Friday, March 1, 2024

 Another Message on Occupying

E. J. Davis

We considered Jesus’ words  in the February issue – Lk. 19:13, “Occupy till I come.” In other words, our occupying should be in view of our Lord’s return, in awareness and  in anticipation. I am reminded of our Apostle Paul’s admonition to his son in the faith, Timothy found in I Tim. 4:13-16. We may take these words personally to our selves. For in one sense, our salvation came to us through the message of God’s grace given to Paul. We find seven sayings in these verses that should be our chief occupation.

I Tim. 4:13-16, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

“Give attendance to reading” (of the Scriptures of course) to the exhortation or encouragement, and to the doctrine or teaching; because of their great importance. The word Exhortation literally means to call to one’s side for instruction and comfort. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures…for they are they which testify of me” – Jn. 5:39. May we not neglect reading the Word of God. It is so valuable for our growth in Christ. II Tim. 3:16-17, “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, throughly furnished (or perfected) unto all good works.”

II Tim. 3:15, says, “the holy scriptures are able to  make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” It is not enough to know the letter of the word. “For the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life” – II Cor. 3:6. It is the Holy Spirit who enlightens us as we receive and believe God’s Word. The Holy Spirit makes the truth of God’s Word alive to us. I Cor. 2:9-12, God has revealed unto us the deep things of God by His Holy Spirit and it is Spirit that makes us to understand them. The Spirit only can make known the things of God, for He only knows the things of God. The purposes, execution and operations are wholly Divine. Read I Cor. 2:13-16, with spiritual discernment, we compare scripture with scripture. As Christ is our life, so also is  He our mind, our reliable strength.

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee.” Timothy no doubt received a special gift when he was set apart to the ministry (II Tim. 1:6-8). Paul says stir into flame your gift, for Timothy had been tempted with fear since his spiritual father was in prison.  Each of us need to fully exercise ourselves in the particular gift given unto us, that God may be glorified to the utmost.

“Meditate upon these things.” To Ponder with solemn reflection, thinking deeply, as a devotional act of thoughts, chew the cud like the cows. Then the Word will become a vital part of us.

“Give thyself wholly to them,” With entire consecration. Why? That thy profiting may appear to all.” Not only will we profit, but we will glorify God and others will see it.

“Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine.” Walk in the spirit according to the Word of the Lord – Gal. 5:16,25. Doctrine means teaching, the teaching of God is what is means here. II Peter 1:19, “ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn…” Walking as an example.

“Continue in them” Be faithful, Don’t hide your faith or forsake it, stay true to your conviction, to your calling, and in doing so, the Lord rewards faithfulness- Col. 1:23. Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

“For in doing this, thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” Jesus spoke of service and rewards in Mt. 16:24, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Others also can be saved by our faithful service, not only to enjoy eternal life, but share in the honors and glories with Christ. A feting reward for faithful service and self denial. 

Let us press on until our Lord comes.