny himself.” - 2 Timothy 2:11-13
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” - 2 Timothy 2:15
It’s a wonderful feeling to be established and feel like we are on the right track. After the blurriness and confusion of searching for your identity goes away, we are able to become confident in who we are and Who we represent. Our task and mission also becomes clearer, and we are able to work more effectively.
Another thing we can be grateful for is having a community of believers and a church family to grow with. However, we still go to school, go to work, and may possibly live with people who do not serve God and love Him like we do. It always brings a disconnection. And it hurts. It sometimes even leads us to becoming ashamed of what we stand for, and tempts us to stand down instead of stand out; or to neglect every truth we know about serving God and just settle for a mediocre relationship with Him.
What does it mean to present yourself to God as one approved and to correctly handle the word of truth? Name your weakness when it comes to living out your faith publicly, and develop a strategy on how to overcome this when faced with it next time.
Should we be establishing relationships with people outside of the faith? Why or why not? How will this benefit them and you?
How can we practice demonstrating ourselves as someone who is approved by God in this world, that seeks opposing qualities to consider you approved?
The bottom line is that the world’s view and the Lord’s view of approval have totally opposite meanings. Approval from God means the world will continually reject you, while approval from the world will eventually lead to a rejection from God. Measuring the two, we know this world will be perishing soon, while God’s reign will be eternal. We should be more concerned with our relationship with Him above everything else.
Later in his letter to Timothy, Paul was describing the common actions seen happening amongst people in the world today: irrelevant babbling, quarreling, swerving from the truth, etc. However a promise in verse 21 states that if we continually set ourselves apart as holy, God will continue to use us to fulfill glorious works that far outweigh anything this world could ever offer. Let’s make the decision today to hold Jesus Christ as Lord, knowing that he will guide us through any suffering and rejection from this world, and transport us into His holy dwelling.