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This Only

This Only

20 June 2010

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 4-5; Psalm 83; 1 Timothy 2

Scripture:

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 MSG)

This Only. Paul reminds Timothy of the importance of staying focused on the task assigned by God. If Paul had been drawn aside by all the opportunities and possibilities that his travels exposed him to, he would have been a busy man doing lots of good and exciting things for God and we would have probably never heard of him. But Paul stayed focused – “This and this only has been my appointed work.”

This Only. Some people are specialists. They are gifted, passionate, and skillful at one thing. They do one thing very, very well. I am not a specialist. God chose to make me a generalist. My interests are broad and my gifts allow me to do a variety of things. Instead of having one driving passion that leads to doing one thing and one thing only, I tend to see needs and simply do my best to help out where the need is greatest. That makes it hard to be clear about my “This and this only.”

This Only. Being generalists and not specialists has made for an interesting life for Jean and me. As we look back over the years, the challenges, the work, the locations, the relationships, and the results, we have no complaints over God’s choice to make us generalists. Well, not many complaints, anyhow!

This Only. Whether I’m a specialist or generalist, there is a “This and This Only” for me at each time and place. In this season of my life, God has made it clear to me that it’s as important to say the right “No’s” to unaligned opportunities (and needs) as it is to say the right “Yeses” to his specific will for me for now.

This Only. Question: Am I willing to do the hard work of sorting through all the demands and opportunities, carefully evaluating the needs and challenges, and focusing my attention on (and saying Yes to) my “This and this only?”

Prayer:

Father, Would you please keep reminding me of my “This and this only?” I’m not talking about dropping commitments and responsibilities and leaving others holding the bag. I just need to be sure I’m doing my “This and this only.” Amen.

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