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Summary: God wants us to be honest with who we are so we can be faithful with what he has done.

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1st Timothy 1:12-17

“When the worst receives the best”

God wants us to be honest with who we are so we can be faithful with what he has done.

Sunday Morning Sermon

7.20.08

Intro:

Watch this video – notice who finally stands on the scales, I’ll ask you about it in 30 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrLzYw6ULYw

(Start with Title and Text)

God wants us to be honest with who we are so that we can be faithful with what he has done. That seems pretty simple doesn’t it? We teach honesty from a young age. Amanda and I are drilling into our daughter’s head that she can be honest with us – when she does something wrong (which does happen from time to time). I think that’s the way it starts – and then something changes, something happens. The seed of honesty that starts off with the expectation of growth – doesn’t get as much sunlight as it should when we get to be adults. We hide the way we feel, and it’s not a blessing to us.

My mom could make the BEST pie. Warm apple pie – Pumpkin pie – I remember walking into the house, around thanksgiving and smelling pecan pie. She thought I like coconut cream pie – I never told her any different. During the first few years we were married – I probably gave away 15 coconut cream pies. I wasn’t honest with her. Imagine for a moment if I had been truthful – “mom, my favorite pie is pecan” – Imagine how much my honesty would have been a blessing, for the both of us.

Discussion:

God already knows your past. He already knows how you hurt, and the people you can name who have hurt you – he knows you keep that list. God already knows about your apathy – your justifications – your rationalization of sin. He knows how you hide your sin – the websites and chat rooms– the jokes you laugh at, the language you use – the addictions you have – the habits seek approval for, the bitterness you hold on to. Being honest with who we are starts with where we are. It’s not my purpose this morning to solve all those issues – it is the good purpose this morning to help us move forward in dealing with who we are – and what God has done, and desires to do in your life and mine.

What I want you to do – is recognize the short falls in your life – places where you don’t match up – and start with honesty and then move towards the grace He offers freely.

We have that example in scripture – if you have your Bibles with you this morning turn with me to 1st Timothy 1:12-17 (Read) (Advance)

It’s refreshing to me to find such honesty in the life of Paul. He knew who he was and he knew what God had done for him. Listen –

God wants us to be honest with who we are so we can be faithful with what he has done.

If that statement is biblically true, there are two questions we must answer. (Advance)

I. Who are we?

Before you answer that – you are not your job. Your occupation doesn’t define who you are – it’s not limited to just your time card, paycheck or a badge that you wear. You are not just your kids’ parent – You will always be their mom or dad (that’s not a bad thing) but that’s not the only thing that defines you. You are not defined by your spouse or the lack of spouse. They might be a huge influence in your life – their absence might be a huge void in your life – but again…that’s not what defines who you are. Let’s look at Paul for just a second… (Advance)

Vs. 12 -- I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.

a. Paul starts with Christ – when he identifies himself

i. He starts with what Christ has done – notice here:

1. He is strengthened because of Christ

2. Jesus considered him faithful

3. Jesus appointed him to “service” – Lit. “Ministry”

There was a time when Paul was not Paul.

Back to the book of Acts – Paul was SAUL (Advance)

Acts 8:1 (NIV) – And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.

There was a preacher named Stephen – and Stephen gave a sermon to the Sanhedrin – telling them how their fathers missed the point of life, and resisted God. He says in vs. 51 of chapter 7 in Acts – (Advance) “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” Of course that stuck to them like road-kill skunk on a radial tire. Sometimes when you knock the devil right between the eyes, people get offended. And they were OFFENDED! (Advance)

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