Monday, December 21, 2015

Reflection - Workman of the Word

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Question 3, Page 95.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


We should do our best to be a good workman in the handling of the Word of God. A good workman is one who does his work with great care and diligence.
PHOTO: We should do our best to be a good workman in the handling of the Word of God. A good workman is one who does his work with great care and diligence.
Posted by audraohm on 18 February 2015, Ruth gleaning in the fields of Boaz
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https://audraohm.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/ruth.jpg
http://audraohm.com/2015/02/18/how-god-used-5-ordinary-women-in-the-bible-for-extraordinary-things/

   

Rate yourself as a workman of the Word - what are your strengths and weaknesses. List down steps you can take to improve yourself as a workman of the Word who can be unashamed in the way you read, study and apply the Word.

Rate yourself as a workman of the Word - what are your strengths and weaknesses.
A good workman of the Word (2 Timothy 2:15) [1a]
A good workman is one who does his work with great care and diligence. Shoddy workmanship will bring disrepute to himself and frustration to his customer. If you collected a shirt from a tailor and found that he had done a poor job, you will not want to go to that tailor again. You would want to look for another who would do a better job. A good craftsman is one who takes pride in his work and is keen to use his best skills to produce good work.



A good craftsman is one who takes pride in his work and is keen to use his best skills to produce good work.
PHOTO: A good craftsman is one who takes pride in his work and is keen to use his best skills to produce good work.
Posted by thehobbyistuk on 05 August 2013, Illustration of a female machinist seamstress worker sewing on machine
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https://thehobbyistuk.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/sewing-seamstress.jpg
https://thehobbyistuk.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/pick-of-this-weeks-creative-courses-lino-printing-sewing-furniture-painting/


Paul tells Timothy that in the same way, a pastor and teacher in the church, Timothy should do his best to be a good craftsman in the handling of the Word of God. He has to read and preach the Word with carefulness and thoroughness. He should not be a sloppy Bible student and substandard preacher. Such shoddy work brings dishonour to God and will not build up God's people. For it is true, mostly that the pew cannot rise higher than the pulpit.



A good craftsman in the handling of the Word of God has to read and preach the Word with carefulness and thoroughness. He should not be a sloppy Bible student and substandard preacher.

PHOTO: A good craftsman in the handling of the Word of God has to read and preach the Word with carefulness and thoroughness. He should not be a sloppy Bible student and substandard preacher. Such shoddy work brings dishonour to God and will not build up God's people.
Posted by 123RF Limited on 13 December 2015

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hERh0zySR7U/VnbGONusdZI/AAAAAAAAiiM/ryBUG0-9UjA/s1600/24242115-Beautiful-young-woman-reading-bible-while-sitting-in-park-Vertical-shot--Stock-Photo.jpg
http://previews.123rf.com/images/matthewephotography/matthewephotography1312/matthewephotography131200170/24242115-Beautiful-young-woman-reading-bible-while-sitting-in-park-Vertical-shot--Stock-Photo.jpg
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John Wesley observed that this passage exhorts preachers to be both faithful and skilful in their ministry of the Word. Emphasising the importance of applying the whole Scripture and having the skill and sensitivity of doing this aptly, he gave one example of careless preaching "But they that give one part of the gospel to all (the promise and comforts to unawakened, hardened, scoffing men) have real need to be ashamed." [1] A physician who gives medicine that does not deal with the real condition of a patient is guilty of slipshod work.



A physician who gives medicine that does not deal with the real condition of a patient is guilty of slipshod work.
PHOTO: A physician who gives medicine that does not deal with the real condition of a patient is guilty of slipshod work. A preacher that give one part of the gospel to all (the promise and comforts to unawakened, hardened, scoffing men) have real need to be ashamed - John Wesley.
Photo by Alexander Raths © - Fotolia (images posted by Alitangi)
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http://gesundheitiboneby.blogspot.sg/p/unterleibsbeschwerden.html



Approved workman [1a]
Timothy is reminded to be a good workman of the Word who is approved by God. God judges the work of His servants and can see the difference between work that is done carelessly and work that is carried out with attentiveness and care. In everyday life, we hire craftsmen and technicians who are certified by some authority. It is not advisable and extremely risky to ask an uncertified electrician to sort out your electrical problems at home. You would want to ensure that he is properly certified.



