WHAT CAN I DO?
Life is difficult at best. There are problems in the church. The world is very wicked. There is confusion and turmoil everywhere. What can I do to change our world? Paul gives some answers as he writes to Timothy. "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." (1 Timothy 4:12-16.)
What can I do? Let us observe that:
I CAN BE A GOOD AND FAITHFUL EXAMPLE OF CHRISTIANITY. The world and its influences should not be allowed to make us a hindrance rather than a help in the world. Our conduct should serve as an example to others. Paul told Timothy to, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12.) If we are to make a difference in the world our lives must be such as to back up what our words say. As spiritual - minded people, teaching and practicing correct doctrine, in love and purity we make our world better.
I CAN READ, STUDY AND LEARN GOD'S WILL. Paul told Timothy, "Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." (1 Timothy 4:13.) In a world of so much religious confusion we must study hard. Reading the scriptures can have a powerful impact on our lives. We are only able to teach that which we have learned ourselves. And the world will do better only when it is taught better.
I CAN DO WHAT I CAN FOR GOD. Each person has certain talents or abilities. Take time to find what your talents are and then use them for God. Paul admonished Timothy, "Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership." (1 Timothy 4:14.) Timothy had special gifts we do not have. But even thou we do not possess those special gifts we do have talents given to us by God. If those talents are neglected they will wither away. Are you doing what you can? Do you have 5, 2 or 1 talent? More important than that, are you using the talents you have?
I CAN BE FAITHFUL AND DEDICATED IN GOD'S SERVICE. Timothy was encouraged to give himself completely in God's service. "Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all." (1 Timothy 4:15.) Faithfulness grows out of meditating on spiritual things day and night. (Psalm 1:2.) Those who meditate on God's great truths and commit themselves to those truths can make a difference in our world. Others will be impressed by the fact that you have learned right and are doing right. They will likewise be discouraged and hindered if you fail to learn and do right.
I CAN BE SURE MY INFLUENCE IS GOOD. My concern must first be my own salvation. So Paul says to Timothy, "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." (1 Timothy 4:16.) If our influence is not good we are useless in God's service. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16.) My attitude, words, disposition and conduct show the world what I really am. Those who are truly converted have Christ living in them. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20.) Paul said, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19.)
I CAN TEACH GOD'S WORD TO OTHERS. The
doctrine we hold must be shared with others. Paul wanted Timothy to be careful
about his doctrine or about what he taught. "Take heed to yourself and to
the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself
and those who hear you." (1 Timothy 4:16.) We must take care to teach
truth and only truth. But we must be sure we are teaching. The
I CAN STRIVE TO SAVE OTHERS. Obviously we
cannot save others in the sense that we obey for them. Each person is responsible
to obey for themselves. Peter told the people on the day of Pentecost to
"save themselves" (King James Version) or to "be saved"
from this evil generation. "Therefore let all the house of
God has always had a place in His service for those willing to be used. Are you in Christ? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27.) Are you doing what you can do? "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:58.)
By Charles Box,