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God’s People: Practical Living in Today’s World

Published: Wednesday, 23 April 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.  ”  2 Timothy 2:14-18

The content of the Bible passage above is very practical.  The Bible passage applies to all of our lives if we will stop and take a moment to focus on some key words: keep reminding; warn; quarreling; a worker approved; not ashamed; correctly handles the word of truth; avoid godless chatter; departed from the truth; and, destroy the faith of another. You could have picked different words or phrases, but I believe these nine words/phrases provide a reasonable description of a modern day Christian like you or me.

“Keep reminding,” sounds like something you would say to describe working with children.  Parents, teachers, coaches, and any others working with kids do this at least ten times per day.  Obviously, children forget or things just don’t register with them.  We have to keep reminding them to brush their teeth, clean their room, make their bed, etc.  In the context above, we are to keep reminding ADULT Christians!  No one is exempt from being reminded about certain things in their Christian life.  In this write-up, I will be reminding you of at least nine practical aspects of your Christian life.

One thing that has helped me is to be involved in a “mentoring” relationship with another man.  I have been involved in mentoring men for 35 years, and I have no idea how any man or woman can be a strong Christian without having someone to remind her/him of certain things.  If you think about it, many people suggest ways to remember something by putting a note on the mirror in the bathroom or on the refrigerator.  Let’s all agree that we need someone to “keep reminding” us of Christian living.  A mirror or a refrigerator or any other inanimate object will never replace a real live person.  By meeting with another person on a regular basis, both of you will get to know the other to the point of being candid and factual about your spiritual life.  When you finally understand that God says to “keep reminding”, I hope you don’t mind if I add, “keep mentoring”.

What are you to be reminded of or what are you to remind someone else of?  Warn other Christians regarding quarreling over words.  Don’t be argumentative.  Relationships with others are at the heart of this warning.  God asks you to have a strong healthy relationship with everyone.  I know you are thinking of some relative or neighbor that is impossible to relate to, but God does not exclude anyone from your life.  You are here for the purpose of being used by God.  You must not quarrel because it ruins relationships.  Consider yourself warned by me.

The next set of words and phrases encourage you to work diligently with integrity and honesty.  Do nothing at work that would cause you shame.  For example, don’t take pens and pencils home to be used by your children for school.  Don’t play computer games during company time.  I have been applying 2 Timothy to everyone.  However, Paul’s letter was written to encourage Timothy as a Pastor in his ministry for God.  Since we all have a spiritual gift, we all have a ministry also.  When it says to correctly handle the word of truth, it is speaking of the Bible.  Basically, there is no way any Believer can escape the need to read and study the Word of God.  It must be a necessary part of your life.

If there is one thing that goes on whenever two or more are gathered in this world, it is discussions of the latest news and sports.  Remember, no quarreling words over whose team is better!  God says that the only thing that godless chatter will get you is that you will become more ungodly.  I hope you can see the truth of this in your own life.  Please don’t judge someone else as these words are addressed to you and me.  It is also not uncommon for religion to become a hot topic for discussion.  However, there have been so many “lines drawn in the sand” over religious issues, it is difficult to know what to believe.  It is easy to become persuaded by something that sounds like the truth but it is not.

One example is the idea that there are many “personal” ways to go to heaven.  Jesus is only one way.  This truth comes from giving the self the latitude to decide what is truth.  Your “self” replaces God’s Word and God Himself.  Actually, your “self” replaces anything that doesn’t fit what you think is truth.  You can become easy prey when the adversary appeals to your flesh.  The reason this is so dangerous to every Christian is that you can lead others astray.  This is one reason we have so many different kinds of churches, denominations, and cults.  Please be on guard and know the Word of God.

 

I hope this write-up has helped you realize the importance of sharing with other Christians.  I do not think that most Believers realize how practical God is when it comes to living a Christian life on this earth.  In summary, God hates quarreling but He loves relationships.  God hates dishonesty but He loves the respected person at work.  God hates the untruths that sway true Believers but He loves those who read and study His Word.  I hope these are practical descriptions of your Christian life.  If they are not, I pray that you will make some life-changing decisions to make your relationship with God strong and healthy.

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