We are reminded to be a good workman of the Word who is approved by God.
PHOTO: We are reminded to be a good workman of the Word who is approved by God. God judges the work of His servants and can see the difference between work that is done carelessly and work that is carried out with attentiveness and care. It is not advisable and extremely risky to ask an uncertified electrician to sort out the electrical problems at home. 
Picture from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, A shoe repairman and his young apprentice
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ESFdSbQAUVA/VnbGPRoGijI/AAAAAAAAiig/d5tlBbj-UNo/s1600/Apprenticeship.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Apprenticeship.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apprenticeship



In the same way, churches have their own procedures to ensure that their preachers are properly certified. This is true for the ordination processes; and even then mistakes are made at times, as congregations would attest. But beyond pastors, churches also use preachers of all kinds in their pulpits. Some of them may be careless preachers, merely storytellers or entertainers who do not really preach the Word. Worse still, some may promote false teaching that corrupts the gospel and confuses the congregation.



Churches ensure that their preachers are properly certified, and even then mistakes are made at times.
PHOTO: Churches ensure that their preachers are properly certified, and even then mistakes are made at times. Some of them may be careless preachers, merely storytellers or entertainers who do not really preach the Word. Worse still, some may promote false teaching that corrupts the gospel and confuses the congregation.
Christian Clipart on Watton on the web
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Lua_WZOerXg/VnbGRoKr2RI/AAAAAAAAijI/DCdyJac6tQM/s1600/preach02.gif
http://www.watton.org/clipart/general/preach02.gif
http://www.watton.org/clipart/general/general.shtmlold



It is extremely important to guard the pulpit such that only those approved by God as good craftsmen of the Word could stand there to preach in church. In many churches those responsible for determining this will have to discern gifts and calling, character and competence, and may have a formal process of certifying preachers. But in many others, a process may be absent. [1a]


Only those approved by God as good craftsmen of the Word could stand there to preach in church.
PHOTO: Only those approved by God as good craftsmen of the Word could stand there to preach in church.
Posted by SermonCentral for Church Services
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nTSGGvv2AHY/VkXeuxkRC8I/AAAAAAAAiNg/vp3smvdm6QU/s1600/PowerPoint-Template-A-Workman-Approved_slide1_750x563.jpg
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http://www.sermoncentral.com/church-media-preaching-sermons/powerpoint-template-backgrounds/a-workman-approved-479-detail.asp



My rating as a Workman of the Word
Accountability to God
Strengths: Read the Bible and do reflections
Weaknesses: Little effort to spread the gospel

Handling of God's Word
Strengths: Attempt to be faithful to the teaching of the Scripture
Weaknesses: Did not proclaim the Word accurately and often enough

Amount of Effort
Strengths: Put in comfortable amount of effort into the study and application of God's Word
Weaknesses: Still ashamed of my insufficient Scripture knowledge

Rating: Very poor workman of the Word


Very poor workman of the Word


PHOTO: Very poor workman of the Word
Posted by Ian & Sue Coate (Copyright - Ian Coate), Sitting on the Bench
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-a_7zwByV3m4/VnbGQcj3Y_I/AAAAAAAAiiw/1yb1rzUlfO0/s1600/Sitting-on-the-Bench-2.jpg
http://www.freechristianillustrations.com/Sitting-on-the-Bench-2.jpg
http://www.freechristianillustrations.com/prayer.html


