I am one of those people that could be classified as a Jack of all trades. Some who know me would finish the rest of the statement by saying. They would tell ya’ll he’s a Jack of all trades but master of none. One of the things I used to be in my former life was a salesman and at one time a highly successful one. People have said that I could sell an Eskimo Ice water. During my sales career I sold everything.....Shoes, Jewelry, Cars, which I wasn’t very good at, cable TV, cellular service and several different types of advertising. I was somewhat effective in the beginning of my career. I did have some raw talent. Mainly my raw talent was not being afraid. I wasn’t afraid of rejection and I wasn’t afraid of looking like an idiot. That still comes in handy. God sure does have a sense of Humor. But when I started selling the intangible things like cellular service and advertising. The things you cant see. Raw talent wasn’t enough. I needed training. I have been through months of training classes where volumes of information was thrown at us. At times it was like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant. What I finally realized was I only needed to 3 know three things.
What do I do?
How do I do it?
Once I knew these 3 things I became very effective.
Christians have raw talent. We are not afraid. At least not afraid of believing in Christ as our personal Savior. But we need to be trained. We need to know those same 3 things.
What do I do?
How do I do it?
Lets take a look at God’s word and see if we can answer those 3 questions.
Turn in your Bibles to 1st Timothy Chapter 4 verses 11 through 16
11. Command and teach these things. 12. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Let us Pray
Paul was telling Timothy to set an example.
Christians need to set an example. Look at verse 12.
12. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
Paul knew that people would look down on Timothy because he was young. So he was saying to him. "Don’t give them a reason" "Set an Example" We need to heed that same warning. As Christians we need to set an example for other believers as well as those who are lost. He was telling Timothy and he is telling us to be careful in everything we do. People are watching. What are the areas we are to set an example in?
He listed 5 areas we are to be an example in.
The first area is our speech.
We should set an example to other believers in our speech. The hardest thing for me to stop doing when I started trying to live right was to control my tongue. The book of James tells us that the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. I could clean up all the big areas of my life but I was still letting that restless little flap of meat in my mouth spew deadly poison. I used language that would make a sailor blush. Christians need to watch our mouths. Remember we are going to be accountable for every idle word. Now you may say, Richard I don’t talk like that. I never swear. I always watch what I say. I’m not like that lady, if you could call her that, that I work with. You know the one I told you about. The uses words I’ve never even heard. You remember I told you about her she ran off with the mailman that delivered her mail. I could go on and on but do you get the point I’m trying to make. You may not cuss up a storm but if you are a gossip your using your tongue to spew poison. We Should all ask ourselves 3 questions before we open our mouths to speak.
Is it True?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?
If you cant say yes to all 3 don’t say it.
Is controlling your tongue an area you need to work on? If so maybe during the invitation you need to come and talk to the only one who can tame it. The Holy Spirit.
The next area is our life.
We need to set an example in the way we live our life. Every thing in your life needs to be an example for other people. When I think about this life being a journey with a beginning and an end I am reminded of the function of a compass. Compasses come in all shapes and sizes. They can be purchased or they can be made out of simple items found in most households. But they all do basically the same thing. That is point the way North. Once you know which way north is you can go anywhere without getting lost. As Christians we need to make sure our lives. Or our compasses, if you will, do basically the same thing. Point the way to Jesus. Because once you know the way to Jesus you can go anywhere in life without getting lost. I have been blessed in my life to have had a few compasses who have always pointed the way to Jesus. One is my Mother and the other is Jenny’s Dad. In all the years I have known these two people they have never pointed in any other direction besides the way to Jesus. I didn’t always do it but if I got lost I knew where to turn for guidance. Somebody smarter than me once said be careful how you live your life. You may be the only Bible some people ever read. Does your life point the way to Jesus. If not maybe during the invitation you need to come and commit to being a compass for Christ.
The next area is Love.
We need to set an example in the way we love. Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians Chapter 13 said this about Love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
The greatest commandment Christ gave us is to love one another as He loved us. And sometimes as Christians we are sadly lacking in this area of our lives. Earlier I talked about compassess and how you can even make one at home. But when you make your own you need to compare it to one you know that works to see if it is really working. The way we know whether or not our love is working is to compare it to a love we know is working. The kind of love Paul spoke about here always works. We need to compare our love for one another to this famous passage. The Bible says we will be known for our love for one another. If we don’t express love we won’t be known as Christians. How does your love for one another compare to this? If it doesn’t meet all the criteria listed here you’ve got some work to do. Maybe during the invitation you need to come to the altar and recommit your self to expressing this kind of love to one another.
The next area is Faith.
