Jam 1:1-8; 16, 17 | Knowing Before Asking

James 1:1-8; 16,17

I. HE IS A GIVING GOD. “That gives to all men….”     1. He gives to all men generally. 2. He gives to all men generously     3. He gives to all men graciously.

II. HE IS AN INVOLVED GOD. “If any lack wisdom.” “fall into trials.”  He is a God who is interested in our lives. If it’s big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about.     1. He is concerned about our circumstances.     2. He is more concerned about our character.         (1) Seen in that trials are allowed.         (2) Seen in that wisdom is offered.         (3) Seen in that faith is demanded.

III. HE IS A TRUSTWORTHY GOD — Vs. 16, 17 No change. Nothing changes or affects Him.     1. He is a Father     2. He is Faithful. It may often appear that God’s gifts aren’t good — the world has turned and cast a shadow on the goodness of God. Spurgeon said, “When you cannot trace His hand, you can always trust His heart.”

 

©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2001

2Ti 4:6-21 | Three Plus One

2 Timothy 4:6-21

INTRO: Paul knew he was about to die and these are his last words. He gives us some snapshots or minibiographies of some of the people he labored with that might be instructive to us.

DEMAS – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND WORLDLINESS.

Worldliness is an attitude or philosophy of wanting to blend in with the world- to lose your identity as a Christian.

Demas is mentioned three times in the bible. First, as “my fellow servant” in Philemon 24, then just as “Demas” in Col. 4:13 to this passage in II Tim. 4:10 “  forsaken me, having loved this present world.”

Demas went to Thessalonica to blend in–not to forsake the Lord– his heart just got cold and you can lose yourself in a large place. He just forsook Paul. For a long time Demas had been loving the world but has now made a choice. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Demas must have done a lot of good things in his life, having been a servant with Paul but he was branded by his final act.

Paul contrasts himself with Demas in verse 7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”. It’s not how fast you run, it’s whether you FINISH THE COURSE.

I. LUKE – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND USEFULNESS  

Dr. Luke is the only one who is still with Paul. In v. 11 he says, “only Luke is with me”.

In Cot. :14 he is called the “beloved physician.”

Luke wrote the book of Acts and the Gospel of Luke. He was an educated historian, diligent researcher and theologian, using the finest Greek in the New Testament.

He joined with Paul at Tarsus for missionary journeys, spending most of his life in the background and was the human instrument God used to prop Paul up. Who needed a physician more than Paul with the beatings, stoning, shipwrecks and imprisonments.

II. MARK – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND FORGIVENESS.  

He was the son of Mary. He grew up in the home where the church met- a spiritual atmosphere.

He was the nephew of Barnabus and went with Paul and Barnabus on their first missionary journey.

Mark left Paul and Barnabus to go home and there was strife between Paul and Barnabus about taking John Mark on another journey. So, Paul took Silas and Mark went with Barnabus.

Now, 30 years later, Paul is telling Timothy to go out of the way to pick up Mark and bring him to Paul because” . .he is profitable to me in the ministry.”

Our failure does not have to be FATAL NOR FINAL.

III. PAUL – NO ONE OF US EVER GETS BEYOND HUMANNESS.  

Paul is in a Roman prison facing death. He asks Timothy to”. . .make every effort to come to me soon.” v. 9 and to “…make every effort to come before winter.” v. 21.

He also asks Timothy to”. . .bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.” v. 13.

He is COLD, LONELY and BORED. When a person becomes a Christian, grace does not de-humanize them.

Paul finds no inconsistency in loving the appearing of the Lord and the appearing of Timothy. God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”. Jesus knew what it was to be lonely and he wept.

God knows our frame that we are but dust. I have a divine treasure dwelling in me but I am a CLAY POT.

We need to be reminded that we are human. It makes us trust in the Lord more. Live the life as a human but IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT.

©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2003

 

 

1Th 1:9,10 | Authentic Salvation

1 Thessalonians 1:9,10

I. Real Salvation is Separation from the Past: vs. 9

1.Turned to God

2.From idols—Notice the order: you can’t turn from idols without first turning to God.

II. Consecration for the Present: vs. 9, “to serve the living and true God.”

1.A slave is completely owned by his master.

2.A slave is absolutely loyal to his master.

3.A slave is totally dependent on his master.

III. Expectation for the Future: vs. 10, “And to wait for His Son from heaven.”

1.The Greek has the idea of “waiting up.” “Wait” mean and patiently.

2.The Phillips translation reads, “Your whole life now looks forward to the coming of His Son from heaven.”

©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2001

Col 1:21-29 | The Service Of Christ

Colossians 1:21-29

INTRO: If you are what you have always been, you have never met Christ! No man can meet Christ and remain the same. What the eye sees it can never unsee!

What happens to a man who meets Christ as the Preeminent, Lord of Creation, Image of Invisible God, Firstborn from the Dead, Ruler Over All Things, Reconciler of all Things, the Fullness of the Godhead. WHAT HAPPENS?

HE IS MADE A MINISTER! He becomes the servant of that Christ. Paul says twice He was MADE A MINISTER, a servant. Service for Christ is the result of a head-on collision with Jesus Christ.

When a man is captivated by the Loving Lordship of Jesus, He is MADE a servant.

