Summary: I, like you I’m sure, want the church to be successful, fruitful, fulfilling prophecy, and impacting our community. So, let’s look at these “reminders” and see how we, the church, could become “Useful to the Master.”
Useful to the Master
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to be reminded over and over about certain things. Anniversaries, birthdays, taking out the trash…things like that sometimes just slip my mind and land me in hot water.
Paul here is instructing Timothy to “keep reminding them of these things.” Why? Well, I think that Paul understood how forgetful we could all be. He also knew that these issues are not as simple as forgetting to take out the trash. These were issues of utmost importance concerning the church: past, present and future. In fact, they were more than reminders. They were warnings.
I, like you I’m sure, want the church to be successful, fruitful, fulfilling prophecy, and impacting our community. So, let’s look at these “reminders” and see how we, the church, could become “Useful to the Master.”
1. The Workman (v 14-19)
A. Approved – “one who has been tested and found acceptable”
Be diligent and zealous in your labors. Work hard.
B. unAshamed – “no cause for shame when your work is being inspected”
Give your best: time, resources, energy
C. Avoiding Mistakes – “holding a straight course”
Don’t get distracted or sidetracked. Little mistakes can lead to big failures (Illustration: gangrene).
2. The Anvil (v 20-21)
The “large house” is a symbol of the church. In the church we know that we have people who pursue noble purposes – the articles of gold and silver, and those who would pursue ignoble purposes – the articles of wood and clay.
“noble” – for honor
“ignoble” – for dishonor
“Approved” – the word was used for testing and approving metals
“On the Anvil”, by Max Lucado
The “workman” must willingly submit to the Blacksmith and get on the “anvil” of God.
Where are you in the Blacksmith’s shop?
What type of instrument will you become? THE CHOICE IS YOURS.
Will you allow God to put you into the fire to burn away the imperfection so that you can be “made holy”? Will you allow Him the opportunity to reshape you and prepare you to be an instrument to “do any good thing” for His honor and glory?
3. The Product (v22-26) – the end result of the workman getting on the anvil
The product is becoming a balanced Christian! “The Lord’s servant”
The balancing act………
1. Flee the evil desires of youth
- Pursue righteousness, faith, love & peace
2. Don’t have anything to do with
- Unity with those who call on the Lord out foolish and stupid arguments of a pure heart
3. Must not quarrel
- Be kind to everyone
4. Not resentful
- Able to be taught and to teach others
To become this Product we must “come back to our senses and escape the traps of the devil!”
Pursue unity that others may see our love. (Church w/ a heart for people)
Be a follower of your leaders, so that you may lead others to follow you.
Be peaceable so that quarrels will not seek you out.
Deal with any resentment and be teachable so that others may learn from you.
Bow heads & close eyes
CD – Name, Song: “Worth It”, Track ?
I know that God will fulfill his promises and prophecies concerning this youth ministry. The question is, will it involve you?
God gave Moses and the children of Israel some great promises and every single one was fulfilled. However, not everyone took part in it’s fulfillment and reward. Why? Some chose to “not” honor God.
When Moses sent the 12 spies to check out the “Promised Land”, 10 came back focusing on the negative and chose to dishonor God. Two came back with a positive report and chose to honor God in their words and their faith.
The result was that those who dishonored God did not get to partake in the fulfillment of God’s promises. They did not get to enter into the promised land. They were “held captive” by the trap of the enemy.
My point is this; I now that God will fulfill all that He has spoken concerning this church, this building, and this youth ministry. However, it is your choice as to whether or not you want to be a part of it! God doesn’t need you to bring about His promises – but the beauty of it is, He wants you to be a part of it!
He wants you to become the “workman” who is approved and unashamed, avoiding the so called “innocent mistakes” that can tear us apart. He wants you to be the church that is willing to come into the blacksmith’s shop, be put onto the “anvil”, and be shaped and molded into a tool and into a vessel that can be used for his honor and glory. He wants you to become the “product” of a balanced Christian lifestyle that flees youthful lusts, gossip, arguments, quarrels, and resentment, and pursues righteousness, peace, love, kindness and unity.