Tim Johnson, editor
August 10, 2008
is Your Attitude Toward Truth?
To The Work
We all need to be reminded, at least occasionally, to do the work God expects us to do in His service, and to do it consistently. Local churches are frequently handicapped by members who are simply not committed to doing their share of the work on a regular basis. One very pleasant way of reminding one another of our duties is by "admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Colossians 3:16). The words of the song To The Work, written by William Doane, do just that. This spiritual song reminds us that . . .
"We are Servants of God"
We are not put on this earth to serve ourselves, but to serve our God. Fearing God and keeping His commandments is our whole duty (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Peter, James, Jude and Paul all identify themselves as "servants" of God in their epistles (Titus 1:1; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1). This is how they saw themselves. As we follow this apostolic example, we will also see ourselves as servants of God.
"There is Labor for All"
Jesus observed that "The harvest is truly great, but the laborers are few...." (Luke 10:2). There is plenty of work for all those who are willing to labor. Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do. Take the initiative. Find work that needs doing and JUST DO IT. Like an ant which has "no captain, overseer or ruler" yet works diligently, we too should be "always abounding in the work of the Lord" even when no one is looking over our shoulder or cracking the whip behind us (Proverbs 6:6; 1 Corinthians 15:58).
"Work in the Strength of the Lord"
God supplies the strength we need to do the work He expects us to do. We should be "fruitful in every good work" as we are "strengthened with all might according to His glorious power" (Colossians 1:10b-11a). The trust the Psalmist expressed in God's ability to strengthen him should be our trust as well: "For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall'' (Psalms 18:29).
Near the end of His life on earth, Jesus could truthfully say to His Father, "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do" (John 17:4). How many of us will be able to say the same when our lives draw to a close? God has given us all work to do in His service. Are we accomplishing it?
In Nehemiah's day, when God's people were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, the work got done because "the people had a mind to work" (Nehemiah 4:6). If the work gets done among God's people today it will be for the same reason.
Since truth is absolutely essential to our genuine happiness in this life and to eternal life in the world to come, we should examine our hearts and be sure that we have the proper attitude toward the truth.
In view of the value of truth, we should DESIRE it. The apostle Peter says, "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-2). A long time ago while Paul and Barnabas were at Paphos, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man, called for them, "and desired to hear the word of God" (Acts 13:7). It is imperative that we hear because "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans l0:17). Jesus said: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Mark 4:9). He also said: "Take heed what ye hear . . ." and "Take heed therefore how ye hear . . ." (See Mark 4:24 and Luke 8:18).
We should also BELIEVE the truth. The truth will save us only if we be-lieve it because "it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Cor. 1:21). Jesus said: ". . . He that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16).
Not only should we DESIRE, HEAR and BELIEVE THE TRUTH, but we must be willing to RECEIVE the truth. James tells us to "lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and RECEIVE WITH MEEKNESS the engrafted word, which is able to save" our souls. (James 2:21). Meekness in receiving the truth is necessary. We should also be "noble" as the Bereans of old were, and receive "the word with all readiness of mind," and search "the Scriptures daily" to see what is really truth. (Cf. Acts 17:11). On the day of Pentecost, they that "gladly received his word were baptized . . ." (See Acts 2:37-41).
In order to DESIRE, HEAR, BELIEVE AND RECEIVE THE TRUTH, we must have a LOVE of truth. If we receive not the love of the truth, "God may send us a strong delusion that we should believe a lie that we might be damned because we have pleasure in unrighteousness" (Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
Do you really have a love for the truth? Do you have a sincere desire for the truth? Are you willing to know the truth? Are you willing to receive the truth? When you hear the truth, do you believe it? You should! In fact, you should "stand in awe" and "tremble at His word!" (Cf. Psa. 119:161 and Isaiah 66:5).
.--Carrol R. Sutton
Via The Instructor, Volume 21, No. 4, April 1984