Having a “Whatever” Attitude
1 Tim 6
This pastoral letter written by Paul to his young charge Timothy is filled with practical advice to us in the 21st century. The entire letter has to do with an attitude. Once on a program called “Full House” the neighbor Kimmy had a boyfriend named Dwayne, all Dwayne would say is “whatever.” The only attitude a Christian should have is “whatever.” Not in an irreverent way, but the attitude of doing “whatever” is necessary to build HIS KINGDOM.
As we have considered God’s call on our lives, to be the person He desires for us to and become the church that He desires for us to become we have considered the following:
1. Paul’s testimony from 1 Cor. 9:22-23 of “becoming all things to all people using all possible means to share the Gospel” should become our testimony, too.
2. That Jesus had a “whatever” heart
Because of His heart and His commitment, he faced temptation, rejection, and diversions. We must remember that in our quest to do “whatever” and live out that commitment, we will face the enemy’s temptations. We will have to deal w/ rejection from those who do not understand our commitment, don’t share our commitment, and feel threatened by our commitment. We need single-minded devotion to battle against diversions that threaten to keep us in our comfort zones where we are accepted, settling for good things when we could have the best.
3. Look at the lives of Martha and Mary
We must learn to survive and thrive in the midst of our busy lives by letting Christ in, listening to His words, and limiting the distractions in our lives. Martha was so busy about the house that she forgot the most important thing. Mary was so interested in listening to Jesus that nothing else mattered. Our lives must have a balance, but balance with priority goes nowhere.
Each of these messages dealt with our personal commitment to being a “whatever” person. Tonight, the focus is on this congregation. We must remember that we are the Lord’s, we are blood bought saints of the living Christ. Yet we must also understand that judgment will not start with the world, but with us. We will answer to HIM. We will stand judgment, if there is a question it will be “what have you done for me?” Chuck Colson has said: “For the church in the West [us] to come alive, it needs to resolve its identity crisis, to stand on biblical truth, to renew its vision…and, more than anything else, recover the fear of the Lord. Only that will give us the holy abandon that will cause us to be the church no matter what the culture around us says or does.” (Being the Body, p. 130-131) Do we have the desire to be the Body of Christ we are called to be in this day and age? Do we have a “whatever” attitude?
To have this attitude we must:
I. PREACH TRUTH – Ch. 1
In Chapter 1 we see that Timothy was facing difficult situation in his church. False teachers were leading people away from the foundations of their faith. Only way to counter their teachings was to stand his ground, command them to stop teaching the false doctrines, and fight the good fight of the faith. We are living in a day in which there are more and more false teachers espousing their views.
a. Talk shows are full of them.
b. Websites are abundant.
c. Even in some Christian churches all over the world.
d. Mormon Church has launched the largest publicity campaign in its history.
To be a “whatever” church, we must preach the truth of the Gospel as strongly as we possibly can, in every way we possibly can, as often as we possibly can.
The Bible has the truth. This is the truth that the world needs to hear! As we do this, there will be battles to fight. Only by doing “whatever” it takes to preach the truth – and LIVING the truth – will we be victorious!
“Saving Pvt. Ryan” – toward end of movie. Young soldier whose sole job was to get ammo to the soldiers fighting the enemy was too terrified to move. Soldiers died because he did not get them ammo. People will die in their sins and be lost for eternity if we do not take the truth to them.
II. WE WILL PRAY FERVENTLY – Ch. 2
We know that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. But what an incredible privilege He has given to us in letting us help Him change the world through our prayers. A “whatever” church will pray diligently, especially for the lost! The language Paul uses about prayer would mean to literally fall on your face and beg. Prayers are to be lifted up with reverence. Prayer is a part of worship. We are called to intercede on behalf of the saints, but we can also intercede on behalf of the lost. We pray for them by name, we pray for opportunities to talk to them, we pray for circumstances in their lives that would turn their attention to GOD. And we pray thanking God for what he has done, what he is doing and for what he will do.
The Prayerful attitude is not just for a select few in the church, God wants to hear from ALL HIS CHILDREN. He wants us to pray together, he wants us to be of one mind and heart. He wants us to talk to HIM together and separately.
Praying together builds unity in the church
We have seen the healing power of prayer, we have seen the saving power of prayer. Experiment on power of prayer. Dr. Randolph Byrd, cardiologist, SF Gen. Med. Ctr. CCU. Nearly 400 patients participated in 10-month scientifically controlled experiment. Divided into 2 groups w/ no statistical difference in Group A or B. Patients not told which group they were in. Group B received no prayer support. Each patient in Group A had 2 people praying for them. Pray-ers were scattered throughout country. They did not know names of patients, only condition. Results showed that Group A did as well or better in every comparison. Conclusion: “Intercessory prayer appears to have a beneficial effect in patients in a CCU.” As we pray fervently as a church for the lost, their spiritual hearts will be touched and changed. Must have the attitude of “whatever” to pray fervently!
