(KJV) 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed [How? ->], rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings [this would be in or out of the church], for they will increase to more ungodliness.
It is the preaching of the false teachings that engender ungodliness.
But we don’t stop there? We have been studying the Word of God for how long now? What is the next step that we are to be taking?
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
What do you think about when you hear this? What does it make you contemplate?
If I were to just read this scripture and quit talking I think there would be enough to just think about for the next hour.
James was called the epistle of straw because initially Luther thought it lacked the merit to be canonized.
Lacked substance, either that or:
They didn’t want to hear what he had to say.
It was just the opposite!
Back to the scripture…” But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. “
What is James saying here?
If all we do is “hear” that is come to church sit in a chair and listen and take it in, but do not apply and use what we have learned: then WHAT? We are deceiving ourselves!
I want to encourage you to DO! And then to do more with what God has given us.
What has he given us: His Word to live by and we are to live by EVERY Word of God
Luke 4:4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD OF GOD.’ “
Faith Without Works
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Why do you think that James says this three times?
Perhaps he really wants to make a point – do we get that point? Faith and Works are inseparable. If we say that we have Faith, then we will have the Works to accompany it…and this is what Christ expects of us to…all the way up to His return.
Luke 12:40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Luke 12:41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?
Luke 12:43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.
Luke 12:44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.
Luke 12:45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, [not doing what they are supposed to be doing] Luke 12:46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
Luke 12:47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luke 12:48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
And we have been given much! Has anyone been given as much as we have?
We have access to the cumulative knowledge of all those before us. Many if not most of the revelations that have been given throughout the history of mankind. What are we doing with all that we know?
Luke 17:8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?
Luke 17:9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
Luke 17:10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ “
When you have a servant or a slave or not to get too far from the analogy; a worker, you expect to get more out of them than what you put into them. If I have someone do something for me as a business owner, I expect them to do the work that I set before them…that’s the very least that I expect. In the end I expect them to do a good job (that is to work efficiently and effectively) so that I can make a profit.
Same with a slave or servant. With a slave you expect to get more out of them than it takes to feed, clothe and house them. Otherwise what profit is it to you?
In this vein let’s look at the Parable of Talents:
Matthew 25:14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.
Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
Matthew 25:16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
Pick up the story where the master is questioning the one:
Matthew 25:24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
Matthew 25:26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
Matthew 25:27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. [Minimal growth] Matthew 25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
Matthew 25:29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.
Matthew 25:30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
Matthew 25:32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
Matthew 25:33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Matthew 25:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
Matthew 25:36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Matthew 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
Matthew 25:38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Matthew 25:39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
When you show love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control towards even the least of the brethren (those that have a great need and really cannot do for you).
When you use the holy spirit in this manner you become a profitable servant.
You are a profit to God, your Boss, your Master.
You have gone above and beyond your minimums and you are growing in the fruit of the Spirit!
But if you don’t do this:
Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
Matthew 25:44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
Matthew 25:45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
God has given us a measure of His spirit that essentially He has invested in us. He wants us to grow it and to be profitable with it. When He returns will He find that we have grown the talents that He has given us.
It is God in Us
We do not have to worry about doing this on our own. In fact, we can’t do it on our own.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
God will continue in us if we allow Him, but He expects us to do our part.
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
We are not going to make it into the Kingdom of God on the coattails of a minister, spouse, friend or anyone else….
Now is the Time to Stand-up for what YOU Believe
We need to be practicing today, we need to give of ourselves at all costs, we need to stand up for what is right.
Today is the day of our salvation and tribulation.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
Are we ready to give an answer? Not, do we know the answer. Are we ready to give an answer?
Are we ready to do our part? Are we afraid to do our part? Are we ashamed to stand up for what we believe?
Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation [contrast], of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Now is the time to differentiate ourselves from the world around us and those that do not live by every word of God!
Ezekiel 22:23 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezekiel 22:24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’
Ezekiel 22:25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst.
Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
Ezekiel 22:27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain.
Ezekiel 22:28 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD had not spoken.
Ezekiel 22:29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.
Ezekiel 22:30 So I sought for a man [this is who God is looking for; put yourself in this place] among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22:31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD.
There is Cause and Effect
Are going to be worried about what other people think about us when we say that we keep the Sabbath and Holy days, won’t eat pork, don’t keep Christmas and Easter, or whatever it is that comes up in our conversations?
Luke 17:33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
Notice to what extent we are to go:
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind [renew God’s spirit within us daily], that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
What measure have you been given? How many talents do you have?
How do we do this? How do we present our bodies a living sacrifice?
Other Ways We Can Grow
Romans 12:5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
Romans 12:7 or ministry [serve or service], let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
Romans 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Romans 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Romans 12:13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Romans12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
Romans 12:20 Therefore “IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM; IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.”
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
These are just some of the ways that we are to be laying down our lives as a living sacrifice.
Many churches promote “Pay and Pray” Christianity. We have been taught about the big 4: Prayer, bible study, meditation and fasting … don’t get me wrong we should be doing that but that falls into the category of the least that we can do. These are for the most part non-interactive with the people around us.
We need to identify our gifts and use them. What are our gifts?
1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:5 There are differences of ministries (service), but the same Lord.
(BBE) And there are different sorts of servants, but the same Lord.
(CEV) There are different ways to serve the same Lord,
What are we doing with our talents?
What can we do as one person?
We need to realize that all things are possible through God that works in us to do His good will. We have this infinite power through Him. Do not limit Him with our limited outlook. We are confined and bound by our humanity.
What has God done with one person?
Abraham, was the father of the faithful. Nations were blessed because of what he did. Promises that we benefit from today.
Others Moses, Joseph, Phinehas, David, Peter and Paul etc.
When do we start doing what we are supposed to be doing?
How long can we delay in doing good? If you tell me when Christ is going to return, I can answer this question for you. Of course we know no one knows the day or the hour.
Luke 12:45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,
Luke 12:46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
We like to think that we are different than the “world” “the unbelievers” but if we do not do what we are supposed to be doing at all times we are going to be lumped in with them when Christ returns.
Parallel scripture to Luke 12:
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Matthew 24:44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Matthew 24:45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
What else are going to be doing right now? What should we be doing right now? What else is more important?
2 Timothy 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
Parable of Ten Virgins
There were five that were foolish and five that were wise.
Virgins = church members; no oil= did not renew the holy spirit, had not grown
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
This parable is talking in part about conditions of the church at the time of Christs return.
There are going to be those who are wise, and those who are foolish. Is that a wakeup call for you? Which half are you going to be in?
What are you going to do now with what you know?