Summary: This week we will look at two pieces of Paul's instruction for Timothy's focus.

Text: 1 Tim 4:6-10, Title: The Next Super Bowl, Date/Place: WHBC, 5/27/18, AM

A. Opening illustration: Peyton Manning’s training for football: “I called him the piranha,” Arians said in a statement released by the Cardinals. “I could never get him enough information, whether it was about the opponent or our gameplan or anything else. We had him in for a pre-draft interview in’98 and he had a notebook full of questions for us, including one about the Indiana tax code. I remember thinking, ‘Who interviewed who here?’ Another time in 2012, before a divisional-round playoff game against the Ravens in Denver, Manning held his hands in a bucket of ice before he went outside to throw with his receivers. He wanted to replicate the cold weather he would face in the upcoming game

B. Background to passage: After his warning to Timothy about those that would fall away from the faith, he gives him a little pep talk about the foundation and goal to keep in the forefront of his mind. In the following paragraph he gives Timothy a battery of commands to do and be certain things before the congregation, so this week he is preparing him for those commands.

C. Main thought: This week we will look at two pieces of Paul’s instruction for Timothy’s focus.

A. The Goal (v. 7-8)

1. Believers pursue Christ with the vigor of a soldier exhausted from battle or a criminal arising from an intense beating; that’s what this word means. We are also to suffer harsh treatment for our testimony with perseverance. All for the goal of godliness. This word means to know how to act in the presence of or in relation to God. It carries the idea of fear, reverence, holiness, worship, and engagement of divinity. Paul tells Timothy to train for it. We get our word gymnasium from it. Believers are to learn, to practice, to advance in their knowledge and consistency of godliness. It has value now and to come.

2. 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. -Matt 6:19-24

3. Illustration: kids tubing and knee-boarding, Kaitlann’s foot, Mackenzie’s softball coach this year, one focus, all year – win the league. And the girls believed it!

4. This is not a self-help moralism which is taught. It is not pull yourself up by your own bootstraps religion. It is about developing a holy awe for the Mighty One of Israel. It’s hitting the books, listening to the sermons, laboring in prayer. It’s pursuing God day after day after day. It’s about that pursuit ending in success of learning and practicing your walk with God with the reverence He deserves. It’s about you attaining a godliness that is pleasing to God and carries an aroma of attraction to the world. My burden for you seeking his face this week. Of course, I am practical, how and how do I tell with each individual. But the motive is just as important. We like lists, we are told to be good, our minds operated that way. You can’t tell if you are a “good Christian” exclusively by what you do. Just the phrase “good” Christian implies judgment by works.

B. The Motive and Means (v. 10)

1. Paul says that we are among those who have set their earnest expectation of the One True and Living God. I like a checklist for salvation. Paul likes hope. He says that the motivation for training, for godliness is hope that is rock-solid, concrete-set (perfect tense) in the one true and living God. This motivational hope is the fact that God is our treasure beyond measure. He is that which has immeasurable worth. His value compels us to train ourselves for right living, fear and reverence and love toward God. His blinding brightness and beauty cause us to lovingly surrender with joy all of who we are for His glory. It is duty, it is delight.

2. Hope set in Christ is also our means. Much Christian literature adopts a checklist, morality-based, debtor’s ethic, guilt-laden, self-centered, or community-oriented motivation without giving a means, Paul doesn’t do that. He doesn’t even give twelve pieces of advice. The motive and the means are the same: fixed joy in the One who was dead, but is risen, never to die again. The motive looks at the here and now – hope in Christ. The means looks to the days and life ahead. It is a trust in a future grace. It says, God has given his Son, will He not now give us all things? The means is a God who is able, and who will always do what he says he will do, till the ends of the earth, and to the ends of time. SWEET! This is the way we are able to train, trust gives the strength, trust gives the endurance, trust in the treasure gives the discipline.

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