Fix your attention on your life and on your teaching. Persevere in them, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)
I have lived long enough to see people I love & respect waver in their own lifestyle to the point of violating the word of God with the fallenness of their lives. I have also seen people violate the apostolic teaching after many years as a professed evangelical, Bible believing Christian. Both situations have led many astray and into sin and judgment. Then I have seen some persevere, continue, abide in the words of Jesus until the and those they ministered to were transformed.
How does this happen? How can we so run the race that we actually get the prize? Is it just a matter of living a long time or is it actually a matter of sharing in a life that surpasses this one in glory at the resurrection, the standing up again?
1. Fix your attention. Pay attention. Focus. In both the overall picture of your life as well as the details of it. Let your soul be the subject of personal study. Study your life. Are you learning anything from your mistakes? Are you correcting errors you have made? How is your heart? What is coming out of your heart?
2. On your life. My job is to repent in my life. I must seek to set an example for others. I do so poorly, I confess, so pray for me and I will pray for you. But we must refine our lives until we are corrected to walk in righteousness. It will take time, it will take effort. But it is worth it. Your life is not an accident. God invested time in your life, you should to. The goal here is obedience. Perfect, unrelenting obedience. We may not be 100% obedient in this life, but that is to be our goal. We should live in view of the cross of Jesus, not taking his sufferings for granted.
3. And on your teaching. It is not enough to live a nice life. We should also speak up. Particularly in the face of such evil. Are you failing to teach on controversial topics? Are you failing to teach the truth on those matters? Are you failing to base your version of the truth on the Scriptures which were written by holy men of old? Are you rightly dividing the word? Are these merely your interpretation or are they in accord with the teachings of the church, the ongoing body of believers which has existed since the days of Jesus?
4. Persevere in them. Continue. Don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. Finish what you started and finish well. Does your teaching accord with your own life? If not, does your life or your teaching need to change? Do your actions and words reflect the glory of God which is eternal?
5. For by doing this you will save your self. I must ask myself, am I living as though I have been saved, am being saved, and will be saved? Do I presume upon the grace of God and act as though salvation is finished and complete already and there is nothing for me to do? Am I a bench warmer at bedside baptist or a lover of the lost and a witness to the truth?
6. And your hearers? I ask you: are you also joining me in living with Jesus every day and living for Jesus every moment since the days are evil? Are you willing to die for Jesus? Or are you living and dying for yourself alone? Do you speak more about yourself or about the Lord? Are you a light in the dark or are you speaking of shadows? Does what you do and say accurately reflect the image of God? Are you making a difference in the lives of others or are you just trying to save yourself? If you want to save yourself, you must also seek to bring others into the boat.
Noah preached righteousness in his generation. He sought to save his hearers from the coming wrath. America is about to experience great judgment for judgment is being rendered which approves what God calls evil: homosexual relations. America is identifying with evil because it has relied on the sword to defend its interests. America will die if it continues to kill the unborn and care little for the aged and weak. Schools are too often opposing the teaching of the truth about the Creator and His creation. Sin is celebrated in the streets. Are you fleeing the coming wrath and preparing this nation to repent and turn back to God en-masse at the local, state, and federal levels? Are you seeking to preach repentance to the nations? Are you living in love?
IF so, praise God! He is stirring in your heart and He will stir in the lives of those you impact. IF God has made a difference in you, you will make a difference in the world.
If however, you opinions and open doors are no different from the world’s you may have made no different choices than the devil and wrath is waiting until you repent.