Pastor Darren Carrington filled in this week for Pastor Miles. His message challenged each person to evaluate his/her relationship with Christ and to consider to what extent are we ready to give of ourselves and sacrifice.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 states, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Scriptures such as this really call into question how one can disregard Scripture as irrelevant. In these verses alone from 2 Timothy 3, show the relevancy of Scripture. We can attest to the description in these verses to be what is going on in our present time.
Willing to do Whatever?
In light of that, Pastor Darren Carrington presented the message this Sunday, asking the question, "Are you willing to do whatever for Jesus?"
When we look at the life of Paul, one of the most impassioned disciples of Jesus Christ, we see a man sold out for the Word of God, willing to do whatever for Jesus. It was for the cause of Christ that Paul was shipwrecked, imprisoned, stoned, and beaten.
Get Over Yourself!
There are many things that can get in the way of our willingness to do whatever for Jesus. The pride of self-love (over our love for God) is the deadly sin that is the foundation which leads to all others.
If we leave things up to ourselves, and do only what we want, inevitably we will destroy ourselves.
A Loving God
God is a loving God and has our best interests at heart.
If God were an unloving God, He would show us what to do and then leave us one our own to do it. But He doesn't do that because He is Love, and cares for His children deeply.
For example, if you were to go to the dentist, and the dentist examined your mouth, and found that you had two pretty serious cavities. In fact, these cavities are so bad, that they must be treated right away. However, instead the dentist takes off your bib, and sends you out of the office wishing you good luck in caring for those cavities.
Just as a dentist would never do that, God does not leave us on our own. He has given us His Word, and promised to never leave us.
Obey God's Word
God wants us to obey His Word because He loves us. Just like traffic laws are meant to keep us safe, by protecting us from harming ourselves, and others, God's Word is meant to protect us also.
When we get on the freeway, the signs don't read, drive however fast you want. Instead, there is a set speed limit, intended for drivers to abide by. The speed limit isn't meant for anything but our protection and safety.
If we were free to drive however fast we want, then we would inevitably hurt others and ourselves along the way.
God and His Word is what keeps order in this world. Our country was built on godly principles because they work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
God's Word is everything we need therefore, we must heed His word.
A Devoted Fan of Jesus
Are you a fan of sports? Or do you know someone who is?
In every city there are die-hard sports fans. Now during the football season, we see fans in various cities across the nation, go to extreme lengths to support their team, whether it is enduring extremely cold weather, or tattooing their body, sports fans are wholly devoted to their teams.
Are we that devoted to Jesus? Ready and willing to endure anything for Him? Are we willing to go to great lengths to show our support of Him?
What in your life confirms that you are madly in love with Jesus Christ? Is it immediately evident? Often times we are afraid of suffering, or doing whatever it takes for Christ, because we don't know what "whatever" encompasses.
However, to prevent further decline of Christianity we must be willing to do whatever it takes to spread the Gospel to a lost and deceived world! We can prepare ourselves to do the work of the Lord, by studying and obeying the Word of God.
As Paul instructs Timothy, so as Christians we ought to also heed the instructions in 2 Timothy 4:1-4 which says,
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
We don't need a pulpit to preach the Word. We don't need to speak to preach. It can be seen in how we live.
Our love for Christ will be evident when we are madly in love with Him!
God doesn't fit in with the pride of self-love. Turn from sin, read His Word, and obey His call!