Are you “studying” lately?

Well, they’re back !  The students are back to Happy Valley ready to begin a new school year at Penn State.  Soon Beaver Stadium will be roaring with the first home game this weekend too.  The seemingly perpetual cycle continues with a new freshman crop and the returnees in the upper classes striving for the coveted sheepskin at the end of their scholastic journey.

Paul too had a course he completed as he writes to us of in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”  Notice carefully those three phrases comprising this verse.  His life had been very embattled since his conversion as at first not even the disciples trusted him due to his checkered past against the church. But as he earned their trust and was commissioned to be a missionary he faced conflict after conflict while serving the Lord.  We often opt for the easier paths in life but the basis for Paul’s decision making was not personal comfort but personal conformity to the Word and will of God and now as then sometimes that means a battle.

Then he stated he’d finished his course, the path God laid out for his life. None of us does this perfectly for we can deviate from God’s will being we still have free will and a sin nature. But like Paul, following God’s will needs to be typical of us rather than sporadic.   Finally, he said he kept the faith.   Guarding this as a precious commodity, Paul knew the intrinsic value of believing what God has said to guide, protect, provide for him and hone him to be more like his Savior all with the underlying motivation that God would be honored and glorified through his one life !

Paul then said in verse 8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”    Ahh, one day those students will walk the line and shake the hand of the leaders of the university and be handed their hard sought after degree.  Yet on a significantly higher level WE who are truly saved and fight, finish & keep the faith will be awarded an unfading crown which we’ll cast before Him since without Him no one could be blessed in any shape or form.   You’re still in “school” then, friend no matter how old or young, the school we call life and so get your head in the Book and live it out for the Lord so that one day He will say to YOU “Well done thou good and faithful servant” !

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