Summary: God has given specific attibutes to believers so we can be what He has called us to be.
October 2, 2011
Text: 2 Timothy 1:1-7
Subject: The Christian Faith
Title: Living the Truth
For three days last week I spent time finding out who I am and seeking to sense the presence of God more in my life. For three full days we sat on a front porch of a cabin in the little unincorporated town of Wears Valley in eastern Tennessee – a town that stretches out for a couple of miles along Highway 321 on the valley floor beneath the Smoky Mountains. The view from the front porch was magnificent, looking down across a meadow to a tree line that kept the highway out of sight. And then as you gazed upward the magnificence of the mountain in its finest greenery came into full view, dotted here and there by splotches of color from the trees that are sensing the approaching change of seasons.
We have been to the Rocky Mountains five times, and as beautiful and majestic as they are, they are not the same as the Smokies. This was our fourth time in the Smoky Mountains. I know it won’t be our last. There is something about those mountains that when I am there, tells me that I am at home. It is not my home, yet it is. I don’t know if I can explain it to you in any other way than that. For when I am there a sense of the tangible reality of who God is comes into focus, and an overwhelming sense of the peace of God fills my soul. It is a place where I can go to be rejuvenated and prepared for the task that God has set before me here in Palmyra.
Here is the lesson I learned the very first night that we sat on the front porch of the cabin - all the things that we worry ourselves about, all of the concerns of life that I have as a pastor, all of the struggles that we go through as we attempt to do the work of God in our calling, have no valid place in our lives, for God has given us everything we need in order to know that He is God, that He is in control, and that He is building a church that we are fortunate enough to have a part in as pastors. This Creator God, who has now, once again, manifest Himself in our lives through His creation, has given all of us what we need to be the ecclesia - “”the called out- in the world, and to be a force against the spiritual powers that are at work in the world.
In our passage today I want you to notice something – Paul not only recognizes Timothy’s call to pastor a church, but he also recognizes the role of his mother and grandmother as those who taught him about God’s Word. It is not something that is genetically transferred through bloodlines, but it is something that is passed on through teaching and encouraging and confessing… And that is what I want to do for you today. I want to show you that God has given you what you need to be a strong and life giving influence in this community and in your families.
I want to read to you the first six verses of 2 Timothy as a foundation, but it is verse seven that I want to share with you today as the means by which you can be everything that God has called you to be.
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2To Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Verse seven in the NKJV reads this way – a way you are probably more familiar with,
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Hold your bibles up…
I believe this is God’s Word…
I believe all of it…