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Your Progress will be Evident to All

by J. M. Farro on July 12th, 2020

   “Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all.”  1 Timothy 4:15 AMP

   The verse above is from a passage of Scripture where the apostle Paul is instructing his spiritual son, Timothy, in the things of God.  Paul goes into detail about how Timothy should set a godly example to other believers, especially as a church leader.  These instructions and principles can be applied to all followers of Christ in some way.  We all have our own ministries.  Whether your primary job is to raise children, support a family financially, be a caregiver, or be a student, you have a “ministry” of some sort.  And if you let Him, the Lord will use you wherever you are to advance the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.

   Notice that the Scripture says that our goal should be to make our progress “evident to all.”  In other words, we are to bear spiritual fruit that everyone can see.  We do this with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, once we surrender our lives to Christ.  The Bible says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NASB)  These are lofty goals, to be sure, but God doesn’t expect perfection from us – only cooperation with His Spirit, so that we can make the progress He calls us to.  Without this kind of progress, we will have very little impact on our world.  I like to pray daily, “Lord, make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading in all things, so that I will always walk in Your perfect will, and receive Your absolute best!”

   The next verse in this passage in First Timothy says: “Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16 AMP)  Here again, the Scripture makes a connection between our personal development and our impact on this world.  Imagine being able to “ensure salvation” for yourself and those in your sphere of influence.  Some Christians reject this kind of responsibility.  They want to live their lives their own way, without anyone watching or assessing their behavior.  But this is totally unbiblical, because Scripture says: “Prove yourself to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15 NASB)  

   The apostle Paul wrote, “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.” (2 Corinthians 13:5 AMP)  Do some serious soul-searching today, and ask the Lord how you can make a greater impact on this world for Christ!

   Lord, teach me how to be absorbed in the things of God – including Your Word – so that my progress may be evident to all.  Help me to concentrate on my personal development in order to ensure salvation for myself and others.  Remind me to speak the truth in love to everyone, and guard me from all deception.  Thank You that as I bear abundant fruit for Your glory, I will prove myself to be a powerful witness for You and Your Word!

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