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Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose stands out on the basketball floor because he prepares well in advance. He once said, “I put a lot of hard work into my game, especially during the summer. I dedicated my whole summer to basketball. Even though it was tough, I did it.” Just as Derrick prepares to play basketball, God’s people have to prepare to do God’s work today. The Apostle Paul stressed this in his first letter to Timothy in chapter 4. Paul advised young Timothy to guard his personal life and dedicate himself to his spiritual tasks. He stressed his need to counteract heresies with humility, reminding him that feeding himself on God’s word would equip him to deal with false teaching. He said God’s revealed will in Scripture must always take precedence over human philosophies and stories people make up to explain truth. Paul said the secret to perseverance when you face testing, is having a well-founded hope in the living God, the One who creates and sustains all things. Paul climaxed his advice this way, “If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed.” Paul’s advice to Timothy is still good advice for us today.

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