“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
I can’t bluff God and His approval isn’t cheap. My salvation was a free gift paid for by Jesus. But my development, growth, maturity, sanctification must be earned by diligent application of Bible truths.
Judgment day’s too late to “present [myself] approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed”. I can become approve-able right now by “accurately handling the word of truth”.
In my chosen profession I must demonstrate proficiency if I expect to gain the approval of my clients and peers. That’s what professionals do. Negligence won’t cut it. My reputation in the industry is earned, not freely bestowed. Approval is not conferred as an honorary token of vocational competency. It is hard-fought and won in the trenches of classroom study, on-the-job training, continuing education, application for scholarships, hard knocks, a history of some failures and a few more successes, an advanced degree or two, special designations, new certifications, licensing, positive leadership and communication skills, research and development, published articles, proven competencies, and a thorough up-to-date grasp of subject matter pertaining to my career.
Likewise, a man or woman of God reads, studies, memorizes, teaches, lives, breathes, knows, continues to learn, investigates the claims of, listens carefully to, studies the origin of, skillfully presents, shares insights around, reads about, writes about, talks about, embraces, devours, and loves… the B-I-B-L-E.
Fully devoted followers of Jesus are determined to “present [themselves] approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed accurately handling the word of truth”. They know their Bible.
The excellent image above is entitled "Shhhhh...Quiet Everyone Study...." by wlmp whose photostream you can view at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wlmp/5049414589/in/photostream.