April 19         
Today's Bible Readings
     Leviticus 23
     Psalms 30
     Ecclesiastes 6
     II Timothy 2
''Be diligent to present yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Timothy 2: 15)
            I continue to be amazed at the loose, slipshod, casual approach to Christian living and service among many professing believers today. We live and act as if the Christian life is a game and we can approach it half-heartedly. In this chapter, we hear Paul telling Timothy to ''be a good soldier of Jesus Christ and endure hardship that it may please Him."  He exhorts Timothy to compete with discipline in athletics so he can be a winner and receive a crown.
            Paul is telling Timothy that the very future of the Kingdom depends upon this. II Timothy 2:2 reveals four generations of believers.
                    Paul was converted and discipled.
                    Paul discipled Timothy.
                    Timothy will commit what he has learned to faithful men.
                    They will be able to teach others.
This verse is the basis of our ministry throughout the world . . .the process of discipleship and Kingdom building.
            Paul is saying this is serious business. This deserves your diligence. If you cannot be efficient and effective for the Lord, you are to be diligent to work and study until you can.  If you don't, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Do not ever allow yourself to be ashamed because you cannot rightly divide the word of truth. Take the time to learn the truth and develop the ability to communicate the truth.
            This will cost you something. A soldier is required to take basic training and to be disciplined and ready for the battle. An athlete is required to spend a great deal of time and energy preparing to become a winner. You must be willing to go through God's winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God's truth clearly.  Then the time will come when that very expression will become God's wine of strength to someone else.
            Many Christian workers mimic the activities and repeat the words of others, thinking they will just get by with that. This is shameful. You must come to the place where you know the truth and it becomes your conviction. You will learn to articulate it, and God will give you the opportunity to pass it on to someone else.
            Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and studying. A message prepared in the mind reaches minds, and a message prepared in the heart reaches hearts, but a message prepared in the life reaches lives. Be diligent to become an unashamed worker that will bring glory to God.
            To describe Mongolia, it is important to know that this is a nation with desperate economic problems. These problems have led to suffering, exploitation, and social upheaval. There has been a breakdown of family life and social values. Crime, alcoholism, and promiscuity are widespread, and the street children problem is increasing. As you pray for Mongolia today, remember specifically the various student ministries. This is perhaps the only hope for the future evangelization of Mongolia and its 3 million people.
''God's cause is committed to committed men. God commits Himself to men. Praying men are the royal regents of God. They do His work and carry out His plans."
E.M. Bound