List down steps you can take to improve yourself as a workman of the Word who can be unashamed in the way you read, study and apply the Word.
Proper use of the Bible [3]
The proper approach
The key to being diligent in God’s Word is to be motivated. Motivation is the key to learning. Have you ever been on an airplane and watched the passengers as the stewardess gives the instructions on how to use the emergency breathing apparatus? They’re reading their newspapers or impatiently thinking, “Hurry up so we can get going!” They’re not motivated to hear her boring instructions. But suppose they’re airborne and the pilot comes on the intercom and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re experiencing some severe trouble with our engines. We’re going to have to de-pressurize the cabin and make an emergency landing. The stewardess is going to explain how to use the emergency breathing apparatus.” Do you think he would have to add, “Please give her your full attention”? People would be motivated!



The key to being diligent in God’s Word is to be motivated.
PHOTO: The key to being diligent in God’s Word is to be motivated. Motivation is the key to learning. People are not motivated to hear boring instructions. But suppose they’re airborne and the pilot comes on the intercom and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re experiencing some severe trouble with our engines. We’re going to have to de-pressurize the cabin and make an emergency landing. The stewardess is going to explain how to use the emergency breathing apparatus. Do you think he would have to add, “Please give her your full attention?
Picture posted by Jacob Gregory, Taken on July 15, 2010
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdgregory/5043000037/in/photostream/



So the key to being motivated to be diligent in God’s Word is to recognize, “I live in the presence of God! Someday soon I will give an account to Him. His Word alone contains His wisdom on how to live in a way that pleases Him, which is the only way to true happiness for me. So I’ve got to be diligent to search out what the Scriptures say about knowing God and His wisdom for living.



The key to being motivated to be diligent in God’s Word is to recognize, 'I live in the presence of God! Someday soon I will give an account to Him. His Word alone contains His wisdom on how to live in a way that pleases Him, which is the only way to true happiness for me. So I’ve got to be diligent to search out what the Scriptures say about knowing God and His wisdom for living.'
PHOTO: The key to being motivated to be diligent in God’s Word is to recognize, “I live in the presence of God! Someday soon I will give an account to Him. His Word alone contains His wisdom on how to live in a way that pleases Him, which is the only way to true happiness for me. So I’ve got to be diligent to search out what the Scriptures say about knowing God and His wisdom for living.
Posted by Obras Missionárias Pontifícias on Wednesday, 1 April 2015
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http://obrasmissionariaspontificias.blogspot.sg/


The proper relationship
Present yourself approved to God.” “Present” is used (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:27) to speak of a bride being presented to her bridegroom. It’s a very personal, loving act when a young woman gives herself to a young man in marriage. In that culture (pre-women’s lib) it meant that she was giving herself completely to him: her devotion, her time, her body, her complete focus was now toward her husband because of his love for her and her love for him.



It’s a very personal, loving act when a young woman gives herself to a young man in marriage.
PHOTO: It’s a very personal, loving act when a young woman gives herself to a young man in marriage. It meant that she was giving herself completely to him: her devotion, her time, her body, her complete focus was now toward her husband because of his love for her and her love for him.
Posted by Sinval Santos da Silveira on 19 November 2011 at 08:01, Ruth gleaning in the fields of Boaz
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6YQvcpfi5iY/VnbGSxgAkGI/AAAAAAAAijc/ZWCVYnNspMA/s1600/trigo.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NSTf3bW7s4Q/Tsfe8yt_anI/AAAAAAAAA6E/PLJzZGLGFZQ/s1600/trigo.jpg
http://poesiasinval.blogspot.sg/2011/11/concelheira.html



That’s how we should come to the Bible. It’s not just a book of principles for how to live. It tells us of Christ’s enduring love for His bride. As His bride, we should seek to please Him and be available to do His will. As such, our focus should not be on what others think of us, but on what God thinks. Too many pastors fall into the trap of pleasing people, rather than pleasing God. While it’s nice to be liked, my main focus is to be, “approved to God.” Our goal is to please our heavenly Bridegroom who loved us and gave Himself for us.



