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Today’s 333 Devotional: “Gift Absorption”
“Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:15-16)
The Apostle Paul is telling his protégé, Timothy, not to neglect his spiritual gifting (1 Timothy 4:14), which was preaching and teaching. Instead, Paul encourages Timothy to take great pains and be absorbed in them.
To absorb means to take these gifts into ourselves and let them be a part of who we are. But like a sponge that absorbs water, we are not to keep them only to ourselves, but we are to let them loose upon whatever needs that giftedness the most.
The reason is so Timothy could be an example as others see his growth in the Lord, but even more, that through the use of his gifts, salvation could come to all who witnesses them in action.
Jesus talked about how our lives need to reflect what we say we believe. He did so through talking about a tree and its fruit. He said, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)
He then said a tree that doesn’t bear good fruit should be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Later Jesus saw a fig tree that had the appearance of fruit, but when he arrived there was none to be found, and so he cursed the tree and it withered and died.
How does this “ensure” Timothy’s and others’ salvation? Paul told Timothy there’s going to come a time when people will abandon godly teaching and fall away from the faith paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1).
We shouldn’t neglect the gifts God has so graciously given us; instead, we’re to be completely given over to them, to absorb them, and let them loose upon others.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study