2 Timothy 1:13
Hold to the pattern of wholesome teaching you have learned from me - a pattern shaped by faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.
Wholesome teaching... The way we live and continue to live is by following God’s Word. But God’s Word can get distorted by popular books and “Christian” marketing attempting to make Christianity more socially acceptable for everyone. That’s why Paul says to follow him as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). And that is why Pastor Dean says keep your Bibles open during church and make sure what the pastor says is directly from Scripture and not a manipulative paraphrase. God’s Word is fine just as it is. Content doesn’t need to be added, subtracted, ignored, or touched up (Proverbs 30:5-6). Scripture doesn’t need color, flavor, or flare. Keeping God’s Word just like it is and following it just as it says is what wholesome teaching is. And that leads to wholesome following. God’s Word, as is, is the real deal, good and nourishing for my soul.
A pattern shaped by faith and love... The more I love Jesus, the more I change my ways. It’s just a natural side effect of love. I do it for my husband and kids all the time. I love them. I love them so much that I don’t mind making their favorite foods for dinner even though I’m super tired and a bowl of cereal sounds good to me. I don’t mind washing their clothes, running errands, or doing the things they want to do because I love them. It doesn’t enter my mind to hold a grudge because I’m not doing what I want; loving them has changed my preferences. It’s a pleasure to please them because my heart is so full of love for them.
I love Jesus. I purpose to think about him and all that I love about him a lot during the day - same as I do with my family. And the result is the exact same. I don’t mind pleasing him. My behavior, actions, thoughts, and words are shaped by faith and love for him, and I don’t mind one bit. It is a pleasure to love my loved ones with every bit of me!
Thank you for preserving your Word for so many years so that I can have access, easy access, to it today. Thank you for making your Word so clear, for giving us wisdom, hope, joy, and salvation. You are so good to me and my heart’s desire it to please you because I love you. I thank you so much for your Son and for our time together this morning. I love you so much and I thank you and praise you in Jesus’ name. Amen.