Begin at the beginning
Timothy’s calling was to proclaim the Gospel of God. He had to go to a world that has not yet heard Jesus’ message of salvation.
He was instructed to: 13Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. If this verse is translated directly from the original text, it sounds like this in English: Give attendance to reading, to exhortation and to doctrine … or in Afrikaans: Gee aandag aan voorlesing, vermaning en lering. The Greek word anagnōsis that is translated here as ‘reading’ (of the Word of God) can also mean that he personally had to read the Word of God.
To live his calling, to read to people, to exhort and to explain the doctrine, he first had to personally study the Word of God. And that is an important lesson for each of us. We cannot live our calling or even take one step into the world without first walking a few steps into God’s Word.
It doesn’t matter what our calling is, for all of us the point of departure should be God’s Word. That is where we learn what our calling is. That is where we learn how to live our calling. That is where we are shaped. In God’s Word, I get to know God and I get to know myself. That is where I’m changed to look less at myself and to look up and see others.
I want to make a wild statement: If I do not make time to study God’s Word every day, chances are that I’m going to miss my calling, and not even get close to living it.
People often come to us with major problems. Marital problems, financial problems, work problems, personal problems. And in most of these cases, they make a basic mistake: They do spend time with God’s Word.
God’s Word must be the guideline for your life. It must be the foundation of your life. It must be your starting point in the morning. Because that is where you get strength for the day ahead. This is where you are empowered to really change the world and the people around you.
Timothy had a specific calling and that was to go and read to people from God’s Word, to exhort them, and to teach them the doctrine of the Christian faith. But before he could do that, he first had to read and study the Word of God (which at that stage consisted of the Old Testament and Prophesies).
It’s just as important that you and I do it too. You can’t actually dare to live your calling without first studying God’s Word. But you don’t have to think that you have to be equipped 100% before starting to work on your calling either. God does use crooked sticks, but start every day with God’s Word.
Allow Him to teach you. Listen to those exhortations that we often turn a deaf ear to and make them part of your world. Sometimes, simple honesty about the road that God is walking with you is sufficient to make a difference in the lives of others.
Be serious about your calling and start at the beginning: In God’s Word.
What is your calling?
Where must you begin?
What is your commitment?
Father, You called each of us to go into the world to work with the talents You gave us. I realise I must spend time with your Word every day. But, Lord, life goes so fast and before I know it, I’ve missed the opportunity. Please help me to make a commitment to study your Word every day. Amen.