Do you get frustrated because you do not know enough about the Bible to share its truth with others? Do you think you must “study”, study, study, to show yourself approved unto God, and sadly–to man? How many Christian books must I read to get what I need to be approved and unashamed? How many Bible studies must I attend?
I use to beat myself up for missing that “daily quiet time” when I took out my Bible, gathered commentaries, grabbed a pen and notebook to journal what I “got” from the moments (or sometimes, hours), I spent reading, praying and studying. I struggled to surrender myself to knowing God more fully. I tried to set that “appointment” with Him as specifically as I scheduled my dental appointment. I failed.
I failed to live up to my own expectations. I failed to live up to those I heard preachers tell me I must keep. I failed to learn it all. Fortunately, during my six-plus decades, I managed to grasp a few truths and principles which have helped me know my Heavenly Father more intimately.
Paul writes: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Over and over again, I have read this verse above in various translations. I have heard several sermons on it and scoured commentaries. When I read slowly, carefully, and with my heart open to God’s Spirit of instruction, I wondered how in the world I could present myself approved to God. How clear must my conscience be to be “a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed”?
Today, I fully recognize and totally accept that I am already approved unto God through the attoning, purifying, justifying, and penetrating blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. I have no righteousness of my own because no man is righteous. Faith in Jesus grants me righteousness in Him.
I cannot be diligent enough to win God’s approval. No matter how much time I spend studying His word or memorizing scripture. I cannot relax and be unashamed by spending hours upon hours calling out to God for mercy. I can only “present” myself “approved” to God by saving grace I have in Jesus. I cannot minister enough or give enough or sacrifice enough. The diligence God wants from me is love. Love Him and all else will fall into place. Seek Him first and everything will be added. Be still in the rush of life, the busyness of routine, the struggles of turmoil and chaos, and simply “know that He is God.”
As I rest in Him I am lifted up on the wings of eagles. My soul is restored with the knowledge of His abundant grace that sets me apart for Him as an ambassador to proclaim His goodness…to pray for others to know Him, too. Have you strayed away from your “First Love”? Have you wandered away from the peace of your Father’s arms? Take His yoke upon you, for it is light. Go to Him and He will give you rest.
Prayer: Lord, it is a simple prayer today. Let all who read this accept Your approval in Christ. Thank you for Your redeeming and transforming power.