The Bible is not just a book of principles for how to live. It tells us of Christ’s enduring love for His bride. Our main focus is to be, 'approved to God.' Our goal is to please our heavenly Bridegroom who loved us and gave Himself for us.
PHOTO: The Bible is not just a book of principles for how to live. It tells us of Christ’s enduring love for His bride. Our main focus is to be, “approved to God.” Our goal is to please our heavenly Bridegroom who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Picture posted by 1800Monuments
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http://www.1800monuments.com/products.php?page=161&ipp=20&category_id=13



The proper skill
A workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” Here the metaphor is that of a craftsman. You’re the carpenter and God’s Word is your set of tools. Rather than being sloppy and nailing together a chicken coop that’s about to fall down, do a decent job so that you will not be ashamed when God inspects your work. If a carpenter knows that his work will be inspected by a skilled master craftsman, he will not cut corners. He will do his best so that his work will be approved.


Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
PHOTO: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Every Christian must reflect the same qualities of a good workman of God's Word - being accountable to God, handling God's Word correctly, and sparing no effort in plumbing (spreading) God's Word.
Posted by  FUMC Picayune Church
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http://www.fumcpicayune.com/awana



The Bible is God’s “word of truth.” Truth is accurate, objective and knowable, not subjective and fluid. If a carpenter showed up at your house and didn’t have a level, square, tape measure or set of plans, you’d be a bit concerned. If you asked him about his methods and he said, “We all have different ways of seeing things and no way is absolutely right. Who’s to say that your house has to be plumb and square?” - you’d be even more concerned! You want your house built carefully and accurately according to the plans.



The Bible is God’s 'word of truth.'

PHOTO: The Bible is God’s “word of truth.” Truth is accurate, objective and knowable, not subjective and fluid.
Picture from wikiHow, All text shared under a Creative Commons License
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http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Bluebird-House



God’s Word is not the sort of thing where one person can see it one way and another person can see it another way and it really doesn’t matter because no one can know what it means. Every biblical text has a fixed meaning that is true and never changes. Based on and stemming from that meaning, it may have a different significance or application for different people and at different times for the same person. But we need to use the tools of Bible study and interpretation to discover the meaning of each text in its biblical context. Otherwise, we’re being sloppy workmen with God’s Word of truth.



We need to use the tools of Bible study and interpretation to discover the meaning of each text in its biblical context. Otherwise, we’re being sloppy workmen with God’s Word of truth.
PHOTO: We need to use the tools of Bible study and interpretation to discover the meaning of each text in its biblical context. Otherwise, we’re being sloppy workmen with God’s Word of truth.
Picture from wikiHow, All text shared under a Creative Commons License
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http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Bluebird-House



The proper foundation
Paul reminds Timothy of the foundation of the Christian life. The foundation refers to the true people of God, the church. Those who truly belong to the Lord are not carried away by false teaching. The seal on the foundation, or cornerstone, has two statements that reflect two important aspects of our salvation.

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness’” (2 Timothy 2:19)



The firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness’
PHOTO: The firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness’ (2 Timothy 2:19).
Picture posted by 1800Monuments
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http://www.1800monuments.com/products.php?page=161&ipp=20&category_id=13



Paul says that the first part of the seal is, “The Lord knows those who are His.Salvation does not begin with man; it begins with God. He planned it and He executed it. “He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18). We can’t know God’s truth until God has first laid hold of us and saved us from our sins by His grace alone.



Salvation does not begin with man; it begins with God.
PHOTO: Salvation does not begin with man; it begins with God. He planned it and He executed it. We can’t know God’s truth until God has first laid hold of us and saved us from our sins by His grace alone (Ephesians 1:4).
Posted by Catholic Resistance on September 2014 at 01:00:00
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http://precantur.blogspot.sg/2011/09/exaltacao-da-santa-cruz.html



The second statement is, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” As Ephesians 1:4 continues, God chose us “that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” We can be assured that we belong to the Lord because we see Him progressively working His holiness into our daily lives. So the foundation for using the Bible properly is that God knows us as His own and that through our diligent, careful study and application of His Word of truth, we are growing in godliness.


