Guarding the Gospel

Guarding The Gospel

Guarding Attitudes Toward Money - Part II

1Timothy 6:11-19

The Church of Jesus Christ was built as an international Church, and that is what it is.

Paul addressed young Timothy in 1Timothy verse 11: 

"But you, Man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness."

"Man of God" is a very unusual title.  It implies a contrast to what came before - greedy preachers, false prophets.  They twisted the Word to be about them.  Timothy was the only preacher called "Man of God."  We are men - "adam" in Hebrew - earthly, weak, sinful, yet we have God in His majesty, greatness, who came to dwell in us.  This is amazing!  God is deep.  The God who made Isaac, drove Daniel to his knees, came and dwelled in me.  What an honor!  In Genesis 17:3 Abraham fell on his face and honored God, and he fell in love with God.

What does a Man of God do in a world like ours?  Paul says to Timothy to flee from sin and pursue godly things.  How many of our ministers have been wounded by money.  Go back to verse 6:  "But godliness with contentment is great gain."  People love money.  They hunger for more things.  In verse 12 Paul states:  "Fight the good fight.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."  Fight the good fight of faith, and take hold of the eternal life you to whichh you were called.  Guard what has been entrusted to your care.

How you handle money shows the condition of your heart, and how you serve God.  In verses 20-21 Paul tells Timothy:  "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care.  Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith."   Entrusted with the possession of another, you have an obligation to return it to the owner in the same condition.  The Word of God is unchanging.  It was entrusted to them, and now to us.  On the last day, we will have to return it  to the Lord the same way we received it.

"Timothy" means "He who honors God."  Let us honor Him every day.  

When you honor God with little things, He honors you with big things.

 

 

Guarding The Gospel

Guarding Attitudes To Money - Part 1

1 Timothy 6:1-10

Introduction

A.  Committed Fidelity To The Contemporary Master

The attitudes you display at work will enhance or subtract from you people think of your God and your Christian testimony.  Do you get it?  Tomorrow you are going to be an advert for Christ.  No matter what you do at work, you will advertise Jesus....Will they think well or ill of Jesus?  Here is the standard:

"f2.  Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers.  Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves."

It's all about earning respect BEFORE you earn the money.  Respect will change how you see your paycheck; blood money or well-earned cash.  How you work is an open expression of your secret attitudes of submission to God.

B.  Constant Friction From The Corrupt Mind

When a friend fails to repay a debt, one in three friendships will break up over the money.  Sound familiar?  This isn't how it's supposed to be among us believers.  Wrong acting toward money is the result of wrong attitudes toward money which is the result of wrong thinking about money.

C.  Contented Faith That Controls Money

Unless you and I gain the eternal perspective on money, we will never be trusted with what Jesus called TRUE wealth.  Is there an ad on TV that has this message?

"6.  But godliness with contentment is great gain."

No, of course not!  Only a contented faith can see the truth in that message.  Money beomes a very useful servant when you have a contented heart.

Conclusion

Place giving to God as the very first item on your monthly budget.  Observe the Kingdom of God as your primary responsibility.  You will be amazed how the other things start to find their right place.

"9.  Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  10.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

I think you can conclude that such is NOT the will of God for your life.

Guarding The Gospel

Areas to be Guarded

                                                                                      1Timothy 5:1-16

Introduction

Ask any social workers in our county - there are many rules for helping people.  "Don't preach about warmth for the soul to people with cold feet" is sound advice. So what does Paul write here about human needs?  The categories may change, but the advice transcends them all.  Embrace the principle of minimum aid.  We try never to use Church money to do for people what their families ought to be doing.

A.  The Quantity of Church Aid

Before it is safe to decide how much help each person needs, the people charged with using Church funds to help them must be sure they are not influenced by outside factors.

B.  The Qualities for Church Aid

Verify, verify, verify is the motto for giving Church aid..finding out if they have no other source of help.  

We seek faith in the person we help.  When we find genuine belief in the person, it makes helping them so much easier.  When a person has faith they are also part of a Church community that can vouch for their genuine need.

C.  The Queries in Church Aid

I won't ever do for you what I think you can do for you!  

Conclusion 

We are people who help people.  We are people who have compassion on those in need.

We are also people who have to be on guard against being hoodwinked.

Guarding The Gospel

The Model Guardsman

1Timothy 4:12-16

Introduction

There's probably a reason why the young make the best soldiers.  Paul says:

"12.  Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young."  I say, the way to not let anyone look down on you is by being a great advert for God,  Firstly it's by becoming....

A.  An Example Of Godliness

There are five areas where your example has to shine.

1.  "Be careful, little lips, what you say."  Set an example in speech.                                 

2.  "Be careful, little feet, where you go."  Set an example in conduct.  

3.  "Be careful, little hands, what you do." Set an example in speech, conduct, love

4.  "Be careful, little heart, what you trust."  Set an example in faith.

5.  "Be careful, little mind, what you think."  Set am example in purity. 

B.  An Expectation Of Giftedness

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to the believers.  Now this isn't a mysterious thing.  Its very practical.  In many cases, the gift you need to serve the Lord was given you through prophecy. Through some sermon or through something that a Christian said or wrote, you become aaware of a partiicular ability that you have.  The best way to neglect a spiritual gift is....to not use it.

C.  An Experience of Goal-Centeredness

"16.  Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearts."

One sure way to be a model guardsman or guardswoman is to have accountability partners.  These are more than people you can trust, more than friends who like and love you.  These are people who can hold you to a standard.                                 

Guarding The Gospel

Assistants To The Guard

Introduction

There is a word that gets you ready for heaven like few other words:  SERVING

There is a word that stands behind true Christian serving:  COMMITMENT

A.  Deacons And Their Commitment To The Purity Of Their Character

Men deacons must be self-controlled, and here are two places to test yourself:

"8.  In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain."                                                                                                   Men deacons, are you committed to the Purity of your Character?

Lady Deacons. Just a minute Pastor - my Bible doesn't say anything about lady deacons.   The word in the original text says "Deaconesses."  

"11.  In the same way, Deaconesses are to be worthy of respect, not malicious takers but temperate and trustworthy in everything."

B.  Deacons And Their Commitment To The Performance Of Their Charge

Paul is quick to remind the deacons and deaconesses that their charge begins at home.   

"12.  A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.."

Pau continues that "9.  They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience." The deeper you go in the Bible, the deeper you will be able to serve.

"13.  Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus."

C.  Deacons And Their Commitment To The Proclamation Of Their Church

"16.  Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: (what is that mystery?).  He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory."

Conclusion

There are no high and low ranks in God's Church, no reserved duties, no preferred ministries - there is only service!  Beyond true service, there is only commitment....only commitment large enough for the bowl and the towel.