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Summary: Part 4b of this series regarding God's Word as the foundation for following Jesus. This message talks about how to share God's Word with those outside of Christ.

The Foundation of Following Jesus

Part 4b – Sharing God’s Word

2 Timothy 2:23-26

February 6, 2011

NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY'S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."

Audio of this message can be heard at www.aberdeenwesleyan.org.

Me: You may or not be aware of this, but I get to share God’s Word with people in situations that have nothing to do with church on Sunday.

Sometimes I do it in private conversations, sometimes it’s in e-mails, sometimes it’s on the internet, and sometimes it’s in print, like in the newspaper.

I usually enjoy that, because it shows people that the Bible is relevant to our everyday living in the here and now of the 21st century just like it was as the Scriptures were being written down.

Another thing I come across from time to time is a situation where someone else is sharing God’s Word with someone.

Sometimes it’s great, because they’re using the Bible or that passage in the way it was intended.

But sometimes, it’s a train wreck, and I find myself rolling my eyes. And if I’m rolling my eyes, and I understand where they’re coming from and appreciating their heart in the whole deal, then you can be sure that a person who doesn’t follow Jesus or believe the Scriptures are rolling their eyes and feels they have another excuse to not believe or follow Jesus.

We: Maybe you’ve seen the same thing.

You see God’s Word being mis-used by well meaning people, and it breaks your heart.

Or maybe you’ve been wanting to use God’s Word more, but you’ve never really know how to do that, or wanted some guidelines in how to do that.

Or maybe you’re sitting here today and you’re not even sure you should bring the Bible into the conversation because you’re not sure it’s appropriate or relevant nowadays.

Well, let me assure you – it is relevant. And we’re going to talk about how to make it appropriate.

God/You:

2 Timothy 2:23-26 (p. 843) –

23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

The context of this passage is the presence and influence of false teachers in the church where Timothy was the pastor.

But I think we can pick up some really great principles that can help us as we share the Word of God with those who don’t currently follow Jesus, and who follow false teachings regarding Christ, the Scriptures, or whatever issue they feel the need to address.

Sometimes these things come up in regular conversations with people, and sometimes you come across something in the newspaper or TV or the internet or whatever.

Remember the goal is to win the person, not the argument.

If you win the argument but you’ve driven that person farther from Christ, what have you accomplished except a greater possibility that person may spend eternity in hell because they didn’t want anything to do with Jesus because of the way you duked it out with them?

That’s not something I’d brag too much about.

Five tips for sharing God’s Word with those who don’t love Jesus (yet).

Some of these

1. Pick your fights carefully.

I’m going to camp on this for a little bit, because if you don’t do this, you’re going to have a hard time doing anything I’ll be talking about from God’s Word today.

Verses 23-24 –

Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel…

Not everything is worth fighting over. Not everything is “a hill to die on.”

If you hear or see something you don’t like or don’t agree with, sometimes the best thing for you to do is zip your lip – or your keyboard.

You don’t have to respond to everything you see wrong around you.

Our passage says to avoid stupid and foolish arguments.

What are some examples of foolish and stupid arguments we should avoid?

Well, I’ve found that “stupid” is in the eye of the beholder.

In a church setting, these might be things like the color of the carpet or the chairs, or things like that that have no bearing on the ministry of the church or its mission to help people come to faith in Jesus.

Outside the church it might be someone knocking your favorite movie or political candidate.

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