Faithlife Sermons

2 Timothy, Be Strong

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You therefore, my ason, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.

7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,

9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.

10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

11 It is a trustworthy statement:

For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him;

If we bdeny Him, He also will deny us;

13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Why does the church exist today? Biblical Passages as 2 Timothy, where Paul charges young Timothy to entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others—give us insight onto the purpose of the church worldwide. Understanding what the church is not can help us us too.
The church is not the NT, modern day continuation of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. Israel did not morph into the church.
The church also is not an organization created my man to ensure that a Christian version of religion endures through time. Yes, there are religious aspects of the church, buts the church’s purpose is greater than religion.
Although all true members of the church should be members of a local Christian fellowship, the church is not just the people who gather in houses of worship on the weekends.
The church is first and foremost an invisible, spiritual reality. It is the organic union of all who have been given new birth by the Holy Spirit as a result of faith in Jesus Christ.
tells us, “For we are all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the Spirit to drink”
Some days its hard to be strong in the Lord. there are days when being a Christian is just difficult. It seems like the harder I try I just can’t seem to get this Christian life right. I tell myself that today is the day I will do everything right for God. I will not say anything ungodly, I will not do anything ungodly and I will certainly not think anything ungodly.
Now for the next 15 minutes I do a great job and then it seems like it all falls apart. All of my good intentions go right out the window.
Now when it happens, I don’t even know it because it happens so fast and so smooth that I miss the fact all of the promises I made God just a few minutes ago I have already broken.
In some cases, all it took was for someone in the Whitehouse to show up on TV and I have immediately forgotten the promise not to think ungodly thoughts.
Now if someone drops a bag of money and I find it and immediately “m thinking what can I do to keep it. Am I trusting God at that moment or amI trusting what I can do with the money.
Now I would love to stand here and say without a doubt that I would return the money, but depending on how much money is in the bag, I may have to think about it for a minute.
And that is how we do our relationship with God. Its dependent on the situation we are in. Its much easier to tithe on $300 than $30,000.
Our challenge to be strong has to planted in us before we face the situations of life. I have learned to tithe without thinking about it, because if I think about it too long I start to come up with some, in my mind very good reasons not too. I look for loopholes in scripture and justification, rationalizations and excuses. I learned to be strong and trust Jesus.
We see God as this big and far away thing. Our view of God as far away allows us to minimize the fact that we really don’t trust Him the way we say we do.
He’s to big and far away relationally. Now when we don’t trust Jesus, that’s a different story. We separate God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit out of convenience.
Because for most of us we have a growing relationship with Jesus, but in our minds it seperete from God. We don’t think of the Trinity, Father, /son and Holy Spirit.
So its much easier for us to live with the fact that when we don’t tithe, we are praying to a God we don’t trust, when actually we are also loving a Jesus we don’t trust. saying we don’t trust Jesus is more painful than saying we don’t trust God.
If we don’t trust God, how can we trust Jesus? You see as we face life’s challenges we have to prepare for the circumstances and situations in life that will test who we are in Christ.
When we keep the bag of money we put a price tag on our relationship with God and Jesus and we sell our souls for what’s in the bag.
Now I know someone will rationalize that the bag of money is a blessing form God. Is it really? Or is it a temptation from Satan.
Do you really think that Jesus would bless us with someone else’s loss? Our relationship with Jesus with Jesus will always give you the answer.
We all know what things, people and situations are temptations to us. We have to prepare ourselves for when these temptations appear before they appear.
My experience as a soldier has taught me that you prepare before a battle not in the middle of the fight.
So what are the battles that you have to prepare for? what are the situations and people you have to ask God for help with? Those times and temptations that we struggled with in the past.
It seems like it always the same people places and things that are weaknesses for us, that tempt us and distract us from our relationship with God. We end up spending and losing a lot of time dealing with things that seal our joy and causes us t miss out on the blessings and peace that is in Jesus Christ.
I would not be right for me to tell you the what and not tell you the how of what to do to deal with those things that distract us. Let’s look at scripture.
When we are dealing with tough times and difficult situations we tend to view them as sufferings. Suffering is often God’s springboard for accomplishing what could not be done otherwise through a person’s life. God used Paul’s imprisonment and chains to evangelize the Roman Empire.
Proving that His word is and cannot ever be chained. Paul reminded Timothy that God is faithful to fulfill His promises.
From God’s perspective, there are 2 kinds of workers. The approved worker who rigorously studies and applies God’s Word, eager to find it truths and share them with others, and the unapproved worker reads the Bible in pursuit of their own interests instead of real understanding. This generates discord and increasing ungodliness.
This is why we need to read the Bible with in inward focus. Many of us read the Bible with an outward focus, in that we read it and say those people or others need to start doing this or that , but we never shine that Biblical light on ourselves.
The right understanding of the Word of God, builds up and fortifies faith. The danger in the unapproved worker is that this person literally misses the target of God’s teaching. Consequently, he or she is prone to promote falsehoods, which can destroy the confidence of of other believers.
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