I. SERVICE FOR CHRIST IS SUFFERING FOR CHRIST.  

vs. 24–”NOW’ as a result of meeting Him as Lord.

1.    We must be READY TO SUFFER.  This is far from the experience of must of us.  Matt. 5:9,10; I Peter 4:12; II Tim. 2:3; 3:13; Phil. 1:29; Rom. 8:17; John 15:18

What Kind? Jesus left some suffering for us to do. Not the Calvary sufferings… “It is finished”. But the World wasn’t finished with Jesus. The word “affliction” is never used of the redemptive suffering of Christ.

(1)   The Sufferings to Birth the Church

(2)   The Sufferings to Build the Church

If childbearing were the only pain involved in rearing a family, it would be easy…even into adulthood. Gal. 4:19

The Sufferings of Obedience – “If I do what God says, I’ll have to give up, they’ll take advantage of me, etc.”

2.    We are to REJOICE IN THIS SUFFERING. Your concept of Jesus will determine to what extent you are willing to suffer for Him. I read in one Pastor’s column where he there with being “stoned at Lystra”.

Paul and others were always rejoicing in their trials. II Cor. 7:4

II. SERVICE FOR CHRIST IS SHARING JESUS. vs. 25-28

1.  The MESSAGE we are to share –“Whom we preach…”

(1)   Preach – the authority to make an announcement.

We have the RIGHT to share Him. Divine commission.

(2)   We have a REASON – “Christ IN you, the Hope of Glory” a daily experience. Some say the Keswick message discourages

evangelism.. IT ENCOURAGES EVANGELISM because we offer more than fire insurance–LIFE ASSURANCE! A life of

fullness.

Not SOUP and SOAP, but the SAVIOUR.

2.    The MANNER we share —

(1)   “WARNING” — To put them in mind, to admonish. Present participle. Continually, training by word, AS CONTRASTED

TO “training by act.” To correct through instruction and warning.

An unforgettable experience.. .1 John 1; Amos: “The Lion hath roared, who can but speak?”

Jeremiah:   ‘‘Thy Word is a fire in my bones.

Paul:   “Woe is me if! preach not…”

Woman at the Well: “Is not this the Christ?” His disciples had been to town and hadn’t told anyone.

Andrew:    “We have found the Christ.”

 

(2)   “TEACHING’-    instructing, indoctrinating them with all wisdom. That’s the method of the teacher. This is something we’d better

wise up to.

We are to EVANGELIZE and EDIFY.

3.    The MEASURE – “Every man.

4.    The MOTIVE – “In order that…present every man perfect.” Paul’s eye travels to the bema.

Present:  “To cause to come to and stand beside, I offer.” TO PLACE BESIDE.

Perfect:   Fulfilled, reaching goal, mature.

IN CHRIST JESUS – That’s the sphere in which they are made perfect. That’s why we preach CHRIST, because only IN

CHRIST are they brought to the GOAL.

III. SERVICE FOR CHRIST MEANS STRENGTHENED BY CHRIST.  

eis–unto direction towards an object.. .the only way to reach the object. IT’S JUST PLAIN HARD WORK.

1.  There is HUMAN EFFORT.

(1)   Labor – work by effort, to grow weary, “laborious toil” , a “striking, a beating”

(2)   Striving – athletic word, warfare word.

Our word, “Agonizing” — present participle—A habitual characteristic… our whole being is thrown into it. A man may labor or toil    half-heartedly, but to labor while agonizing is throwing yourself into it.

2.    There is HEAVENLY ENABLEMENT.

“according to…” KATA means “down”, has the idea of domination. Paul’s effort was dominated by God’s enablement.

MIGHTY –  our word “dynamic”, not “dynamite”.

Dynamite:  Bit noise, lot of dust, then nothing.

Dynamo:   Continual SOURCE OF ENERGY.

THE KEY: Christian service is WORKING OUT WHAT HE WORKS IN.

Paul says His working out is determined by, to the extent of, what God has worked in.

OUR PROBLEM: We are trying to work out before God has worked in.

Illustration of the little boy playing “Cowboy and Indians” with a stick horse. His dad said, Son, you look “plum tuckered out”. He replied, “Dad, real cowboys have real horses. I have to do my own galloping.”

©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2003

Php 4:16-18 | A View From The Pit

Philippians 4:16-18

I. People Are Fickle, vs 16 — “all men forsook me.”

1. It is a sin to abandon a brother—”I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”

2. It is a sin to be bitter about it. Paul prays that God will not charge it to their account.

II. The Lord is Faithful, vs 17

1. The Lord stands by us. “stood by me.”—a technical word for advice given to a prison. No one spoke for him, but One spoke to him.

2. The Lord strengthens us. “strengthened me.” to empower

3. The Lord saves us. vs. 18, “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve (keep from harm) me unto his heavenly kingdom.” But Paul was executed. Then, for Paul, it was not an evil work, for it ushered him into the presence of Jesus.

III. The Pit Can Be Fruitful

1. Awareness of the Lord’s presence

2. Accomplish the Lord’s purpose—”that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear.” Turn your pit into a pulpit.

3. Assurance of the Lord’s Protection—”will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom.”

Paul closes with a doxology. If we cannot move through this evil world with a doxology on our lips, we have an inadequate knowledge of God.

©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2001