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Serving for God's Approval

(2 Timothy 4:1-18)

Lesson 10 -- third quarter 2010
August 8, 2010

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2010

Introductory questions to chew

"Who shall judge" me -- how does that reality affect my so-called daily life?

Do I still value and live by sound doctrine?

Am I committed to keeping my ears turned toward the truth?

How am I fighting a good fight and keeping the faith?

"Hath forsaken me" versus "profitable to me" -- who has experienced which from me?

Who is depending on me? And how?

"I pray God that I may not be laid to their charge" -- how can I develop such an attitude toward those who have wronged me?

Am I aware of Christ standing with me and strengthening me? Is He?

Preserved from Rot

I am surrounded by cultural, moral, and spiritual decay.

The rot and its stench are everywhere.

Will this decay invade me?

Every day it tries, with varying degrees of limited success.

So every day I need cleansing, deliverance, and restoration.

I need preserving.

"And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2 Timothy 4:18).

At your service, God

I suspect you are not loving and serving (is there any difference?) God the way the Bible teaches -- with your all. I know I allow too many things to keep me from wholehearted service to God. What might those things be which succeed in distracting us from the kind of service God wants from us?


Our lives have become so full and complex that it becomes easy, too often natural, to lose God in the shuffle. We have our things to do...and we utterly forget our debt to God.


Serving God requires work, hard work. If God had a field or an office or a nursing home where I could go work in His visible presence and supervision, perhaps that would help. But He doesn't. Instead He expects my service to Him to be rendered to other people. So I become lazy because somehow "it just isn't the same."

Lack of commitment.

This means I am not willing to deliver all I can, even when I soar over the previous two hurdles. Among other things, this lack of commitment is evidenced by comments like, "I have already done my share!" The committed servant keeps no ledger of his service for at least two reasons. First of all, he serves for the joy of obedience (which is dulled by a tallying spirit). Secondly, he knows that he can never balance the ledger -- he owes God too much.

Personal pursuits and ambition.

I have so many things I want to accomplish for myself. I have a name to make for myself. I have some laudable projects I want to bring to fruition...for myself. There are certain things "I simply must have." I have so many of my own...ah...needs to meet.

May we refocus our lives on serving God, that we may meet with His approval.

This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Study, click here: Giving Myself in Service to Others.

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