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Summary: Christian, you must take personal responsibility for your walk with Christ and for your spiritual health.

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Christian, Save Thyself! (Part 2)

1 Timothy 4:13-16

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Introduction:

1. Sometimes we can get so involved in ministering to others that we forget to take care of ourselves spiritually, and we neglect our own spiritual health and well-being.

2. This can lead to frustration or, even worse, a carnal, fleshly walk, whereby we begin to dry up spiritually.

3. Thus we have Paul’s admonitions to Timothy to “take heed unto thyself; save thyself!” This has nothing to do with Timothy’s eternal salvation in Christ. Paul is talking about Timothy’s daily walk and making sure that he doesn’t become a spiritual shipwreck.

4. Christians can end up ruined and destroyed. You can end up burning out and falling by the wayside. Christians can find themselves in bondage.

5. Christian, save thyself. Nobody can do it for you. You must take personal responsibility for your walk with Christ and for your spiritual health.

6. Last week we discussed the importance of being a self-feeding believer, but let’s look in our text and discover two more vital principles.

First, stay a self-feeding believer. vs. 13

Second, serve where you are gifted. vs. 14

1. We said earlier that it is possible to get so involved ministering to others that we neglect our own spiritual health. We can burn out and end up on the sidelines. This is especially true if we are attempting to minister outside of where God’s Spirit has gifted us.

• Sometimes we have a hard time saying, “No.” We end up spreading ourselves thin and serving in areas where we are not even necessarily gifted to serve.

2. Paul told Timothy not to neglect the gift that had been given to him. It appears that Timothy was given a spiritual gift to serve the Lord by Paul and others praying for him.

3. Today, the believer is given the Holy Spirit at the very moment of salvation, and the Holy Spirit brings with Him a spiritual gift to serve the Lord.

4. God likens the church to a human body (Romans 12:4-5). You have different members of your body with different functions, but they all have a function. If you know Christ as your Savior, you are part of this body called the church.

• When God places you in the body of the church, He expects you to function.

• There are nine different team gifts (teaching, serving, mercy showing, giving, leadership, etc.).

• If you are saved, you have been given a gift. Gifts are given so that you can minister effectively and edify others. Romans 12:6

5. Paul told Timothy not to neglect his gift. The word “neglect” carries the idea of being careless, or making light of something.

• If a guy neglects his wife, he takes her for granted and doesn’t give her high priority.

• If people neglect their physical health, they eat whatever they desire, avoid exercise, etc.

6. As a believer, you cannot afford to neglect the gift that is in you. You need to know what your gift is and make sure that you are ministering in a way that God’s Spirit can utilize those gifts you have been given.

7. What happens many times is that believers try to serve in their own power and strength and minister in areas that they are not gifted to serve. The result is that they end up frustrated, burned out, and worn out.

• Every person only has so much time to serve. You want to make sure that you are serving in a way that truly utilizes your spiritual gifts.

8. Again, you must take responsibility for your walk with Christ and make wise decisions. You must study and know where the Holy Spirit has gifted you, and then allow God’s Spirit to fill you as you use that gift. Serving the Lord should not be drudgery, it should be a delight!

Third, surrender yourself daily. vs. 15

1. Paul tells Timothy to meditate on the spiritual truths he had been given. He then instructed Timothy to give himself wholly to them.

2. What would be the result? Others would see and be impacted by his spiritual progress. “…that thy profiting [progress; advancement] may appear to all.”

3. A daily yieldedness to Christ is absolutely essential if we are to maintain spiritual health and vitality. It is very easy, after you have been saved awhile, to become comfortable with what you know and how much you have grown spiritually.

• We know where to go, what to do, what to say, how to serve, how to act at church, and it can all become mechanical and very fleshly. Instead of relying on Christ to work through us, we do it on our own.

• This is a recipe for disappointment, burnout, and stymied, stunted growth.

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