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This Only

This Only

20 June 2009

Scripture:

And I have been chosen—this is the absolute truth—as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles about faith and truth. (1 Timothy 2:7 NLT)

This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth. (1 Timothy 2:7 The Message)

This morning this verse seemed to have something to say to me. I read it in three other translations including The Message version, included here.

Paul was clear on what God had called him to do. If Paul had been drawn aside by all the opportunities and possibilities his travels exposed him to, he would have been a busy man doing lots of good and exciting things for God and we would probably never have heard of him. But Paul stayed focused – “This and this only has been my appointed work.”

“This and this only” is not an excuse for avoiding difficulties and challenges. It’s not an excuse for refusing to grow and change. It’s not an excuse for staying in my comfort zone and just doing the things I like to do or feel competent with. “This and this only” is the challenge of learning what is God’s appointed work for me at this season of my life. “This and this only" is the responsibility of saying the right “Yes” and the right “No.”

No one else is responsible for identifying my “This and this only.” Just me. What and what only is my appointed work? Am I willing to do the hardest work – the work of sorting through all the demands and opportunities, carefully evaluating the needs and challenges, and focusing my attention on my “This and this only?”

Prayer:

Father, thanks for reminding me of my responsibility to my “This and this only.” I have a variety of commitments and responsibilities and I’m not talking about dropping those and leaving others holding the bag. I open my heart and mind to you for your direction and instruction. I just need to be sure I’m doing my “This and this only.” Amen.

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