Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 4:13-16 until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

The “Scripture” referred to here is, in fact, the Old Testament. We must make sure to emphasize the entire Bible, both the Old and the New Testaments. There are rich rewards in studying the people, events, prophecies, and principles of the Old Testament.

Highly skilled and talented athletes lose their abilities if their muscles aren’t toned by constant use. Likewise, we will lose our spiritual gifts if we don’t put them to work. Our talents are improved by exercise, but failing to use them causes them to waste away from lack of practice and nourishment. What gifts and abilities has God given you? Use them regularly in serving God and others. (See Romans 12:1–8; 2 Timothy 1:6–8 for more on using well the abilities God has given us.)

Lets Bring it Home: We must be on constant guard against falling into sin that can so easily destroy us. Yet we must watch what we believe (“doctrine”) just as closely. Wrong beliefs can quickly lead us into sin and heresy. We should be on guard against those who would persuade us that how we live is more important than what we believe. We should keep a close watch on both, staying true to the faith.


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