Summary: A look at how we've been appointed to service and how Jesus helps us succeed in that.
“I DON'T FEEL UP TO THE TASK": Jesus has appointed you to service.
- 1 Timothy 1:12d.
a. Service for everyone.
- Some think that only pastors and deacons are to serve. Some think that sitting on the pew is acceptable behavior. Some think that God saves us and then we wait on eternity.
- In truth, Jesus expects us to serve Him.
b. Expected part of the Christian life.
- This is part of the job description for being a Christian, not an extra add-on.
c. Jesus a servant.
d. Like being an ambassador.
e. Appointed to His service.
- What an honor – to do service for your King.
WHAT'S HE EXPECTING TO HAPPEN? He did so with the expectation of faithful success.
- 1 Timothy 1:12c.
a. He considers us faithful.
- I really like the phrase “He considered me faithful.”
- It brings out the idea that Jesus looked at Paul and essentially said, “Here’s a man who’s up to the task.” This is worth holding onto because I think we often visualize Christ looking at us like the Keystone Cops, bumbling and certain to fail.
b. The church is delegation.
- It’s worth remembering that Jesus’ whole plan for sharing His Good News is based on the idea of delegation. He went away a mere 40 days after His resurrection, leaving us to be His representatives.
- That’s a big assignment.
- Thankfully He left us His Holy Spirit (more on that in a minute), but don’t rush past that simple fact: He delegated the job to us and left.
c. He expects success.
- He has done that because, among other reasons, He believes that this plan will work. He believes that we can be His representatives.
d. The impact of being told you have what it takes.
- There is a sociological theory called “the looking-glass self.” The idea is that we tend to view ourselves as a reflection of the way other people see us. If people see me as smart, I’ll come to view myself as smart. If people see me as worthless, I’ll come to view myself as worthless.
- Of course, there are limits to this, but there is some merit to the theory.
- It’s important to consider what Christ thinks of us. There are many things to say about that: He thought we were worth dying for; He wants to call us His friends; He cares about us enough to attend to our daily needs.
- Let’s just focus for a second on this one phrase in this one verse: He considers me faithful.
- He expects faithfulness from me. He expects faithfulness from you. He considers us faithful. He believes that we are going to come through for Him.
- In light of the looking-glass self, that’s a powerful statement: Christ sees value and faithfulness in us.
HOW CAN HE EXPECT THAT? He has given you strength.
- 1 Timothy 1:12b.
a. That might make us feel intimidated.
- How can I measure up to that? I don’t feel like I have what it takes to make it happen. I don’t feel like I am able to
b. We don’t have to do it on our own – He has given us strength.
- It’s not about me having the ability to do it on my own. In fact, if I try to do it on my own I am almost certainly doomed to failure. He has given us strength.
c. In what ways has He given us strength?
i. He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us.
ii. He has given us the Bible to have confidence in knowing the path.
iii. He encourages us through answer to prayer.
iv. He has given us the church to support us.
- He has done all this and much more in order to put us in a position of strength. He has empowered us.
d. There are so many passages that talk about seeing God’s power flowing.
e. Why do so few experience that power?
i. Lack of asking for it.
ii. Failure to expect it.
iii. Don’t know it’s possible.
iv. Settle for less.
v. Sinful compromise.
WHAT SHOULD OUR RESPONSE TO THIS BE? Thankfulness.
- 1 Timothy 1:12a.
a. What an opportunity!
- Rather than being depressed or bothered over the need to serve, we should be incredibly thankful for the opportunity.
b. Why be thankful?
i. We’ve been given the chance to make a difference.
ii. We’ve been given the chance to bear great fruit for Christ’s glory.
iii. We’ve been given the chance to leave a legacy.
c. We should be less scared of failure and more scared of not mattering.