Being Faithful to the Teaching
Verse 16 … as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Knowing that we are supposed to be shining for Christ is only part of the puzzle. If we don’t know the way to go about it, we will be unable to fully live out the story that He has called us to live.
Paul tells his friends that if they are to shine brightly for Christ, they need to hold firm to the Word. This is a more difficult task than any of us would like to admit, as it means actually meditating on the Word instead of merely reading it. We can’t stand firm on something that we don’t have the slightest grasp on. We need to be totally dedicated to learning the truth of the Word. Understanding it for what it says and what it means.
God has chosen certain people to be gifted in ways that lead us into deeper understanding of His Word and it is important that we not only listen to them but we allow their teaching of the Word to rebuke and correct us. If we aren’t allowing ourselves to be confronted by the teachings of Christ, we are showing that we don’t really want to grow in our love for Him and shine brightly for Him.
God has given these people a great responsibility to present the truth of the Scriptures to us and we would be wise to listen to their teaching and obey the Word of the Lord. Jesus’ brother, James, said not everyone should desire to be teachers because they will be judged by higher standards (James 3:1). Teachers who love the Word and God know this truth and therefore making sure they are teaching truth weighs heavy on their hearts.
The total weight of the responsibility isn’t the teachers or pastors alone. We have a responsibility to what we do with the teaching we hear. Hearing the teaching is only one more piece of the puzzle. An important part of the puzzle is to obey it. When we put the truth of the Gospel into action we start to shine for Him as He desires us to.
Making It Personal
Do you find it hard to listen to rebukes from teaching or from reading the Bible? Why is that sometimes difficult to hear? What do you need to do when you feel convicted?
Making It Personal Kids
Why do you need to listen to the Bible or teaching about the Bible? Does hearing that Jesus doesn’t like what you do make you want to change? Does knowing you will shine for Jesus make you want to obey Him?
Father, give us a hunger for the truth of Your Word so we can faithfully obey Your teaching. Help us respect the teachers You have put in place to help us learn more deeply of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.