"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
The process in 2nd Timothy 2:15 Paul is speaking of requires much focus and energy. He also wrote this jewel in Romans :
... but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Studying Gods word is such a privelage, but it can also be taxing. Study that must be pursued dilligently, in a manner of speaking, has consumed me. Hanging out with Christian folks all day everday is taxing aswell. Often my heart is conflicted with: "come on , don't I know enough now? let me out of here!" Study is an act of worship and I have to remind myself of that. I'm by no means suffering though, I have at times been down but God has been with me every step of the way. The English word "passion" comes from the Greek root "pasio," which means suffering. Paul would argue that suffering (or hardship) might just be Gods great mercy on our life. God is always with us. If I want to start throwing pity parties, that would be missing what is actually occuring; I need to be thankful for increased perserverance. Life is good.
Today I had the incredible oppurtunity to meet the Deputy Chairperson of Parliament Officers (NZ Parliament). This had been set up through a friend of mine I met while living in China, working with Human Rights. Ross Robertson is a Christian man passionate about helping others in the roughest area of Auckland where the population consists of folks from Island decent (Samoa, Tonga, Maouri , Fiji, Polynesia). Ross subsequently after our meeting drove me to meet the leader/founder of CROSSPOWER an inner-city mission outreach. What I discovered was 2 warehouses in various partitions containing: dirt bikes , hip hop dancing studio , boxing , weightlifting , planter box constrution (for people to work at and make extra $$) , a recording studio and various other things. All of it was to keep at-risk youth off the street through Christian community. AMEN! The founder was an AMPED dude that loved the lord and it was such a blessing for me to see. I'm excited again. Learning about God is only second to seeing Gods hand move. Life is such an adventure.
Our collective focus must always be on Christ, in preperation or active ministry: God is the God of all of it. What a joy it was to see what He's doing. I have to remind myself of that. Now is the time to learn how to "correctly handle" Gods word. It is worship just the same as working in a 3rd world country or a rough part of the city is. The Lord is God of all aspects in life, I'm thankful for this season and it's possibilities! Please remind me of this next week when I'm done with all these essays : )