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The God Who Teaches You to Profit
by Alex M. Lindsay
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Reference: Psalm 94:9-19

Our Scripture reading shows us that the perfect and complete knowledge of God causes us to see Him, not only as our creator, but as a judge, a teacher, a trainer, a deliverer / savior, and a comforter. How we benefit from God's knowledge depends on choices that we must make. Knowledge, without a humble and loving relationship with God has very limited benefits. It can even be detrimental. See Proverbs 1:7,22-33; 2:1-11; 9:10; Jeremiah 9:23-24; Romans 1:18-22; I Timothy 6:3-5,20-21; II Timothy 3:1-7.

Real knowledge, wisdom, and understanding are inseparably connected to their source, which is God. Without God - His love and truth, everything is just manipulation of facts, ideas, and people.

In Isaiah 48:7 we are told, "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go." The world's idea of a profitable education is one that will give you the skills and credentials to get a vocation. The world's main focus is on money, power, and control. God's idea of an education is to cause you to know how to love God and live to please Him, to love and enjoy the things that God loves and enjoys, to hate the things that God hates, to love your neighbor as yourself, and to live well with each other.

Profiting from Gospel Truth - I Timothy 1:8-17

Handling the Bible / God's Law, like handling any other truth, can be done incorrectly. Mishandled truth leads to pride, selfish agendas, and dead-end paths. Gospel truth humbles us and reveals sin. It brings us to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, forgiveness, faith, and love. Gospel truth doesn't just benefit us. It benefits others around us. When we are blessed by Gospel truth, we become a blessing to others.

Profiting from God's Gracious Word - II Timothy 2:1-7

The benefit of an education is not found in what you merely heard and what you read. The benefit is in what you remember and what you do with what you learned. In the passage, just mentioned, Paul would have us focus on appropriation, propagation, and participation.

Let's examine these three things:

Appropriation - II Timothy 2:1

Gospel Truth brings us grace (John 1:17; Titus 2:11-14 cp. Hebrews 13:9). Grace is defined as "unearned favor / a gift." Grace is free, but it requires us to be good stewards (I Peter 4:10; Ephesians 3:1-4; I Corinthians 4:1-2). Those things which God gives us are to be appropriated - applied and put to use. Grace is supposed to make us strong, not passive and complacent. This naturally leads us to the matter of sharing / propagation.

Propagation - II Timothy 2:2

We are not to be mere sponges, absorbing truth. Rather, we are to be channels of truth for the benefit of others. We are to shine. We are to be like pitchers filled and then poured out to fill the cups of others (Philippians 2:14-17 - See NKJV).

Participation - II Timothy 2:3-7

Truth is drawing us into involvement. Truth is not just something to know. It is something to do (John 3:19-21; 13:17; II John 1:1-4; III John 1:3-4). Paul told Timothy to compare the management of truth to three things: a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer.

A soldier is focused on his task and does not try to accomplish other agendas on the side. He wants to please and comply with the instructions of his commander. He will endure many hardships to succeed in his mission.
See Matthew 6:24; James 1:8; Ephesians 6:10-20.

An athlete must harness his strengths and abilities through discipline. He must understand the rules of the game and work within them. He does not stretch the rules or make up his own rules. All things must be done decently and in order. Undisciplined efforts can lead to disqualification.
See I Corinthians 9:24-27; 14:40; Hebrews 12:1-3.

A farmer works hard to produce a crop. He must make sure that he is eating and benefiting from his own labors, not just delivering a product to others.
See I Timothy 4:13-16; Galatians 6:1-9.

"… May the Lord give you understanding in all things." - II Timothy 2:7

See Romans 11:33 - 12:3

Originally delivered June 9, 2019
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