Summary: Although we should not dwell on our past, we ought not forget either. There are those that could benefit from hearing our testimony, we need to share where we were delivered from for the benefit of those that are lost!
Sermon Title: It’s Not About Us! [2 of ]
Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:12- 20
Wesleyan Community Church
Sunday Morning - January 6, 2002
“I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”, writes Paul in the first chapter of his letter to the church in Rome. Paul is “the man” when it comes to the preaching of the Word of God, but it was not always so, and that is alluded to in this section of the first letter that he writes to his beloved spiritual son Timothy. There is a reminder from whence Paul came. There is power in the testimony of every person here this morning who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. What is God doing in our lives today? Now, compare now to what your life used to be before Jesus Christ. Does the way that we live and the things that we say measure up to Paul’s statement, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”? Let us bear that in mind as we explore what God would have for us this morning.
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-21
12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
18This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
I often think about the different shows that I used to watch of Bob Hope and his entertainment of the different servicemen in the different conflicts that this nation of ours has been in, and I think of his theme song, Thanks For the Memories. We all have memories, and though some may be bad, there are often those that are good as well.
I thank God for the memories of what He has done in my life, I thank Him for the memories, both Good and bad. I thank Him for the life that He has so graciously led me out of, and I thank Him for the memories of what that lifestyle entailed. We are not to dwell on our past! We are not to glorify the lifestyle that we were led out of, however, we must never, never forget from whence we came. We must never, never forget who took us by the hand, in the bleakest hour of our life, and then held us close and said – “I do not condemn you either – Go and sin no more”!
There is power in our testimony when given along with a steady diet of God’s Word – God’s Word undiluted and pure. When we Pass It On to those that are lost, we pass on the hope of our salvation as well. I’ll never forget the time I heard someone give a testimony of how they were almost instantaneously delivered from the power of alcohol – and I remember the desire that God make it so in my life. I have heard countless others share their testimonies and have seen first-hand the effects that our stories, your stories can have on others. Remember, there is so much truth that up until that point you may be the only Bible that they know.
We tell what the Lord has done in our lives, and then the we need to take the impression that was mage on them, an impression that is fueled by the power of conviction from the Holy Spirit, and then we must Make it Stick! How is that done? We tell what Jesus has done in our lives and then we must live that each and every day! Without fail, these people are watching us – not to see us fail, but to see how it is done and actually to try to believe that it can work in their lives as well.