August 15, 2014
#1 TASK as believers = witnessing
#1 FAILURE as believers = witnessing
#1 REASON FOR FAILURE in our #1 task = fear!
Every true, devoted follower of Christ wants to do a better job as a witness for Him. Many go through weeks, months, and even years and rarely share their faith with anyone. There are many reasons, but the most common is fear.
We see this all over the Bible: Peter denying Christ, the early disciples in Acts 4 crying out for boldness, and here we see it in young Timothy whom Paul admonishes.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity… (2 Timothy 1:7-9)
Paul loads young Timothy up with all he needs to conquer his fears. Let his admonitions sink into your soul.
YOU MUST RELY ON THE SPIRIT
Paul reminded Timothy that he did not get this timidity from God. He also reminded him that he has another spirit that is full of ""power and love and discipline."" This was a gift which means that it is not something we work up, but something given to us.
And Paul uses the past tense (“have been given”) indicating that, although he may not realize it, he has the gift of boldness with him. This is because the Spirit of God is in him. He must rely on the Spirit and as he does he will power, love, and discipline.
To live in fear is to live below your capabilities, merely giving in to the author of all fear, the devil himself.
YOU MUST DIE TO SUFFERING
The root of fear is ""what will happen to me?"" If you can dig out the root, the fear goes away. Paul accomplished this by committing beforehand to suffering. Here's his logic we see all through His letters and life.
""Jesus suffered, and if I follow Him I am going to suffer, so let's get going. I will not let the fear of suffering paralyze me. And if I suffer there's a greater reward. And if I die in my suffering, I'll go to heaven quicker. There’s nothing any man can do to me that will hurt me.""
Somewhere along the way he settled this issue and ripped the stinger of suffering out forever. This made him absolutely unashamed of the gospel and an unashamed man who has died to suffering is unstoppable!
YOU MUST REMEMBER YOUR CALLING!
God Himself has ""saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works (we didn't do this) but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity."" We are like soldiers in the field who have reserved the highest commission from the highest commander.
We must never forget this and live for lesser things (materialism, reputation, selfish pleasures). Paul knew his mission and knew who had given it to him and knew the COST with which this commission had been purchased—Christ's own death on the cross. Propelled by this vision, He simply could not stop telling everyone, unashamedly and boldly about Jesus. And in his letters he is constantly reminding us of this high calling!
History records that Paul's admonitions worked and Timothy became a strong, courageous leader for Christ.
All you need is here. What will history record about you?
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?