Proper perspective of things will help us to be devoted to our Lord, and be disciplined and diligent in all that we do for Him
PHOTO: We can be assured that we belong to the Lord because we see Him progressively working His holiness into our daily lives. So the foundation for using the Bible properly is that God knows us as His own and that through our diligent, careful study and application of His Word of truth, we are growing in godliness.
Posted by Yetenek Avcisi
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http://yetenekavcisi.com.tr/tr/blog-4.html



Conclusion
A young man once studied violin under a world-renowned master. When his first big recital came, the crowd cheered after each number, but the young performer seemed dissatisfied. Even after the final number, despite the applause, the musician seemed unhappy. As he took his bows, he was watching an elderly man in the balcony. Finally, the elderly one smiled and nodded in approval. Immediately, the young performer beamed with joy. He was not looking for the approval of the crowd. He was waiting for the approval of his master. [3]

Christians should be living for God’s approval. We will be approved unto Him as we use the Bible to grow in godliness. The misuse of the Bible will lead us to ruin. The proper use will lead us to godliness.



Christians should be living for God’s approval.
PHOTO: Christians should be living for God’s approval. We will be approved unto Him as we use the Bible to grow in godliness. The misuse of the Bible will lead us to ruin. The proper use will lead us to godliness.
Picture from Chloë Hanslip website (Chloë Hanslip, Violin)
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http://www.chloehanslip.com/downloads/3_Chloe_Hanslip.jpg
http://www.chloehanslip.com/downloads.htm



May the conclusion of the beautiful Psalms 19:14 be our prayer: 'Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.'
PHOTO: May the conclusion of the beautiful Psalms 19:14 be our prayer: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
"We pray that we do not outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matthew 23:28).
Posted by United Church of God on 10 December 2013
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http://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/tools-for-spiritual-growth/meditation-whats-on-your-mind



Reflection - Workman of the Word
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012
By Steven J. Cole, Senior Pastor



Reference

[1a] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART TWO: USEFUL TO CHRIST, Chapter 6 "Meditation and Application of Scripture" (2 Timothy 2:14-19), Page 81-82.

[1] Wesley, Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, 2 Timothy 2:15. 791. Adam Clarke, the Methodist Bible commentator, puts it this way: "Therefore, by rightly dividing the word of truth, we are to understand his continuing in the true doctrine, and teaching that to every person; and, according to our Lord's simile, giving each his portion of meat in due season - milk to babes, strong meat to the full grown, comfort to the disconsolate (very unhappy and unable to be comforted), reproof to the irregular and careless; in a word, finding out the necessities of his hearers, and preaching so as to meet those necessities." Clarke, Commentary on the Bible, 2 Timothy 2:15, http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?bk=54&ch=2.

[2] Unashamed Workmen 5: David Jackman, posted by Bob Schilling on 10 March 2015, http://www.graceandtruthcc.com/blog/post/unashamed-workmen-5:-david-jackman

[3] Lesson 12: Using the Bible Properly (2 Timothy 2:14-19), Posted by Steven J. Cole (Senior Pastor), https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-12-using-bible-properly-2-timothy-214-19, Copyright 2006, Steven J. Cole, All Rights Reserved.

NIV, New International Version, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Corinthians 11:2 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Cor.+11%3A2&version=NIV

2 Timothy 2:14-19 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+2%3A14-19&version=NIV

2 Timothy 2:15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+2%3A15&version=NIV

2 Timothy 2:19 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+2%3A19&version=NIV

Ephesians 1:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph.+1%3A4&version=NIV

Ephesians 5:27 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph.+5%3A27&version=NIV

James 1:18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A18&version=NIV

Matthew 23:28 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23%3A28&version=NIV

Psalms 19:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalms+19%3A14&version=NIV