Summary: Paul shows us that it’s good to expresses our longing for Christian fellowship. We should have the humility to ask for help when we need it.
A Call For Help
Purpose: To describe Paul’s humble willingness to ask for help.
Aim: I want the listener to see a need to be actively involved in serving Christ.
INTRODUCTION: What is the difference between a contribution and a commitment? Perhaps I can best explain this by a story about a hen and a pig. The farmer took very good care of them both so one day the hen suggested they surprise him with a good breakfast. The hen found the pig and said, “I’ll provide the eggs, you provide the bacon.” The pig objected, “Wait a minute, you are only making a contribution, but your asking me to make a commitment.”
Many Christians are willing to contribute to Christ’s kingdom, but not many are willing to commit themselves to Christ’s kingdom. This is why Jesus always pointed to the cost of being a disciple when He invited people to follow Him. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (NAU)
Our goal is to live faithfully for Christ. The greatest desire we experience should be to live a life that is pleasing to God. The Bible says that the Christian life is a race, and we are told to run so that we can win the prize. In other words we need to give our best efforts.
✔ How can a Christian Remain Faithful to Christ?
1:1-2:13 I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
3:1-17 III. How Can a Christian Reside in a Hostile Culture?
4:1-22 IV. How Can a Christian Remain Faithful to Christ?
Vs.1-5 A. Put first things first “preach the word”
Vs.6-8 B. Focus on the joy of our reward “crown of righteousness”
Vs.9-15 C. Ask others for help
Here we can see some of Paul’s love and affection for young Timothy and we also sense Paul’s loneliness. Paul is a man who not only desired Christian fellowship, he is also open about expressing his desire for Christian fellowship.
Titus 3:12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. (NAU)
2 Timothy 1:4 longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. (NAU)
2 Timothy 4:21 Make every effort to come before winter. . . . (NAU)
We must remember, though, that even loneliness is not an excuse to be unfaithful to Christ. ✔ Paul desired Christian fellowship, but he didn’t depend on it in order to obey Christ.
Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (NAU)
Vs.9-10a 1. Because some are busy loving the world “loved this present world”
Notice the contrast between Demas and Paul in verse 8. ✔ Paul longed for the coming of Jesus Christ, ✔ Demas longed for what the world could offer him.
This Greek word (DESERTED) means “to utterly abandon,” with the idea of leaving someone in a dire situation. Demas was a fair-weather disciple who had never counted the cost of genuine commitment to Christ.
What a disappointment Demas was! He stood with Paul in Col. 4:14 and Philemon 24, but now he has turned away. One of the most difficult experiences in life is when a faithful companion forsakes you at a time you really need them the most.
Jesus warned us about this. Matthew 13:20-21 20 “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. (NAU)
The solution is for us to count the cost ahead of time. Luke 14:28-30 28 “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (NAU)
If losing your friends is too high of a cost to follow Christ – then don’t follow Him.