If there is anything our world needs, today, it is for Believers to have what I call “Staying Power”
I can’t believe the number of men my age who are giving up the ministry and find something else to do. People are leaving the Church for no apparent reason.
Just a generation ago it was common for a man to start a job as an apprentice and grow with the company until he retired.
With today’s economy and restructuring people are being forced to look for other fields of work.
Not only is there a lack of security in the work place but in other places as well.
Marriage vows are not taken seriously today and many are just practicing or taking marriage out on a test drive. After they run it around the block and kick the tires, they may sign the dotted line. Many will trade in the old model as soon as the warranty runs or at the first sign of trouble.
Staying power is hard to come by and the Church is seeing it today, as well.
What do we do to develop “Staying Power”
1. Stay True to the Faith v3,4.
“ 3.When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth.
4.Don't let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don't help people live a life of faith in God.”
When we are not focused on the Word of God we will, most likely, be distracted by and become curious about other teachings.
When we are not grounded in Truth, we can become engaged in fruitless searches for something new…something different…
I used to work for a local Mazda Dealer, as their master technician. I also was responsible for the big [muscled headed] Rottweiler, named Rambo. Rambo was a good dog and would listen well…except to the command “Stay” He would soon become distracted by other things and leave his position to go and investigate them.
The early Church had to deal with Gnostics, who taught that…matter is evil…salvation comes through knowledge. If you think you are saved you are.
They questioned the Virgin birth of Christ based some of their theology around angel mythology.
You may be saying…”how can people be so gullible as to be caught up in something like that?” BUT
In the late 19th and the early 20th century there was a teaching called “Neo-Orthodoxy” which said that the first eleven books of Genesis was a myth. Adam and Eve were not real people but representatives of mankind.
No Virgin Birth…No Crucifixion…No Resurrection…In other words, the Bible is not the inherent Word of God. There are some mistakes and some things that may not be true…
These teaching are still alive in our world today and we must hear the cry of Paul to Timothy to remain true to the Faith…
There is a purpose for staying true. Vv5-7
“5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions.
7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don't know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.”
Not having it causes endless searching.
I read about a Sunday School teacher who was interviewed by a local newspaper. This man was allowed to teach in a church, even though he did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only way to salvation.
He told the reporter that a person does not have to believe in Jesus to teach the Bible.
I talked to a Pastor friend, recently who told me that he had the same kind thing going on in his church. As soon as he found out, he removed the teacher from his position. My only problem with this decision is that the man was allowed to stay in the class, where he greatly influenced the other men.
Staying power results in the edification of the body…builds the body up.
Staying power also puts down roots of sincere faith. Roots that are deep enough to stand firm, when the winds of doubt are blowing around you.
2. Stay True to the Facts: vv 12-17
Here is a simple fact for you: I am a sinner…lost and bound for hell, without Jesus Christ…
Staying power not only allows us to stay true to the faith but also true to the facts.
“12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,
13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.
14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—and I am the worst of them all.
16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.”
One fact is that the gospel of Jesus Christ delivers us from a life and eternity of sin…
3. Stay True to the Fight: vv18-19
“18 Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord's battles.
19 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.”
Timothy was gifted, he was chosen by Paul and was expected to wage a good battle.
Listen to what Jesus said in John 15: 16 “You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. ”
When you surrendered to Jesus, He gave you certain gifts that will give you the power you need to not only stay in the fight but to win every battle you face.
You are equipped to do tremendous things for God.
Think about the mosquito…they have a lifespan of around 2weeks to 30days but they have been equipped to do a certain job. Yea I know…all they are good for is draining our blood BUT look at them a little closer.
They don’t have any teeth, they have sensors that can detect the hardness of your skin. They are able to find a soft spot and out from under their nose comes a tiny blade. They make a small precision cut in your skin where they insert two syringes. One Sucrets a blood thinner and the other drains the blood.
If God can equip a mosquito, don’t you think he can equip you?
I really want you to understand some here.
WE ARE NOT EQUIPPED FOR OUR OWN GOOD AND PLEASURE.
There are no “Lone Ranger” Christians…we are equipped to edify the whole body…for the purpose of reaching the lost.
My question is twofold: Are we allowing God to equip us for the long haul?
And Do we have “Staying Power?”