Sunday, March 15, 2015

Remind God’s Forgetful Folks: Focus on Jesus!

Remind  God’s  Forgetful, Feuding People: 
Focus  on  Jesus!
2 Tim. 2:14-19

            Fess up:  what’s the dumbest argument you ever had over what later proved to be unimportant? We have all had heated, protracted debates and quarrels over things that seemed life or death. However, with a little more time, maturity and humility, we realize that “big hairy deal” was a mere trifling. Sigh…

            “Quarreling about words” can harm relationships. It can also hinder and taint our service to God and others; its impact can be catastrophic! Remembering what is truly important can help prevent harmful, silly word-spats. Thus, after telling Timothy to stay mindful of Jesus Christ and the gospel, Paul urges him to remind others to also remember and stay focused on core matters (i.e. Jesus!).

                Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,  and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”   (2 Tim. 2:14-19  -  ESV)

Remind Them:  Stay Mindful of  Jesus!
2 Tim. 2:14-19

            God’s people have a long, ugly history of forgetting and feuding. We lose sight of the Lord – loving, serving Him - and we debate silliness, drifting into error and sin. Forgetting the Eternal One, temporal stuff and hurtful bickering takes over. Like Jesus observed, we neglect weightier matters; straining out gnats but swallowing camels (Matt. 23:23, 24). Gulp!  Facing martyrdom, Paul is further preparing Timothy for ongoing ministry. He reminds him to remember Jesus and then to help others keep Him in focus too.

Reminding  God’s  Forgetful,  Fighting  People:

First, Personally Stay Mindful of Jesus, His Gospel (vs. 1-13) 
            Keep Ministry Grace-filled & Personal – Pass it on (1, 2)

            Live to Please Your Commanding Officer  (3-7)         

            In Your Soldiering, Don’t Forget Who & Why! (8-13; 1 Cor. 2:1, 2)

            Practice godly mnemonics. Remember Jesus Christ:
God’s Savior & Messiah: “Jesus Christ” (Matt. 1) 
Master over Death! “risen from the dead” (1 Cor. 15; Rev. 1)
Fulfillment of God’s Promise: “…of David” (2 Sam. 7:12-16)
Our Message! “as preached in my gospel” (Col. 1:28, 29; 1 Cor. 15:1-8)
Our Meaning, the Why! “for which I am suffering… I endure”
He is faithful!  “for He cannot deny himself”

Then, Prompt & Warn Them to Focus on Jesus (vs 14-19)

Ø  Keep “these things” in mind:  Jesus, godly ministry… (vs. 1-13)

Ø  Solemnly Warn them: “Stop! Avoid empty word wars!”
Minutia, myths, secondary matters. Not important doctrines.

§  They hinder ministry. Are  not profitable. 

§  They hurt others – catastrophe!  ~  “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.”  (vs. 23-25)

Ø  Work Hard to be a Certified Laborer before God

§  No reasons for shame. Not distorting, cutting corners
§  “Cutting it straight” as a teacher. Proper Word Handling.
§  Avoiding Worldly Chatter & Doctrinal Ditches
            Leads to more worldliness, lack of dedication (ungodliness)
                It is spiritual Ebola! Contaminates Christ’s Body (1 Cor. 12)
                Derails & Hurts other’s Faith. Instead, edify!  Eph. 4:29
                It’s an injustice His people should turn away from! (cf. Num. 16:5)

v  Are you a reliable Paul, Timothy; pleasing the Lord? vs. 1-7
v  Are you: Undistracted, obedient, diligent, keeping Jesus in mind?
v  Do you urge others to stay Jesus-focused; true to Him, His Word?
v  Are you a word-fighter or do you fight to know & obey His Word?  


Glad we have each other to remind each other,


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