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Ordination Service: Thomas Andrew McCall

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5 practices to keep for a minister

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1 Timothy 4:6–16 NASB95
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
1 Timothy 4:6-
Intro: Andy, I first want to say on behalf of LRBC, we are so proud of you. We are excited for you and Emily and for the ministry that God has called you to. The call to ministry is both an honor and a responsibility. With that in mind, I’d like for us to spend a few minutes looking into God’s Word. We will turn to the book of 1 Timothy- this is considered a ‘pastoral epistle’ - written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, a young man who, much like you, is beginning his ministry. Let us read together
1 Timothy 4:6–16 NASB95
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
Here in this text, I’d like to give 5 brief points of Biblical guidance

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing (6-7)

You will find that there are many things that can distract from the calling that God has placed upon your life. There are even some good things or interesting topics that may seem worthy of time and energy.
Yet, at the heart of your calling as a minister of Jesus Christ is the Gospel. Be sure to keep the work of Christ central in all of your ministry and life. This is the food that nourishes the soul.
Do not waste time arguing over things that will never be settled this side of heaven. Do not spend time trying to ensure that everyone will like what you preach- indeed, in preaching God’s Word, there will be things that people do not like.
Keep the Good News of Jesus Christ central in your ministry and your personal life.

Keep/ Maintain Your Spiritual Health (8-9)

I’ve been told over and over again, “You cannot pour from an empty cup”
Your relationship with God is first and foremost. A minister must discipline himself-
Do not forsake time alone with God. I had a professor tell me one time that in ministry, we would find ourselves cheating some area of our life. Don’t cheat your spiritual walk. Cut other things out, but by all means: ensure that you do not grow stagnant- ensure that you do not become numb to the power and mercy of our Lord.
Do not stop seeking Him. Do not stop meditating on His Word.
If it is important to maintain a healthy diet, to brush your teeth, and to shower (which it is); How much more important is the care of your soul? As Paul writes- this holds promise both in the present life and also in the life that is to come.

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus (10)

There is only one true hope- it is not becoming the next famous podcasting preacher. It’s not growing your church or having thousands of social media followers.
No. Only hope in Jesus.
As a minister, there will be times when you will face both complement and criticism from your congregation and peers. Let neither permeate your heart. For, if we live by man’s words, so through man’s words shall we die.
Fix your hope on Jesus. Be obedient to Him- do not get caught up in flattery lest you become proud. Neither get discouraged by those who seek to harm you.
God Himself has made you competent () , and it is for His glory that you have been called into ministry. Hope in Jesus. Depend on Jesus.

Keep Your Bible Open (13)

We are charged with sharing God’s Word with the world. As Paul instructs Timothy, so I tell you:
Read the Word. People need to hear from God. Don’t be content to simply read a verse here and there- spend time reading aloud God’s Word.
Preach and teach the Word. Not an opinion nor rant. We are on dangerous ground should we choose to preach contrary to the truth of God’s Word. Let the Bible be where you draw your lessons as you lead people. Point them to specific Scripture and let them see how the Bible addresses life.
Teach the Word- let the Bible be where you draw your lessons as you lead people. Point them to specific Scripture and let them see how the Bible addresses life.
Exhort from the Word. The Bible is given not just for head knowledge, but for action! Urge people to take real steps as God’s Word directs.
The bible is sufficient, as God’s very word. Keep it near, keep it open.

Keep Going (16)

Persevere in all these things
As a minister, you bear a great responsibility.
You are an overseer of men’s souls
You are a protector against false teaching
You are a leader into the arms of Christ.
Andy, you cannot lead where you have not been or are not willing to go. So, keep going. Keep striving for God. In doing so, you will ensure that the Gospel will be clearly proclaimed, explained, and sustained. May God bless you, your family, and your ministry.
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