III. WE WILL PREPARE LEADERS – Ch. 3
A. To be a “whatever” church, we must have leaders who are willing to do “whatever” to be the person God has called them to be and help lead our church to be the church that God desires for it to be. Bottom line of the list of qualifications for leaders in church is that they must have hearts that are totally, 100% devoted and dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ in every way, in every aspect of their lives.
Not perfect, but moving forward and deeper in their love and devotion to Christ.
Shouldn’t that also be true of every believer?
We must be warned that being a “whatever Christian we are in the enemy’s crosshairs constantly. Because of this, we must be diligent in our walk with Christ. We must be prepared to face the enemy and battle against him for the good of the church.
a. Commitment to prayer must be deepening.
b. Commitment to study of Word must be deepening.
c. Commitment to family must be deepening.
d. Commitment to a life of holiness must be deepening.
e. Commitment to the church, “the pillar & foundation of the truth” (v. 15) must be deepening.
f. Commitment to the mission of Jesus (v. 16) must be deepening.
C. Someone once said to Teddy Roosevelt, “Mr. Roosevelt, you are a great man!” To which he replied, “No, Teddy Roosevelt is simply a plain, ordinary man – highly motivated!”
a. To be a “whatever” church, we need plain, ordinary men & women who are highly motivated by their passionate desire to serve their Savior!
IV. WE WILL PERSEVERE ALWAYS – Ch. 4
A. V. 16 – Perseverance is a trait that a WIT church exhibits.
a. Dictionary – “steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.” (www.dictionary.com)
i. Our course of action? Been talking about it all month long – to do WIT to be the person God desires for me to be and to help this church become all that God would have it to be.
ii. Our belief: Summed up in verses like: John 3:16 and those on the back of our bulletin.
iii. Our purpose: Building HIS Kingdom one soul at a time through Evangelism, Education and Edification.
Will we be steadfast in these things?
B. Not easy to persevere. World opposes us. Enemy attacks us. Sometimes there are those in the church that will not understand or desire to be a part of God’s work. But as a WIT church, we must persevere always!
a. Remember child’s toy that was a big vinyl doll w/ heavy round weight of sand in bottom? Punch it constantly and it would continue to bounce back up in an upright position.
b. Through the centuries, the Church has been punched over and over again. Yet, b/c Christians have persevered and God is in control, it keeps coming back up.
c. We will be punched, too. We must persevere and get back up!
V. WE WILL PRACTICE PROPER RELATIONSHIPS – Ch. 5
A. Beauty of the church is its diversity. Made up of different age groups, different levels of income, different races, different backgrounds, different family situations. All of us make up the body of Christ. “Though its parts are many, they form one body” (1 Cor. 12:12). Throw all those together in one group and there will always be the possibility of problems. Younger people will mess up. Older people will mess up. . Married people will mess up. Single people will mess up.
B. Paul gave young Tim some advice on relationship within the church. To be a “whatever” congregation we need to have everyone in every age group must learn to properly relate to one another.
Sin needs to be dealt with, no matter a person’s age. Those in need must be ministered to, no matter their age. Those in ministry positions must be cared for and honored. Proper relationships within the church FAMILY will help us be a “whatever” church.
VI. WE WILL PURSUE THE THINGS OF GOD – Ch. 6
v. 11 – Look at the things that Paul told Tim to pursue: righteousness – to do what is right in relation both to God & man. Godliness – reverence for God flowing out of a worshipping heart. Faith – confident trust in God. Love – agape’ type love. Endurance, a victorious, unswerving loyalty to God in face of trials. Gentleness, kindness, meekness, humility
What would keep Timothy or us from pursuing these things? Context of passage is the “love of money” (v. 10). So many have sacrificed a close relationship w/ God because they loved their money more than they loved and trusted God. To be a “Whatever” church, we must pursue the things of God. Honor God w/ our money. Imagine what it would be like to be a part of a church where every Christian tithed? Fight the good fight of the faith (v. 12). Spiritual warfare is real!
Take hold of eternal life (v. 12). Get a grip on the reality of eternal life. What we are about as a WIT affect us and others for ALL ETERNITY!
CONCLUSION – Are we a “whatever” minded congregation? Are we willing to do “Whatever” to be the church that God wants us to be?