Serve Faithfully

KEY VERSE: “Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” —II Timothy 4:2

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: II Timothy 3:10-17; 4:1-5

WORDS ARE THE conveyors of thought, and thought is the basis of all intelligent action. Words, then, are powerful because they induce action along the lines of the thoughts which they convey. God’s words are powerful in the accomplishment of his good purposes in the hearts and lives of his people.

We read in Isaiah 51:16 a more definite statement of what it is that God accomplishes by the power of his words: “I have put my words in thy mouth, … that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.” Obviously this is not a reference to the creation of the literal heavens, nor to laying the foundations of the literal earth, for this had long ago been accomplished. The reference is to the ‘new heavens and new earth’ which God has promised to create.

Isaiah 65:17-25 presents a divine promise to create a new heavens and new earth, in which will dwell righteousness, peace, health and happiness. Those who will be privileged to share in either phase of that kingdom will have the honor of doing so only because they have obeyed the words of God now, and thereby have been prepared for the position which they will occupy then.

Let us remember that the words of God, in order to have the fullest power in our lives, must be spoken. It was not by chance that God said, “I have put my words in thy mouth, … that I may plant the heavens.” True, God’s words must also be in our hearts, but in this particular text he is emphasizing the basis upon which his words are powerful in the accomplishing of his good purpose to create a new heavens and a new earth; he wants us to remember that the secret of the power contained in those words is that they be communicated from one to another. There must not only be an inflow of the message into our hearts, but also an outflow through our lips. If there is not both an inflow and outflow of God’s words, the message in us will become largely dormant and ineffective so far as being a creative power in our lives.

While we are to appreciate all the various servants God has ordained to minister to us in the church, we are not to overlook the nature of their ministry. There are pastors, teachers and evangelists. All of these are for the edification of the church. Some may be inclined to think that an evangelistic ministry is exclusively for gaining adherents, but seemingly the apostle does not limit it to that purpose alone, for he includes it in the work of developing and perfecting the saints. In this connection see Ephesians 4:11,12.

The work of Christ and the church in the kingdom age will be to evangelize the world, and the Lord wants us to maintain the spirit of evangelism in our hearts now. It is through evangelistic efforts that the first contact is made with those who later become the consecrated members of the body of Christ. Thus evangelism is for the building up of the church. But even though the last member of the body of Christ had been reached by the words of God, evangelistic efforts would be necessary for continuing to maintain a healthy spiritual condition in the hearts of the consecrated.

When we lose interest in evangelism, we lose sight of the great unselfish purpose of God to enlighten and bless the world; and when we lose sight of this, we cease to grow into his image and likeness of love.

Let us always remember that if God’s words are to continue working in our lives to prepare us for a position with Christ in the ‘new heavens’, we must speak those words ourselves, not only to fellow-members of the body of Christ, but to others as well.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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