Summary: Examples of serving God.
The Soldier, The Athlete, and The Farmer
I. Turn to 2 Timothy 2: 1-6 STOP AND PRAY 2 Timothy is usually considered a book that really speaks to the issues that come with being an effective minister for Christ
But this particular passage really speaks to the issue of “every member evangelism.” You see, as we look around tonight, there are many members of our church who you will almost never see here for any service other than Sunday Morning. And even though this is a common phenomenon in Southern Baptist Life, that in no way makes it more acceptable to a Holy God who has given so much to redeem us from just such sin as forsaking the assembling of ourselves.
Folks, something is wrong in the hearts of a people that claim to be Christians but don’t bother to be in His house unless it is convenient and doesn’t interfere with their schedule. Children today are being raised to think that they need only go to Church on Wednesday night if they don’t have soccer or baseball practice.
We are in the midst of a culture war in this country and community, and yet our troops won’t show up for training.
A. Read VV. 1-3.
B. Paul exhorts Timothy to remain strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. What he is saying is that we should be courageous in the strength that only comes from His grace, and because of that, we are to stand faithfully and lovingly minister to our fellow Christians who seem to have forgotten the price that was paid for them.
C. In verse 2 Paul points out our responsibility in this process, as faithful believers. We are to pass along the things that we have been taught.
Note that in this verse, four generations of believers are mentioned:
1. The Apostle Paul.
2. Timothy and many witnesses
3. Faithful men
See I can only lead those people that I come in contact with. There are people that you are going to be able to minister to that just would never open a door to me because I’m a minister. And likewise, there are those who I can minister to that wouldn’t listen to you.
D. If each believer truly did his part, the world could be evangelized within one generation. And in an age where people in Pakistan are getting on-line with people in Pennsylvania, our efforts locally can have worldwide consequence.
E. But the task won’t be easy. In verse three Paul tells us that this task comes with great cost. He says that we should “suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
F. If anyone could witness to all believers about suffering hardship, it was Paul. 2 Corinthians 11:25-28 gives us a list.
i. 3 times beaten with rods
ii. Once stoned
iii. 3 times shipwrecked
iv. Spent a day and a night in the deep
v. Journeyed frequently
vi. Danger from rivers
vii. Danger from robbers
viii. Danger from his countrymen
ix. Danger from the Gentiles
x. Danger in the city
xi. Danger in the wilderness
xii. Danger on the sea
xiii. Danger among false brethren
xiv. Labor and hardship
xv. Many sleepless nights
xvi. Hunger and thirst
xvii. Often without food
xviii. Cold and naked
xix. And in addition to all of these, he faced pressures of a concern for the church.
All I suggest tonight is that we start with number 19. In the next 3 verses Paul uses three occupations to illustrate how. (Read VV. 4-6)
II. The Soldier
A. In verse 4, Paul tells us that we must be like the soldier, in that we don’t get entangled in the affairs of everyday life. As a good soldier we need to be concerned with winning the battle and not whether the battle was approved by the right committee and that the flowers are in their proper place before we began.
B. We need to stop letting Church Business over shadow God’s Business.
C. And we need to stop keeping a separation between our Church Life and the rest of our lives. If you believe it, stand up for it and let it be evident in all you do. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…, Take it to town with you!!!
III. The Athlete
A. In verse 5, the figure changes to that of an athlete competing in the games. In order to receive the reward, we must compete according to the rules or be disqualified. In Christian service, we have to observe the following rules:
1. We must practice self-discipline. We have to remain focused on the prize of the upward call of Christ Jesus. We must have that kind of singleness of purpose.