How do we know if we are faithful? Is being faithful important?
Most people would say that they are faithful? In the first couple of verse Paul tells the young evangelist Timothy to be strong in the grace of God.
This means that Timothy is to keep in touch with the power of God’s grace.
Then Paul tells him to entrust the things that he had been taught by Paul in the presence of many witnesses to faithful men. (Testifiers).
It was important for Timothy to find faithful men to entrust the precious gospel message to.
How do we spot a faithful man? Paul will give us some qualities of a faithful man in these first few verses of 2 Timothy. Paul will use some contemporary illustrations to make his point to Timothy. Paul will use the example of the SOLDIER, THE ATHLETE, AND THE FARMER.
As we look at these three examples, let us try to examine the qualities that should exist in the faithful man!
1. We are told that the faithful man will suffer hardships as Paul did
a) The soldier does not turn tail and run at the first sign of trouble. He does not drop his weapons and run from the battle.
b) There will be rough times in our walk, the only way to grow is to work through them! Hardships make us strong, they are a test of the strength of our faith.
c) Talk about how a foe will show where you are at. DAVID AND GOLIATH!
2. The good Soldier will not entangle himself in other affairs!
a) The word entangled pictures a sheep whose wool is tangled in a thorn bush.
b) 2 PETER 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
c) If we are faithful, we will not let the world keep us from serving God!
d) This deals with dedication! We cannot serve two masters!
e) So that he can please the one who enlisted him!
f) MATTHEW 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
g) READ LUKE 9:57-62
3. As Christians, we do not have to get entangled in the affairs of the world because Jesus will take care of us. THE MILITARY DOES.
4. PHILIPPIANS 4:18-19 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
1. Paul likes to use the illustration of the Athlete. He uses it in Corinthians also.
2. The faithful man will learn from the athlete what it means to be dedicated.
3. READ 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-27
4. The athlete will spend countless hours training for the glory of victory!
5. The example of the athlete can show us also that dedication is not enough!
6. We must compete by the rules, BEN JOHNSON in the 1988 Olympics.
a) There are a lot of people who are dedicated to worshipping God in there own way, they are making up their own rules, this will not work.
b) If I was going to make up rules for baseball, I would say that a strike out is worth a grand slam. We cannot play games and make up rules as we go along in life. Why do we think that we can worship God in our own way? Why do we think that we can make up or own rules? Some people think that they don’t need the church to worship God, this is wrong! If you habitually don’t want to come to worship God with other believers, then you are making up your own rules!
7. Ben Johnson thought that he could cheat and win, Paul tells us that the faithful man understands that he cannot cheat God and win!
1. From the illustration of the farmer we learn that the faithful man is hard working.
2. The word for hard-working pictures a person who works to the point of exhaustion
3. PHILIPPIANS 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. This pressing on denotes working hard
4. These farmers did not have any modern conveniences at their disposal, they would work hard on only just a few acres.
5. If we are faithful, we will work at studying God’s word and we will look for ways to serve Him.
6. We are not working to be saved, but because we are saved!
7. We are full of passion for God! AS with a family, we know that it is important that we take care of our family. The farmer loves what he does, so he will work hard.
8. My father-in-law. The hard work is worth it.
9. As our love for God grows, we will not say, “I HAVE TO GO TO CHURCH, OR I HAVE TO CALL ON SO AND SO OR I HAVE TO…” Our attitude molds into one that says, “I GET TO…..” As you develop a passion for God, you will wish the day had more hours in it so that you could do more for Him! I love being with people who have a passion for God!
From the illustrations that Paul gives us we learn that the person who is faithful will have an intense devotion to God, a firm self-discipline. They will want to work hard for the Lord because they have a passion for God that burns within them.
It is popular to say that salvation is unconditional, but it is. Our salvation is conditioned on us remaining faithful. You can’t come to the cross, and then walk away and expect to be saved! Our faith will lead us to hardship at times, but we cannot quit, we can not quit if our feelings get hurt.
What are we going to tell God? I quit because so and so hurt my feelings. Our faith should be such a part of us that you will be willing to die for it!
JUST AS I AM 343.
Charlotte Elliot who lived from 1789-1871 is the one who wrote our invitation hymn.
As a young person in Britain she was known as “carefree Charlotte.” She was a popular portrait artist and a writer of humorous verse.
At age 30 she was struck with a disease that left her an invalid. She became listless and depressed until the famous Swiss Evangelist Dr. Caesar Malan visited her and said “you must come to God just as you are- a sinner - to the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
She then turned her life to Jesus and experienced inner peace and joy in spite of her condition until she died at age 82.
Charlotte Elliot wrote over 150 hymns in her life time.
Will you come, just as you are!