Summary: In our text, Paul speaks of good news and pleasant memories that come from his relationship to his Christian brothers and sisters. 1- Good news and pleasant memories come when faith is working 2- Good news and pleasant memories come when fellowship is en
INTRO.- ILL.- The New York Times reported this story. For Coach, God and Archery Are a Package Deal, Aug. 19, 2008 BEIJING — Two weeks before leaving to compete in the Olympics, the archer Brady Ellison waded into a pool not far from the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., and was baptized in the Christian faith.
In the water with him was Kisik Lee, the head coach of the United States archery team and a Christian who has become a spiritual guide for Ellison, 19, and the larger group of athletes who train and live full time at the Olympic Training Center. He has also served as a sponsor in the baptism of three other resident archers.
During the Olympics, Lee and at least three of the five United States archers who qualified to compete in Beijing met every morning to sing hymns and read from the Bible, and to attend church together in the chapel at the Olympic Village. Lee believes having a strong faith makes for better archers because it helps quiet their minds. To that end, he tailored Ellison’s Olympic schedule to include spiritual and athletic objectives.
“I give him six tasks a day, including reading the Bible and education,” Lee said. “And he’s doing it.”
Lee said coaching was more of a challenge for him when members of the team did not share his beliefs. “I don’t want to have any favorites,” he said. “I would love to be fair for everyone. But sooner or later, if they can see through me God, that’s what I want to try to do. I’m not God, and I can’t drive them to God, but I can pray for them.”
Lee said, "I just want to show them who I am. I’m the witness of Jesus, not just an instructor. So I have to encourage them how, how we can change in Christ.”
That’s good news! The gospel is good news. It’s the best news there is and whenever someone is spreading the gospel that’s good news and should excite us!
It’s always good news when the gospel is being taught, preached, spread and people are responding to it. More people coming to Christ. More praise to God. More glory to God.
Now what about pleasant memories? Do you have any? I hope you do. If you’ve lived a good life in Christ you do have some pleasant memories: at home, in church, with the family, with the family of God.
ILL.- My daughter Holly was 8 years old. It was Sunday night at church and Holly walked forward during our invitation time and I baptized her into Christ. Wow! What an emotional time for daddy! I could hardly keep from crying. And what a pleasant memory today! Praise the Lord for them! Precious and pleasant memories. Thank you, Lord!
Who doesn’t like good news and pleasant memories? I think you’d be crazy not to like these.
PROP.- In our text, Paul speaks of good news and pleasant memories that come from his relationship to his Christian brothers and sisters.
1- Good news and pleasant memories come when faith is working
2- Good news and pleasant memories come when fellowship is enjoyed
3- Good news and pleasant memories come when firmness is evident
I. GOOD NEWS AND PLEASANT MEMORIES COME WHEN FAITH IS WORKING
6But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. 7Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.
James 2:26 "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
Our good deeds or good works will not save us. They will not save anybody but they must be a part of our lives. They are the evidence of genuine faith. If our faith doesn’t prompt us to do good in this world then our faith is either dead or lacking. Being a sitter or a quitter means nothing.
Many churches used to have revivals but they are fast becoming a thing of the past. People are too busy to attend church more than one time a week. I’m not thrilled about this and I don’t believe it’s a good example of faith, but it’s the truth. Many churches probably need a QUITTIN MEETING.
ILL.- An older lady attended a Quittin meeting one time. The preacher said that the people need to "quit" their evil deeds of drinking whiskey, doing drugs, wild living, etc. At the close of the service that older lady went forward during the time of commitment. The preacher said, "Why did you come forward? Everybody knows that you’ve never done anything wrong?" She said, "That’s just the point. I ain’t been doing nothing and I’m a quittin!" Of course, she meant she’d been nothing for the Lord!