Summary: Although much of our time is spent on small points of ministry, we must never forget some of the big principles of church life.

Majoring on the Majors

(I Timothy 4:9-16)

1. Peter Roussakis is our resident Greek, so I dug up a Greek joke on the internet in honor of him. If you don’t like it, blame it on him. If you do like it, remember, I’m the one who found it.

2. 3 Greeks and 3 Turks are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the 3 Turks each buy tickets and watch as the 3 Greeks buy only a single ticket. “How are 3 people going to travel on only one ticket?” asks one Turk. “Watch and you’ll see,” answers one Greek. They all board the train. The Turks take their respective seats but all three Greeks cram into a restroom and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, “Ticket, please.” The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.

The Turks saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the Turks decide to copy the Greeks on the return trip and save some money. When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Greeks don’t buy a ticket at all. “How are you going to travel without a ticket?” says one perplexed Turk. “Watch and you’ll see,” answers a Greek. When they board the train the 3 Turks cram into a restroom and the 3 Greeks cram into another one nearby. The train departs. Shortly afterward, one of the Greeks leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the Turks are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, “Ticket, please.” [source:]

Main Idea: Although much of our time is spent on small points of ministry, we must never forget some of the big principles of church life.

I. Our Far-Reaching Goal for Both Church and Life: PLEASING God (10)

(Maslow’s hierarchy) But there is a higher purpose for the believer; Rick Warren: Purpose Driven Life “It’s not about you.” What is your purpose?

A. Many DIFFERENT descriptions of prime directive, but similar idea

Here, it is "fixing our hope on the living God."

Ecclesiastes 12:13, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

Matthew 22:37-40, “And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'”

I Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:9, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”

B. We are tempted to substitute a part for the WHOLE

• Sounds good on outside: prayer, worship, Spirit, integrity, family, giving, good works, etc.

• We must not divide the sacred and secular, or some commands in place of all

• Look beyond merely being religious to having a vibrant walk with Lord: image or substance?

Today, I spent an hour in my car terrified to go inside because I thought my house was being burgled. I saw rapid shadows in the light of my lounge. Eventually I plucked up the courage to creep inside with a rock to find it wasn't a robber. It was my cats, fighting in front of a toppled lamp. []

C. We Should Get Tired Serving the Lord: TOIL and Labor

D. The Motivation: We have been SAVED!

1. Note his deity

2. All men

3. Especially those who believe

II. Solid Leadership Involves the Marriage of Office and Character (11-12)

Character gives us more influence than appointed authority

A. Timothy had authority, but he had a disadvantage: he was YOUNG

B. Sometimes pastors have to get TOUGH

1. Timothy is urged repeatedly to be a gentle and patient leader (I Tim. 6:11, 2 Tim. 2:25)

2 Timothy 2:25, “correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth…”

2. But there is an exception — when others try to hold him in contempt

3. In marriage, contempt is the sign of a serious breakup; in church, sign of undermining

4. Paul writes something similar to Titus, serving a pastor-like role in Crete

Titus 2:15, “ Tell them all this. Build up their courage, and discipline them if they get out of line. You’re in charge. Don’t let anyone put you down.” [The Message]

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