GREAT SCOTT… I need to be intentional!

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I have to admit that I am a pretty big fan of movies, Back to the Future being one of them.  I was really focused this week on what it means to do my best for Christ and then I thought, what if I had a time machine? 
 
To start I have to say that I have been utterly and desperately humbled by the words in 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth”.  As these words sat and stewed in my mind this week, and I was thinking about how awesome it would be to have a DeLorean and be able to go back and talk to my younger self.  I thought how much I would like to tell them how they should be challenged in doing their best, to be intentional in their relationship with Jesus, intentional in their daily walk, and intentional towards life in general.
 
I have to admit that I sat for awhile this week pondering what it really meant to be intentional and could never really just put my thumb on it . I could never “hit the nail on the head” so to speak as how “intentional” applied to me.  Then, as I was reading through Galatians getting ready for Sunday School this week, I came across the verse that is being covered through the latter part of this Believe series (Galatians 5: 22-23).  In these verses we see that “by the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law”.  As I wrapped my mind around this it began to click,  “by the fruit of the spirit” means that these things are gifts from God and then as you apply this to 2 Timothy 2:15 you see that we need to “rightly handle the word of truth”.  This means we have to be intentional in handling these gifts.
 
I am sitting here now mentally hopping in my DeLorean, firing up the flux capacitor and setting the time circuits to 1985 and taking that stroll down memory lane.  1985 was the first year the Nintendo system was released.  I remember when I first received this gift; man it was my favorite gift ever and I treasured it, I took care of it, cleaned it, treated it with utter respect… I “rightly handled” it.  As I think about that emotion and compare that Nintendo to this list of gifts that I am being told that I received “by the fruit of the spirit”.  That Nintendo does not even hold a candle to the immensity of the gifts just set before me.
 
So now that I understand these are gifts and I should treat them as “rightly” as they deserve, the real question then becomes:  What does it really mean to be intentional?  How do I be intentional?  I think this is best answered by understanding why we should be joyful, why we should have patience and why we should have all the other traits mentioned in Galatians 5.  We should be these things because we know that at any moment Christ is coming back!  We know Christ conquered the grave and all else, we should be these things identified in Galatians because we know the end game, and that end game is eternal it does not fade like the earthly things of this world.  Being intentional means we should first flee;  we see this just a little after 2 Timothy 2:15, we see in 2 Timothy 2:22 that we must “flee” and then “pursue”.  We see all over scripture these action words, (seek, pursue, find, walk, imitate) meaning that being intentional automatically drives actions to be taken.  I am by no means saying that our salvation comes from works, but there is an intentional aspect to pursuing our relationship with Christ.
 
We are saved through Grace by Grace alone, and our good works do not give us a better standing with God, but they are important, or else why would God give us so many commands and instructions to do and to act.  Ephesians 5: 15-16 – “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, as the days are evil”.  So I (we) need to understand that these emotions and traits that are gifted by the Holy Spirit are extremely important gifts, and God gives us commands and instructions on how to use those gifts.  Daily we need to be in our relationship with Christ and be intentional with these gifts.  Some days are going to be harder than others, but we have to be intentional in seeking, intentional in walking as a follower of Christ.
 
I am really looking forward to hopping in that proverbial DeLorean again, hitting exactly 88 miles per hour (for God), but this time setting the time circuits for the future.  This time knowing that God has me, he knows me, and I should not worry and just press myself into him, each day just making the best out of it, “rightly handling the word of truth” and being intentional in my walk.  It sounds simple… Great Scott, maybe it just really is that easy.