This last Sunday we started our new series that we have called “Simple”. It is about the gospel fueled need to strip away a lot of the clutter in our lives to return to the things that really matter. Week 1 seems to have really made an impact and our hope is that it will lead to changes in people’s lives so that they live more clearly and simply towards their purpose of glorifying God.
You can listen to the sermon here.
One of the things we spoke about is that we need some “ever-fixed marks” to help us to remember the purpose for which we were made, as we have a real tendency to drift in the busyness of life and the demands of Joburg schedules. One of the techniques that is helping me a great deal with this is committing verses to memory so that I don’t forget when I need their truth the most. We spoke of the power of “life-verses” (this in no way undermines our commitment to proper biblical theology and a value for all scripture) and we provided a sample list of verses that might prove useful to you as you try to cut through the clutter to get to the clear call of how it is you are going to glorify God. That list is here.
The verse that has been helping me a great deal is 2 Timothy 2:15. It says,
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
This one little verse is bearing a great deal of fruit in my life. The instructions in it help me to keep purpose front and center when many things compete for my attentions and affections.
Let me break it down a bit to show you how it does that.
“Do your best to present yourself to God…”
This helps me to understand my limitation and my orientation. My purpose isn’t to change the world but to do my best and to do it in the sight and presence of God. I live for him and I do it in a creaturely and limited way and that takes a lot of pressure off of me. My temptation would be to live for the approval and praise of other people. This reminds me of my audience of one.
“…as one approved…”
This reminds of the work of the gospel in my life. I am approved by the work of Christ in my place even when I don’t manage to do my best. What a thought!
“…a worker who has no need to be ashamed,”
This humbles me as I remember that my role is to be a worker and it helps me to fight temptation against living in such a way that I would have any feeling of shame or desire to hide.
“…rightly handling the word of truth.”
This brings the mighty power and weight of God’s word into picture and reminds me to not take it lightly, but to study it with all that I have for the benefit and growth of others. It makes me humble in my approach to Scripture and in the adoption of doctrines and thoughts I have from the Scriptures.
So do yourself a favour, spend some time looking through that list and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal a life verse to you for at least this season of your life. Commit it to memory and then put it somewhere where you will be reminded of it frequently. This clarity of purpose will bring some measure of simplicity into your complex world. Then share it with us for the encouragement of others. You can hashtag #lifeverse or mention or tag BBC in your share.