I remember vividly my dad saying, as he referring to this Scripture: “God can only say ‘well done’ if we have done well.”
Let’s explore 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” There is more in this verse than studying the Word. Many things come into play in having the approval of God, including faith and works. We can understand it only by looking into the Word of Truth.
This is Paul’s advice to Timothy, the young preacher who was mentored by Paul. He tells Timothy to get his priorities in order.
It’s more important, he tells him, to determine how to please God than it is to have the approval of man.
When a person seeks to please God, his workmanship will show it. He will not be ashamed of his actions, his intentions or his motives. He is not trying to build up oneself, but his efforts are focused on “to God be the Glory.”
“Study” means you must give serious thought and consideration about how to please God, Paul admonishes. That is the only way to be the person God approves — the person who sincerely and diligently seeks Him in truth.
So how does a person please God? Let’s start with seven ways. You may add many more.
1. In coming to Him, believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”)
2. Motivation must be pure in all that is done in His Name — “Not for vain glory.” (Galatians 5:26: “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”)
3. What is done for God must be done in faith, because without faith, it is impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”)
4. Delight yourself in Him — be joyful in performing every duty so that you will not grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not,” and 2 Thessalonians 3:13: “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”)
5. Give God your best — whether it is talent or service. (Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”)
6. Know the reason of hope that is in you — don’t be afraid to trust. (1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”)
7. Acknowledge Him in all things. (Proverbs 3:6: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”)
The Psalmist said in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” May our prayers echo this thought.
The words of an old familiar song ring true: “Well done, my child, the Lord will say, With courage bold, you’ve stood for the right; a crown of life you’ve won; Well done, my child; the Lord will say; Like Paul of old, you’ve fought a good fight, Well done, my child, well done.”