I’m a pretty simple minded person. Maybe it comes from carrying corn cobs to the kitchen stove when I was five, or milking cows most of my childhood, or spending hours in the fields throwing hay bails around. Whatever the case, I don’t think the gospel or the Christian life was meant to be so complicated. That’s why I’m always stirred when I read Jesus’ conversations on following after God — like a man plowing in the field that should not look back, or like seed planted on various kinds of soil. This is really easy stuff to understand.
We tend to make things more complicated than they should be. And we’re often eager to “discuss” issues that are meaningless.
So when Paul tells Timothy to keep people from wasting “their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations,which don’t help people live a life of faith in God,” (1 Timothy 1:4) he’s primarily reminding us that a lot of things that sound spiritual are a big waste of time.
We need FOCUS. We need to constantly focus on the things that really matter.
Now–here are some great words from Spurgeon…
Our days are few, and are far better spent in doing good, than in disputing over matters which are, at best, of minor importance. The old schoolmen did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our Churches suffer much from petty wars over abstruse points and unimportant questions.
There are, however, some questions which are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid, but fairly and honestly meet, such as these:
Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind?
Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit?
Am I growing in grace?
Does my conversation adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour?
Am I looking for the coming of the Lord, and watching as a servant should do who expects his master?
What more can I do for Jesus?
Now that’s a great list to help us find some focus!
I just finished meeting with the most gifted committed five young men ever! This a group of twenty-something leaders that I’ve pulled together recently into which I hope to pour some truth, wisdom, and encouragement. As Paul wrote to Timothy long ago, “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also,” 2 Timothy 2:2. This is about sharing the goods and multiplying our efforts.
Here’s the thing–I am so challenged by these guys! I love their pure passion, untainted commitment to Christ, can-do spirit, and energy for God-things. This old horse is getting fed and fueled. I’m benefiting big time! We take the masks off, share our lives, and talk about loving God and loving people.
This morning we pondered 1Timothy 1:5 which states, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
It’s all about love. Just like Jesus said, the greatest commandment is to love God and love people. It’s so tempting to get distracted with meaningless things that look Christian and sound spiritual (1Timothy 1:3-4). But it’s counterproductive.
I dream of seeing the Lord add to our number everyday those who are being saved. He did that when the first church existed (Acts 2:47). He still wants to do it today. We’ve simply gotten lost in the fog of busy and often meaningless activity. The modern church needs to regain it’s…
Passion for broken people
Urgency about the eternal destiny of those around us
Commitment to live obediently to our commission
Courage (Holy Spirit given) to intersect with our world gently and purposefully
LeRoy Eims once told a parable about a new shoe factory. Leaving the manager in charge, the owner left for period of years. When the owner returned, he found that the manager had produced great morale, well-educated employees, good equipment, and fabulous plans…but no new shoes had yet been manufactured. But a shoe factory is all about making shoes!
The church is often thrilled about having happy people, good education, wonderful facilities, and noble plans. But if we fail to see new converts, we have failed in the Great Commission to “make disciples”. The first step of that is always new birth.