930523AM Wanted: godly men Psalm 15; I Tim 3 DWM-04 WFF-13 There have probably been few times in the history of this planet when it has been harder to be a man of god than today. All around us Satan has poised the forces of the darkness of this world to destroy the endangered […]
Last week we began our opening series of the year: an examination of the Spiritual Exercises Paul was inspired to write to Timothy in 1st Timothy 4.
As we turn there, think about the magnitude of what we are about to do. We are downstream twenty centuries from the first giving of these exercises, but they still work. These were the disciplines or training patterns that were invented by God to deepen and strengthen His hold upon my life. These are:
TIMELESS & POWERFUL DISCIPLINES
As we each stand at the doorway of a New Year, it is always a time of reflection, resolutions, and thoughts about what we really want to focus upon in the days ahead. This feeling is not new, it almost seems that God built into the seasons of both the Earth and of human life this element of pause, reflection, and renewal.
Just as the burst of life in Spring, and the flourishing of Summer into the harvest of Autumn, leads into the quietness and slowness of Winter to prepare and reflect upon the burst of Spring. So each New Year we pause to think about how to focus on what really matters. That is what this series is about:
LEARNING WHAT REALLY MATTERS TO GOD
One of the greatest dangers we face each day as believers is slowly allowing God’s influence over our lives to wane. This condition makes God weightless in our lives. He no longer weighs upon every thought, every choice, and every action of our day.
I wonder how many of us this morning really think that this message is for us. Before we dive in, perhaps we should do a little test for what may be called:
THE GREAT DISCONNECT
Everything in the Universe needs recharging except God; only God is self-existent. Of all creatures, we are most fragile, and most need to be renewed by God.
Today we come to the second exercise Paul assigns to Timothy. We first saw that Paul’s hope for the future growth and health of Christ’s church rested with individuals who could guard against false doctrines and false teachers.
Today God wants to know how serious we are about following Him, as we open to 1 Timothy 4:7-10. God’s Word is explaining to us that we have an appointment for a workout in the gym. God Himself wants to train us in how to live, walk, and grow in Christ. The Discipline of Integrity means we choose to do what God’s Word says we are supposed to do.
As Paul continues to relay God’s message to each of us, we remember from last time Paul used the highest level of emphasis that is possible to convey in the Greek language. Remember those bright colored words that stand for the emphasis God placed on them grammatically?
Have you ever wondered what we look like from Heaven, as God looks down on us as we gather?
Please open with me to I Timothy 3:15.
God designed His Church to be pillars, grounded in truth as God’s household living on earth; but that truth is under assault –and God has said the war against truth will intensify as the world nears its final hour.
We have gathered as Christ’s Church. We are members of God’s household and part of His family; and our purpose is to uphold by what we live and say God’s Truth as recorded in the Bible. Please stand as we listen to God describing us this evening:
Please open to I Timothy 1:19-20.
The God of the Universe has revealed Himself by way of a Book that He wrote.
That Book called the Bible; and it contains propositional truth from the One who calls Himself the Author of Truth.
This God explains that as the countdown to the end of days approaches, so does the level of religious deception. False teachers, proclaiming a false gospel, with false prophets, heralding false messiahs would become the norm as Jesus explained in Matthew 24:24.
As we come to the Discipline of Disciple-Making, we come to our very own personal Job Description, left by Christ as the reason He saved us and left us here to serve Him through life. A question that should frame each day of our lives is: “Am I Doing What Christ Left Me to Do?”
God has always desired to be glorified by reaching this world with His message of love, His forgiveness of sin, and His offer of reconciliation leading to eternal life. God is not willing that any should perish, so He has always desired that the world to hear His message and repent, so that they may be saved. Because:
GOD IS A SAVIOR
Salvation is a person, but eternal salvation is ONLY through the RIGHT person: named the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Creator of Everything, who is the Savior God the Son who died as the true Lamb of God, and who is the Final Judge of all humans.
More than anything else: knowing, believing, following, and trusting the REAL Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY hope of salvation. In 1 Timothy 4, as we study the Discipline of Truth: note the words of the very strong warning Paul gives: 1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
BEWARE OF DOCTRINES FROM DEMONS
Today God wants us living for Heaven, and every other day of our earthly lives.
But, we have to do so in the midst of an epidemic that has gotten stronger century by century. This flu we face as believers in Christ each day is far more deadly than the H1N1 variety of influenza now loitering and infecting people across the globe. Affluenza or materialism is a deadly disease that robs Christians of their desire for Heaven and replaces it with a desire for earth.
As we open to I Timothy 6 we find Paul warning about this spiritual sickness of materialism. This morning measure your personal resistance level to the nearly irresistible draw of spending life chasing stuff, money, pleasure, and possessions.