In 1 Timothy 4, in his letter to Timothy, the young pastor at Ephesus, Paul admonishes him to continue in all he has been taught. That many are going to fall away from the faith and pay attention to evil doctrines. There will be many false teachers that others will gravitate to and that he will need to point these things out to them and in doing so, even if they are not received well, Timothy will be a good servant.
He encourages Timothy to be continually nourished on the words of faith and the sound doctrine he has been following. In this purposeful discipline godliness is attained and it is profitable for this life and the one to come. It’s not enough to hear the Word once or twice. We must continually feed ourselves on the principles of faith we have been taught.
Paul also admonishes Timothy not to neglect the spiritual gift that was imparted to him. That he is going to have to take pains with these things and be absorbed in them. To pay close attention to that which he is teaching and if he perseveres it will ensure the blessing not only for himself but the hearers also.
What does it mean to us to take pains? To be absorbed? It means we, like Timothy, are going to have to give ourselves wholly to it! To not neglect to give our attention daily to the Word and prayer and to be ever aware of the gifts the Lord has placed within us. It’s going to take some effort on our part to stir up the gift within us. That’s why it’s called the sacrifice of praise. Our flesh doesn’t always feel like doing godly things. But we do it by faith. We sometimes start out in the flesh and end up in the Spirit! It takes some perseverance to push through things that try to hold us back. But it is SO worth it! And like Paul said, it will not only benefit us but all those around us. When we are so filled up with God it will affect our missions field…in our homes, in our neighborhood, in our families, on the job, and in our specific ministry roles.