Seal of approval
Work hard (study) so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
How do you get good at doing something? Whether it’s your career, your family or being a Christian, the answer is the same. You study, practice and then work at it. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Paul told Timothy to work hard and study to receive God’s approval. In that way he will not be ashamed but confident in teaching the Word of truth. But let’s go back to this approval part. Paul is telling Timothy if he wants God’s stamp of approval on his life and ministry, he should work hard at studying God’s Word and God’s ways. As he does, he will become strong enough to carry God’s seal.
In the natural world, if you want your employer’s approval, you work hard and learn about the job you are doing so you can do it well. If you want your family/spouse approval, you work hard and learn about what makes a family and marriage successful to do it well. I guess I never considered being approved as a Christian or being approved by God. I always just consider that He loves me just the way I am. Yes, that is true, but love and approval are two different things.
In verse 19 of this chapter, it says by having a solid foundation of God then you are able to stand strong and are sealed (with His stamp of approval). God marks you as His own and now that you belong to Him. It also says you need to walk away from old sinful habits. This is where you need the firm foundation that you have worked hard to build. By studying the Word of God and then applying it in your daily life, you are now able to stand up and turn away from evil. If you do not renew your mind with God’s Word and teaching, you will not be strong enough to name the name of Jesus as your own and remove sin from your life.
Lastly, I want to talk about study. What is the most effective way to study God’s Word and apply it to your circumstances? Maybe you find it hard to understand the Word of God or maybe you have trouble staying focused when reading it. The first place to start is to schedule a quiet time each day that you can spend with your Father. A time with no distractions to take your attention away from tuning in to the things He wants to show you through His Word. You can use a devotional such as the Daily Dose or you can read through a book in the Bible by reading a chapter each day. However, before you begin to read, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself through what you are about to read and that your heart and mind would be open to understand what the scripture is saying. It will make all the difference to make this request. Then be ready to write down anything He reveals to you through your time spent with Him. This is probably the most critical step in your foundation. Through out your day, listen to worship music and quietly thank God as you have opportunity for His goodness and all the blessings He has placed in your life. Listen to podcasts and messages as you have opportunity each day. Make your relationship with Him the priority and you will be guaranteed to be strong enough to carry His seal of approval. You will not be ashamed to share His message because your confidence will be based on that connection of love you have with Him.
Today I want to encourage you to study to show yourself ready and able to carry the seal of God’s love and approval in your life. Make spending time with Him the priority of your day. Decide that you are going to purge the evil out of your life by learning more of His ways and plan for you and carry His seal as a child of God everywhere you go. You are His representation here in this world, present yourself in a way that accurately displays His love and goodness as you get to know Him better each day.
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Timothy 2:14-19