Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (1 Timothy 4:15)

Oh, what a word of encouragement we have before us today! In giving our hearts “wholly” to our Lord, the goal is for the watching world to see progress . . . not perfection. We are to give our hearts wholly to holy things; when we do, we can be assured that our God will cause us to make progress on our spiritual path.

Timothy was a young leader in the church who might easily have felt intimidated by or inferior to those who were older and more mature. But the Word of God came to Timothy and encouraged him to give his heart wholly to his calling and not to neglect the gift of service that God had given him.

There is a biblical truth that we all must remember, and I’ve stressed it many times here: God does not call the equipped; rather, he equips those He calls and gives them everything they need to do all He is calling them to do. When we follow our calling wholeheartedly, we can be assured that progress will be made in God’s way and in God’s perfect timing.

The witness of “wholly” is one of the primary ways God has ordained for the Gospel to be put on display for the watching world. The Christian is the only Bible that many who walk in the world of unbelief will ever read. The world “reads” and studies the saints of God to see just how closely their walk matches their talk, and God promises that when we give ourselves wholly to holy things, He will prosper us with progress that will bless both us who bear witness and those who are watching.

God will tolerate no rival, nor should He. When we give ourselves less than wholly, we are giving our God a divided heart. The Bible emphasizes that we cannot serve both God and material wealth . . . another way of saying it is that we cannot serve both the Savior and the self. When we give to Him less than wholly, we simply will not make progress in holy things.

Christian, have you given yourself wholly to Jesus? If not, what is holding you back? May the confession of all our lives be that of Caleb, who God said “has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly” (Numbers 14:24).

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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