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Becoming An Unashamed Workman
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Paul teaches us that All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. II Timothy 3: 16 - 17

What is the necessity of writing another 'creed" when we already have the best one laid out in black and white. But it takes a life time of devotion and study and the leadership of the Holy Spirit to understand all of what God has for us.

Today we are addicted to fast food and convenience products. We want Mac and Cheese in a box cuz the real thing requires a lot of work and time to produce. So various companies have come out with a little blue box with all the ingredients inside. It takes about ten minutes to make the instant stuff and compared to a couple hours to do the real thing. But Oooooooh ! the difference. I like real macaroni and cheese, but the instant stuff is pretty bleh*. After you've tasted the real thing, you won't be satisfied with the powered cheese kind.

It is the same way with this Salvation. People want the instant stuff. They want to go to an altar of prayer, or go forward and 'make a decision' or sign their name on a card and in ten minutes or sooner be a Christian.

But it just doesn't work that way. Full grown Christians, able to work for God, doesn't happen over night, or even in a few months. Look at the wonderful experience Paul had on the road to Damascus. Yet he still had to study for several years---and he already had a firm knowledge of the Scriptures because of his religious training as a Jew! Still, he had to be taught by the Holy Spirit. Notice, he didn't go to a religous person to get the training...not from the apostles, but from the Spirit of God. (Galatians 1: 15 to the end of the chapter)

Paul told Timothy that it required study! Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15

How long does it take to become an able workman? Depends on how carefully we are willing to study. It depends on our willingness to follow what we read in our life. As soon as we come up against a truth that we don't like or don't feel is necessary and set it aside, our progress as an apprentice workman stops until we incorporate that particular piece of righteousness into our life.

Sometimes when we study the Word we come up to things that we don't like. They will be bitter---hard things both to understand and to submit to. Our fleshly impulse is to refuse them.

But strong meats---the difficult hard things of the Word---make us grow. When a baby comes of an age to begin eating solid food and he refuses it, his growth stops and he begins to weaken. It is the same with us when we refuse the strong meat of the Word.

Love's What We Need

It's not things that we need, but it's God love that we need!

A lttle boy was in an orphanage, and a rich man came in one day to find a son to adopt. He called this little boy by the name of Tom over to him, took him upon his lap and said, "Son, if you would be willing to let me adopt you, you can have anything you want. I can give you a good name, I can give you clothes and toys, and I can give you all the other things that most all other kids have."

The little boy looked up at him and said, "Sir, if that's all you can give me, I think I would rather stay right here. I'm looking for somebody who can give me some love."

This is the way it is with the Father. God knows that it's not things that we need; we need His love. Things aren't absolute, but God's love is.

God loves us if we're afflicted, He loves us if tragedy strikes our home, and He loves us in the storms of life. His love will hold us steady. It's an absolute; it's a truth; it's a positive thing that nobody can explain or argue away from us. Even the storms of life can't convince away the love of God. It's there, because God is love.

A Sign Post Pointing Men to God

John the Baptist urgently summoned men to righteousness. His message was not a mere negative denunciation, but a positive erecting of the moral standards of God. Not only did he denounce men for what they had done, but he also summoned them to what they ought to be. While he condemned them for what they were, he also challenged them to be what they could be. He was a voice calling men to a higher level; he was the voice of God speaking out to men and calling men closer to God. He rebuked evil, and he set good before men.

John was sent from God, and men recognized him as a prophet. He came out of the desert. He didn't come from the priesthood or from a theologian's school. He was taught and schooled by God. He came to men after he had under gone years of lonely preparation. He preached with authority, and God's anointing was upon him. John went into the arena, as it were, full-grown and fully armed spiritually, and he denounced evil. He didn't come with his own opinions, but he came with a message from God. Before He spoke to men, he had been in the company of God. We should always come into the presence of me from the presence of God. John was faithful to declare the message which God had given to him.

John was as signpost to point men to God. He didn't point men to himself. He was preparing men for the One who was to come after him.

How are men prepare for Him? By repenting, turning from evil, then the King will come in. In biblical cays, before a king was due to arrive in anarea, a message was sent out to eht people to get the king's roads ready for his journey. They were to clear all the stones from the road. That's exactly what John was doing. He was clearing away those things which were offensive. Why? Because the King was coming.

John's life was a parallel to that of the Christian. Jesus siad in Matthew 5:14, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that i set on an hill cannot be hid." John was a light, and today the Christian is a light. The Christian's life will uncover darkness. Whenever he's aroun were men's deeds are evil, he will illuminate those evil deeds. Like John, the Christian's life is a signpose which ponts me to God. We don't point men and women to ourselves, but to God.