Work hard? I thought we were supposed to rest in Jesus. What’s this all about?
It can be confusing, can’t it? The truth is, we do both. We rest in the finished work of the Savior that redeems us. We work hard for the rewards given during our lives and at the end of days.
The Amplified Version: “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.”
The Orthodox Jewish Bible says to “Do your best to shtel zich (apply yourself)…”
Salvation isn’t the end of our journey, it is the beginning. It is the key that opens the door to the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 2:14 says those who are not spiritual (saved) can’t even understand the truths contained in the Book. Once we have that key, we’re supposed to enter and explore.
If we entered a house we had never been in before, would we not roam room to room, turning on all the lights, looking at all the walls, in all the closets, under every piece of furniture, opening drawers, lifting covers? This is what we’re to do with the Word of God. Open it, enter it, look into every part, lift every cover, ask questions, search for answers, get familiar with every piece.
When we do that, we are studying, or working, hard to present ourselves to God for His approval. How so? Because we are being obedient to Him. Remember? Obedience is better than sacrifice.
When we spend time, and I mean copious amounts of it, in the Bible, we learn it heart-deep and are then able to handle it well, sharing truth from the whole of it, not just one or two verses that say what we want them to say. Not only that, we begin living according to the Word, once again proving our faithfulness to our God.
Is this you? Are you waist deep in the Book, allowing it to change you to be more like Jesus or have you just stuck your toes in every once in a while like a trip to the beach on vacation? Today’s the day to make the change.
Let’s determine that today we’re doing more than visiting the verse or two that our devotion is written about. Let’s read the whole chapter and dig into it. Why does it say this? How do the other translations say this? Does this match what is in other parts? Wait. What? How? Why?
This is a lifelong effort, one that will never be fulfilled until we are in His presence, but what a worthy effort, one that puts us smack in the middle of God’s will for us.
Are you ready? Let’s do it!