1 Timothy 4:7-16 A Community Set on Progress In Serving

Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. These are the things you must insist on and teach. Let no one despise your youth but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. [NRSA]

Being a church committed to Koinonia Fellowship calls on us to have a balance of commitment.

We have put on hold most of our hands-on ministry of feeding and clothing ministries that have been “bread and butter” of our ministry efforts. We need to find new ways to make sure those who are hungry and naked have what they need as we respond to the Great Commandment. These new and renewed restraints are calling us to rethink how we witness as the body of Christ.

1 Tim 4 also recognized that the physical ministry of the church is valuable, but it is not the primary work we are called to be about. It might be easier and more rewarding in the moment for us. One of the cautions is that we not do ministry so that we can be praised, or we can feel good, or look good to others — these things do come when we are genuine in our ministry to physical needs, but we are a spiritual body as well as a physical one.

This is why Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit when he leaves. We are Christ’s presences in the world, doing God’s work, empowered by God’s Spirit as spiritual people of God.

1Tim 4 [Physical Training and service is of some value, but the more important service is living out our trust in God.]

There are things that we work our spiritual self and the spirit of others, and not just the physical.

Paul is encouraging Timothy with some of his strongest language: “Insisting” that he teach the church.

As for the physical work we do: Let your service reflecting God’s presence, love, and sincerity.

As for the Spiritual work we are to do:

1. Give attention the public reading of scripture, preaching, and teaching

(Your prayers you may do in private, but when it comes to exhortation:

Be walking billboard for the scripture.

2. Develop and Use your spiritual Gifts.

a. What are your spiritual gifts. There are a number of online helps and books, but a good way to start is to ask five people what they believe your spiritual gifts are. Their feedback reflects what you are already likely been doing.. Now you may have other spiritual gifts and differing times of your life, so this is not a one-time check list.

b. The Part two of Spiritual Gifts calls for asking God, and others do I have other Spiritual gifts as well as praying for God to reveal these to you. We also need to be anticipating hearing and coming to understand what talents, opportunities and gifts God entrusts with us.

3. Put these two things into practice: Be fluent in the scripture so that others hear the word through you and be diligent to use the gifts and opportunities God opens to your life.

We are living in a time and season when being open, direct and bold about our faith is clearly risky.

We are hesitant because we don’t want to be labeled, rejected, attacked or negatively effected by letting the world know we are God’s People in living for Christ, powered by the Holy Spirit.

I’m guessing you have heard the saying, “the way you live you life maybe the only Gospel someone reads.” While part of this is true, it comes without any interpretation, explanation, context, and we risk great misunderstanding.

The instruction is not to beat people up with being right or wrong about scripture, it is a call for us to be devoted to what we think in our head and act in our service, but to also be clear in our reasons and lessons WHY we think and act as we do.

Our clearest example is Jesus’s relationship with his disciples. He was ever placing real life observations and even conflicts, in the context of scripture: And drawing on the Old Testament as such. And sometime Jesus would give an new understanding to an older text as well.

Jesus Sayings and Teachings Are strong and give explanation of why we think and act as disciples do

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 NIV

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 NIV

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NIV

There are the “You have Heard, but I say”

Matthew 5:21 NIV 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’

Matthew 5:27 NIV 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

Matthew 5:33 NIV 33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’

Matthew 5:38 NIV 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’

Matthew 5:43 NIV 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

The Contextual Power is revealed when scripture is lived out as a witness for God

Luke 7:22 NIV So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

The world is transformed by God, THROUGH US, when we become those who speak God’s work to the hurting, broken, blind, suffering world.

The Conviction: Not always the popular thing for the world to hear, because God is often using us as prophets and teachers… but if you and I are not telling, teaching, preaching, and proclaiming, what will the world hear from us?

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