Summary: I was working for an auto dealership as a master technician and making a lot more money than pasturing this church. But I was not more happy. God’s Word show us ho to truly live the abundant life.
Over the last 3 weeks we have looked together at our first five secrets.
• 4 Questions - Who are you? What are you ? Where are you? What do you really want?
• Own It! Take responsibility for and control of your life.
• Embrace Positive Change!
• Make a Plan!
• Work your Plan!
Let’s look at II Timothy Chapter 1:1-7.
Paul is writing in the latter days of his life to his son in the faith Timothy.
Timothy is ministering in Ephesus and dealing with many hardships.
Paul writes Timothy from a prison in Rome - encouraging Timothy with the foundational principles of life. Paul shares his desire for Timothy to come to Rome to be with him in his final days. In this letter Paul shares our next two secrets for abundant life.
1) Secret # 6 - Start with the Spiritual
Paul says to Timothy - “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you.
When I was director for Royal Ambassadors we would take the boys camping the weekend of RA Week. One year my brother was in our Pioneer program and went with us. The Pioneers were responsible for the fire wood. I sent Tommy and his group out to get the wood and he came back, from one trip with an old log they found. They built a huge fire that had the tops of the pine trees swaying. I told them that they needed to set someone on fire duty to make sure the fire didn’t go out. “That fire will never go out” they said. I left it at that and went to sleep. The next morning…you guessed it. The fire was out and all those boys, who were so confident, were now freezing and hungry. I didn’t say anything but knelt down and placed my hand over those ashes and felt the warmth of the coals underneath. I told the boys to get some kindling and we placed it in the pit. I knelt down and began to blow over those coals and soon we had a fire, fit for cooking breakfast.
We spend so much time on work, health (exercise), sports, and recreation - but so little time on the Spiritual fire.
We work on the spiritual fire if there is any time left over, after everything else gets done or for Sunday mornings.
Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 7:24-25.
“24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”
*If you want abundance in life - it starts with the Spirit. Christ is the foundation that we need to build our lives on. Unless we build on the solid foundation of a relationship with Jesus, everything we build will come tumbling down. Matthew 7:26-27 “26 But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Abundant life begins with kindling afresh the gift of God that is within us.
2) Secret #7 - Do Life God’s Way - II Timothy 2:1-5 - You cannot cheat and win.
“…he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.”
People don’t like to be reminded of God’s rules. We live in a world that sets its own rules for living. Where has living by our rules gotten us?
Almost ½ of all marriages end in divorce, approximately 1/4 of all pregnancies end in abortion, almost 50% of our teenagers are sexually active before they graduate High School, more than 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 are living in single parent homes. And it doesn’t stop there.
*What has all of this free living, making our own rules, going our own way gotten us?
Do we live in a better world? Are we safer, more secure, or happier? Are our families better off?
Yet the media and the world around us says, “keep it up we are only just breaking the shackles of that restrictive Judeo-Christian for life.”
When God spoke to Joshua about leading the people into the promised land, this is what he said, Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”