Sermons

Summary: Christian leaders will suffer at times and should speak the truth in love to those who oppose them. We must lead with love and truth in times of conflict.

INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• What is one thing we all face, many times on a daily basis?

• Sometimes, unfortunately, we face this use even within our own homes and families.

• We all, at times, find ourselves in the midst of conflict.

• Because of conflict, Paul is writing from prison.

• Both of the letters to Timothy and the letter to Titus are from a time when Paul is surrounded by persecution, betrayal, and suffering (2 Timothy 1:15; 4:14).

• What should Christians, and particularly, Christian leaders do during conflict, opposition, and suffering?

• Christians have always faced opposition and conflict because the way we believe is contrary to that of the world around us.

• Paul spends a great deal of time talking about the poison the false teachers were feeding to the flock.

• How do we deal with those who seek conflict?

• Today we see a great deal of conflict on social media such as Facebook.

• When you do not believe like the rest of society does, they will seek a fight with you, and that eventually can lead to being persecuted.

• Leaders and those who are willing to stand for the truth will be in the crosshairs of an increasingly less tolerant society.

• Some of the most influential leaders in history were oppressed and mistreated; however, they overcame struggles to make the world better for all.

• One leader who stands out is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fight against segregation.

• His theology of racial reconciliation and nonviolence can be seen in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

• Dr. King suffered and was persecuted for his faith and race; however, he did not retaliate and give evil for evil. Instead, he reflected the leadership that can truly bring change even in the face of opposition.

• Paul tells Timothy that suffering is a part of leadership. We are to suffer just as our leader, Christ, suffered (2 Timothy 2:3). “If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him” (vv. 11–13).

• Jesus faced conflict from the most influential people in society at the time.

• Today we are going to examine some thoughts concerning conflict and how to maybe look at it in a different way.

• When it comes to conflict, we have a tendency to either avoid it at ALL costs or seek to win the conflict no matter what the cost.

• The direct context for our text today is Paul is writing to Timothy, who is probably in his early to mid-thirties at this time.

• In the previous verses, Paul talks to Timothy about what it takes to be a special vessel that can be used by God.

• Part of that process is knowing how to deal with conflict. The principles laid out in our text are directed toward those who are leaders in the church.

• However, the text is relevant and applicable to all who are servants of the Lord!

• Our big idea for today is that we will lead with love and truth in times of conflict.

• Let’s turn to 2 Timothy 2:22-26 together, we will start with verse 22.

• SLIDE #2

2 Timothy 2:22 (CSB) — 22 Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

I. The plea.

• I have been waiting to say this, because it rhymes, in part, the plea is to flee!

• This passage ties back to the concept of being a vessel that can be used by God.

• The first part of the plea is to flee from youthful passions.

• The word FLEE is a present tense imperative which requires continuous action on our part.

• We must CONTINUALLY flee from the passions of youth that pulled us away from God.

• It is noteworthy that Paul did not tell us specifically what those passions were.

• The idea here is to pursue a more mature way of life. This will be illustrated in the next couple of verses.

• As I said before, Timothy was most likely between 30 and 40 years of age at this point in his life.

• If you remember that time in your life, for most there was still a tendency toward the immature at times.

• For me, this was true in the way I dealt with conflict. I still struggle with it at times, but back in the day, my less mature way of thinking was to win at all cost, to never back down!

• If you are going to flee from something, you have to have something to go after.

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