Yesterday was a powerful Sunday at church. I could probably share with you ten messages of challenges to my heart. I will share with you the one that struck deepest: “Take heed to thyself.” If I am going to be Victorious in Christ, I need to manage–or, in other words, let Christ change, me. The Truth of Scripture has to be lived out in my life consistently.
“Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine;
continue in them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself,
and them that hear thee.”
1 Timothy 4:16
The words “and them that hear thee” jumped out at me: I thought, “That’s those out there who read what I write on my blog.” How I manage myself affects others.
“I present with my mouth the Truths of God,
but then do I deny with my life those Truths?”
The speaker’s words cut like a knife. Another speaker got up and his words gripped my heart. “An attorney may present a case, but if his star witness denies what he says, the case is lost. We are witnesses…for one side or the other. We’re either gathering for Christ or scattering, but one way or another, we’re exerting a tremendous influence.”
A few verses up in 1 Timothy 4 Paul exhorts his young disciple, “But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity. in spirit, in faith, in purity.” There’s not much more to say than that. Sometimes I think, “I can talk a good talk, but if people knew the struggles I have, what I’m like at home sometimes, how lacking in love I can be…” I often say to others, “God’s in control and He’s there,” but then do I fear and tremble when circumstances seem out of control and I am tempted to panic? I need to take heed to myself.
Are we aware how much “influence” we have? The main speaker prompted us to consider what may be hindering our influence for God. In our study of the book of Genesis, he shared that, “We see that Lot was unable to convince anybody and even, almost, himself, to escape the wrath of God!” He was a leader who spoke words of Truth, but lived a life of compromise, and in the end, lost almost his whole family. On the other hand, he pointed out that we see, in Joshua, that Rahab (a prostitute who came to believe in God and let Him change her life) was able to convince many to come to her home, to stay there, so that they were saved when Jericho’s walls tumbled in God’s judgment.
I want to be an influencer for good. For God. But I am influencing one way or another. So, I need to take heed to myself. I need to let the Word of God and the Holy Spirit change me.
“Each person has weak or sinful areas of their lives that God wants to change. I had areas in my life that I hadn’t let Him into, hadn’t even thought about giving to Him,” was one man’s testimony. “Is there something/some area God wants to change in you and me? Something we keep falling back into?” When he asked that, instantly God brought a sinful habit to my mind. I think, if we’re honest, we all know, at least, where to begin. He exhorted us, that when we’re reading God’s Word, and God points out something there to change, to repent, and change. “Because I love Him and because I fear Him, I need to let Him change me.” I need God. I need Him so much. There’s really no difference between me and a non-Christian except I have Christ. But that’s a huge difference. He loves me. I love Him. And He’s saved me.
In my daily quiet time, I’m going to let being in His presence change me. I’m going to listen for Him speaking to my heart about my life and what He wants to do in and through me. I’m going to take heed to myself and manage me—to let Him change me. Will you let me convince you to do the same?