We are to be an example in faith. We should always have faith that everything is going to be o.k. Anybody who has known me for awhile knows that I am not entirely comfortable with the thought of flying. Some would say that is an understatement. I had a near miss once. We were taking off from Salt Lake City Utah. It was unbelievably hot and the plane did not want to leave the ground. When we climbing over the mountains the plane fell a little bit. We all gasped. I was a little scared. As we were continuing to climb the plane suddenly rolled on its side and started plummeting toward the ground. Well that did it. We all started screaming and I was probably the loudest. I got even louder when I looked at the stewardess and she was just like the rest of us. I was terrified then. I’ can’t say for sure but I think that had she remained calm and collected I may have been a little less certain I was about to make the evening news. Her job was to reassure the me and the other passengers of our safety. She could no longer do this because she no longer had faith in that fact the pilot new what he was doing. When people look to us during times of uncertainty we need to make sure our faith in Christ is evident. Do you look like someone who has faith in Jesus or do you look like that stewardess did? Do you look like you are going to die any minute are do you look like someone who is going to live forever? If your faith is not evident to those around you maybe during the invitation you need to come and talk to the pilot. Let him reassure you that you will land safely.
Purity is the final area we are charged to set an example in. Christians should be Pure.
Pure of Heart.
Pure of Mind
and Pure in Body.
We should be pure in everything we do. We are defiled or made impure by our feelings, our thoughts and our actions. We exercise purity of heart by making sure our heart is in the right place. Sometimes we do the right things but our heart is just not in it. It might not show to everyone but if I were up here today out of a sense of duty to this church or Brother Dave or just because I wanted to stand up here and tickle your ears for 30 minutes. I believe somebody could tell that my heart just wasn’t’ in it. God would know.
We exercise purity of minds by not thinking the worst about people. We need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Especially other Christians. Don’t always jump to the conclusion that somebody is not doing the right thing just because they don’t do things the way you do. We are all in a different place in our walk with Christ. I have been as guilty of this as anybody. I am quick to point out the splinter in your eye when I’ve got a log in mine.
We exercise purity in our Bodies when we eliminate the amount of sin we put in it or commit with it. We need to be physically pure. So many of today’s social ills, such as STD’s, Abortion, Alcoholism, Drug addiction would be eliminated or at the very least reduced if we maintained physical purity. Maybe during the invitation you need to come to the altar and ask Jesus to purify your heart, your mind and your body.
Now that we know what we need to do
we need to know how to do it.
Look at verses 15 and 16
15. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them
This passage tells us we are to be diligent, we are to give ourselves wholly and we are to persevere.
Diligence is care in carrying out tasks, perseverance is never giving up and giving yourself wholly is to deny yourself. We need to care about the task at hand. Never Give up and Deny ourselves to get it done. Jesus did everything for us in this way. He cared enough about saving us from sin. He gave himself wholly to accomplishing this task and He never gave up until he was finished. Our task is to set an example in life not only for the lost but for other believers who may be stumbling, who may be losing faith, who may not love us the way we love them. Jesus is diligent and wholly giving of Himself and He never gives up. We should live by the example He set. Are you diligent in living your life for Christ? Are you in it for the long haul? Or Have you given up already? Maybe your just like I was. You want to live life for God but not wholly.
You cant be Holy.....
if you aren’t committed Wholly.
Maybe during the invitation you need to let Jesus know you want to do it like he did it.
Now that we know what we need to do.
And How we need to do it.
We need to know why we need to do it.
Look at verses 15 and 16 again.
15. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Paul told Timothy the reasons why he needed to do these things. He listed 3.
The 1st was so that others could see his progress.
The 2nd was so that he could save himself
The 3rd was, to me the most important, so that he could save others.
We need to do all these things because there are people following us who assume we know the way. Think about the people who may be following your example your husbands, your wives, your children, your friends and even your enemies sometimes look to us for guidance. Don’t you want these people to see your progress? Don’t you want to save them in addition to saving yourself. I want the people who are looking to me for guidance to see the faith I have in Jesus. I want them to know the kind of Love I know. I want them to be pure so that they can avoid the kind of problems I’ve had due to impurity. When you talk to your family and friends about Jesus teachings or they read the Bible they shouldn’t be surprised by what they find. They should be familiar with it because they see the evidence of it in your lives. Can people see your progress or are you in the same place you’ve always been? Maybe you need to come to the altar an make a commitment to living a life that will not only save you but save those around you. I’m going to ask Janet and Ms Patsy and Ms Mary Rose to come up here and lead us in a Hymn of Invitation. If you feel there is something you need to talk to Jesus about come. Dave says the first step is the Hardest, but don’t let that stop you.
Let us pray.
Maybe you’ve Never experienced the kind of love Jesus has to offer because you’ve never really accepted Him. If so come. Now is the time. Maybe you Have accepted him but have never followed him in believers Baptism. Or maybe you have finally found your Church Home and you want to associate with the Body of Believers here at Bala Chitto Baptist Church. Where the Bible is Preached and Lives are being Changed.