“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them,
so that everyone may see your progress.”
(1 Timothy 4:15)
Some years ago I read the story of a new Christian who had left his church. It seemed to him that for the others their faith was a merely a hobby and not a way of life. I remember being enormously challenged by the statement. It reminded me forcibly of Jesus’ message to the church in Laodicea,
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)
In writing to Timothy –and therefore to us as well – Paul is warning us not to fall into the same sloppiness of thinking and acting. Be diligent (hard-working – painstaking – conscientious). Give yourself wholly (completely – in every respect – whole-heartedly) to what the Lord has given you to do or expects of you. And be so committed that your life and progress becomes visible to others.
This whole-hearted diligence would not be only in church matters but in every walk of life in which we are involved – our relationships, our work, our ministry and our social obligations. Our attitude towards them should be that of having received them each from the hand of God and attending to them on His behalf and in His name.
We do not do this to earn our salvation but because these are the qualities expected of the daughters and sons of God. This is the way that the Father is towards us, and that Jesus is towards the Father and towards us. The Holy Spirit working within us will seek to make us more like them both and this will come out in the fruit that He is able to produce within us.
Look to yourself – and pray for the guidance, direction and strength of the Holy Spirit.
Lord God, please help me to acknowledge the people and things that are important to you in my life – and to be more committed to their blessing, growth and development, for Your glory. Amen.