Summary: We need to be careful that we don’t spend more time pondering over how we say something to the detriment of what we are trying to say.If we claim to be a Christian, then we had better act like Christians.
Sermon Title: How to Lead an Unashamed Ministry
Sermon Text: 2 Timothy 2:14-26
Sunday Evening, July 16, 2000
Scripture Introduction: In our society there is much emphasis on what were the last words of a man before he dies. What is it in a persons life that would be so important that they would utter as their last words. Think about it for moment, what do you consider so important to use your final words in your earthly life on? The Letter of 2 Timothy has often been titled as Paul’s letter from death row. These were Paul’s final thoughts from his Roman prison were to his beloved pupil Timothy.
What was the purpose of Paul’s final letter? These words were Paul’s final instructions. The tone of his letter is intensely personal in nature and we can feel Paul’s love and concern for Timothy as we read this final Epistle. Paul encourages Timothy to use his spiritual gifts, he writes to strengthen his loyalty to Christ in the face of almost certain suffering and persecution to come. Timothy is challenged to project the word of God accurately and to faithfully instruct those around him in the truth of the faith. There are warnings and instructions on how a believer should react to world in times of apostasy. The letter ends with Paul’s charge to Timothy to Preach the Word and to be ready in season and out of season. Paul’s passion was to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and now he was passing it on to his beloved son in the faith Timothy. Paul knew he was going to die soon and wanted to see Timothy one last time.
Please join me in the reading of God’s Holy Word
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:14-26
14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness." 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
I can still remember that commercial about the people arguing over whether what they are eating is butter or margarine. What a ridiculous set of circumstances were presented in that particular advertising scheme. I often heard my father make statements about if we were expected to believe people would argue over things that unimportant. Sad but true, we spend much time with opposing views over which word would best describe an a situation or circumstance when we are in complete agreement over what the situation and circumstances are. We need to be careful that we don’t spend more time pondering over how we say something to the detriment of what we are trying to say.
The world around has some expectations over what a Christian is supposed to act like or look like there are some preconceived notions over what type of activities a Christian should engage in. Now these are not always going to be consistent with the Biblical images that we are to portray, however they are some very real expectations from a world that doesn’t really know any better. If we claim to be a Christian, then we had better act like Christians. We can encourage people to read the Bible for a better understanding of Christian behavior, however we can have more success by leading through example. Remember the saying a picture is worth a thousand words, then let’s be a picture of model Christian behavior.