Summary: Paul writes a letter to his his protégé, young Timothy.
EXTERNALS… if we’re not careful, in our worship and in our fellowship and in our friendships and EVEN in the church…
• We’ll focus on externals. What are you wearing? What are you doing? Why aren’t you? Why can’t you? What’s going on?
• It so quickly takes us way from love & grace.
Gal. 5.14-15 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
SO AS God is looking & changing & fashioning the heart of a man, it seems as if the man that’s being changed looks only outwardly!
• The Bible says it is so…
1 Samuel 16.7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
IT WAS THE GRAND MISTAKE of the RELIGIOUS ELITE in Jesus day, the Pharisees… Consider Jesus’ stern rebuke…
Matt 23.24-26 "Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 "Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
NOTE: They were masters of the MINISTRY… outwardly giving a show, while inwardly they were spiritually dead.
• Today with the cathedrals, the chants, the prayers, the rituals, the traditions, it’s still happening.
• “If I’m outwardly worshipping and no one sees my heart, then well I must be right with God.”
• But see, God’s not looking for ritual, but relationship.
• He wants a soft heart not a system, a connection not a creed.
• He sent His only Son not to set up some religious system, but to cover the sins of those whom He loves… you & me!
NOW If it’s possible with to focus on the externals in the MINISTRY, surely it’s done all the time with the MINISTERS.
• The pastor, the servant, the leader, the overseer…
• All under the microscope externally, all day, every day.
• So many are LOOKING FOR THE IDEAL PASTOR.
• And I came across an interesting list…
The ideal pastor is difficult to find. But if your church is fortunate, you may be able to secure his services. Since he is the ideal pastor, it won’t cost very much - he lives by faith. Yet he can be counted upon to tithe heavily and still be able to afford a large house in which he will regularly entertain the entire congregation.
He loves the older folks of the church, visiting them regularly. Besides this, he spends all of his time with the young people. The glow on his face reveals his secret. He’s spent many hours on his knees before God. However, he’s always available to anyone who drops by for a friendly chat. What’s a half-hour out of his schedule since he only works on Sunday anyway.
The ideal pastor loves to disciple new converts and gives full-time attention to calling on the elderly, ill, and shut-in. He has a model family, is always in the church office when you call and is busy at the hospital, just looking for a soul to comfort. He would never miss a church function, and attends every function sponsored by the ministerial association. In addition, he meets all his neighbors and civic leaders within the community and wins their hearts too.