‘Just Do It!’ or ‘Jesus Did It!’?

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash.

If you’re not confident in the authority of the Scriptures, you will be a slave to what sounds right. Any respectable entity, however faithful and classy, is not the Bible. Take every word and ‘test if these things are so’. You’re wise and know how to apply.

You’re NOT “Too Young”, Timothy

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have…”

– 1 Timothy 4:12, 14a.
Image: Ben White.

The Apostle Paul’s negative commands here seem to indicate that this young preacher and his son in the faith, Timothy, was or had a tendency towards shyness or timidity (cf. 2 Tim. 1:6, 8). Note:

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.”

Furthermore, it seems some folk at Ephesus may not have respected Timothy nor his authority in preaching. Timothy was prolly in his early thirties, and therefore younger or “too young” than many of the Christians (and the well-advanced in age) at Ephesus.

No wonder Paul, now an old man, exhorts him in another place,

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness…”

– 2 Timothy 2:15, 16. Emphasis mine.

So also I want to encourage the young men, whether in ministry or not. Do not allow anyone to look down upon you because of your age. God still uses the “little ones” for His own purposes. Sure. There’s some wisdom with old age (and you’ll do well if you strive to learn from such, that is, godly men); but there is also a lot of folly in some elderly folk, and youth alike. Same way an old man may be ignorant whence a young man may be wise. Old age is not the measure of wisdom and knowledge, true godliness is!

If the word of God is being challenged or attacked by the so-called “intellectuals” of our time and you, being young, see the danger(s) and are able to raise your concerns, do so. Fear no man. You may be wrong, but let those who shut you off because you’re “too little” have them[selves] explain to you why you’re wrong or why they think you’re wrong, but do not permit any man to step on you or make you feel timid.

“Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”

– Acts 18:24, 26. Emphasis mine.

Dear old folk, it’s better to instruct “more accurately” than cause strife in a young man’s heart. No man has arrived in totality of knowledge, even if you’ve all the learning you could afford. We’re all babes before God in Christ. Paul knew the dangers which awaited Timothy in his young ministry. As his father in the faith; as an old man, his own execution in view, and as Timothy’s mentor, he exhorted him with gracious words to persevere in the face of persecution. Timothy knew what Paul said was true cause he walked with this great Apostle for many years. He saw his (Paul’s) life firsthand.

Let us, with grace, help those who need help and not play “superior” because of our age and learning. If God would count age for wisdom, then Manasseh would have been the greatest king of Israel. You’re wise and know how to apply.

You know what, young Timothy? Preach the Word; teach the full counsel of God! The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Firmly Fixed in the Heavens

Photo by Arto Marttinen on Unsplash.
Forever, O Lord, your word
    is firmly fixed in the heavens.
 Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
    you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
 By your appointment they stand this day,
    for all things are your servants.
 If your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my affliction.
 I will never forget your precepts,
    for by them you have given me life.
 I am yours; save me,
    for I have sought your precepts.
 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
    but I consider your testimonies.
 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
    but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Do Not Grow Weary

Photo by Molnár Bálint on Unsplash.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,

    nor be weary when reproved by him.

 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

    and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  

Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Cultivating a Biblical Worldview

“I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.”

– Galatians 1:6.

As we continue to live in a world that is headlong determined to go against God’s standards; it is imperative that Christians, bible-believing Christians, adapt/cultivate a biblical worldview. But first, definition.

What is a biblical worldview? A biblical worldview is an overarching view of the world based on God’s revealed truth, scriptural truth, the Bible, which directs our life in the world. I believe it’s crucial and essential that we be intentional in our cultivating of a biblical worldview.

As Satan is ever busy distracting us with useless unnecessaries, we must be ever busier, immersing ourselves prayerfully in God’s word!

Answer, then. If we become dull and abandon our souls from the sundry means of grace made available to us by God for our sanctification and for His own glory, and thereon remain stagnant in this wicked world, will the devil neglect to instruct us in the way of wickedness?

Let us then be intentional in this matter. One way we can develop this is by availing ourselves to study the bible cover to cover. Not in a hurry; but slowly and prayerfully taking time to go through the word of God. Repeating it often. Like I wrote in another article a few weeks ago, sadly, is that many professed Christians have never gone past Genesis 1:1.

The modern Christian has left all the reading and studying of Scripture to the elder of their church. If there’s anything they cannot understand; they run to men before running to God. Do not mistake my meaning. I do not disregard members who are covenanted together in the place of a local church not to seek counsel from the eldership when the need arises. This is commendable, very commendable!

My contention, then, is this, God has not called elders/pastors to read and study the Bible for us. Sure, they proclaim the word and exposit it to us, for such is their office for which they are callled—preaching.

But, and I hold many elders would agree with me when I say, they (pastors/elders) also expect their listeners, the congregants, to be noble bereans—searching the Scriptures, always!

We err, of course, when we, the listeners, do not at all cultivate our time in this private feeding of our own souls before we come and gather on the Lord’s Day. This is the reason why so many professed Christians of today can be said to be biblically illiterate. People know just a handful of verses, e.g., John 3:16; Romans 8:1, etc.

But it must not be this way, dear beloved. We must prayefully and humbly request God to grant us a desire to be in His word, constantly. To enjoy Him in our study of the Scriptures. To know Him and not just to know facts about Him.

I strongly believe that if we become intent in feeding our souls with Scripture daily and constantly (through meditation and prayer), we can develop a biblical worldview [in our mindset].

We’ll begin to view the world as God views it. We will begin to sieve the world’s dogma by what God has to say through His word. We will begin to know the biblical truth from the accepted devilish lies of our modern (self boasting) sophisticated age.

“But let him that glories glory [or boast] in this, that he understandes and knows me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the LORD.”

– Jeremiah 9:24, parenthesis & emphasis mine.