I Timothy 4 Effective Ministry
Effective Ministry for God
Text: I Timothy 4:6-16
One of my first jobs was taking care of the property of an English lady who lived down the road from our home. I would take care of her little dog, trim her bushes, cut the lawn, prune the trees and vacuum her furniture. I remember wanting to do a good job so that she would be pleased with me.
Half Acre Ice Cream Store: Meeting Assemblyman Riford the owner of the store.
Goulds Pumps: Loading and unloading semis; being called “preacher”; Snyder
I’ll never forget taking care of a deaf dog named bandit. Mr. Weaver and I found him in the local dog pound.
No matter what the job I wanted to be a successful at it. As believers, we have a desire to be successful spouses and parents. We want to be used of the Lord in our local church. But we face the same question Timothy must have thought. “I am young and the job is great, how can I be effective for God?”
Timothy had been given the responsibility of dealing with some difficult issues as a young minister of the gospel. Paul wrote this letter to be a personal encouragement to Timothy in this vital ministry.
How can we succeed in the ministries God has given us?
This passage suggests three ways to be an effective for God.
1. You Can Be Effective For God by Serving Others.
A. Encourage people to Reject Error.
Timothy was in Ephesus to strengthen the church through the Word of God. You can see Paul’s concern for the people when he charged Timothy to warn them about false teachers and their destructive teachings.
1. Warn them about false teachers 1:2
a. They are dishonest
b. They are hypocrites
c. They are hardened
2. Warn them about false teaching 1:3
a. Spirituality is not found in false asceticism. (self denial)
b. Spirituality is not meritorious. (works oriented)
B. Encourage people to Pursue Godliness. 1:7
“Exercise thyself” – Train yourself in godliness
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
· Godliness is obtained by strict self-discipline of the body to control the spirit. This is the thinking behind monks and monasteries. We are not spiritual because we deny ourselves.
· Godliness originates in salvation by Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 3:16
o God was manifest in the flesh. The incarnation of Jesus Christ
o Justified in the Spirit. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and was buried, three days later He rose from the dead. The Holy Spirit justified Him before mankind as the Son of God and Savior of men.
o Seen of angels,
o Preached unto the Gentiles
o Believed on in the world,
o Received up into glory (Ascension)
· Therefore, we can agree with Peter when he said, “God has given to us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”
· We train ourselves to godliness based on the God-given potential of godliness granted at salvation. Because I am saved I can train myself to be godly by the power of God in my life.
Don’t live by the myths of men but by the truth of God. These profane and old wives’ fables are mentioned first in 1:4
1 Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
1. Godliness is profitable in all things.
Godliness is devotion to God. This devotion has three parts; love for God, the fear of God, and desire for God. All of this is made possible by the gift of salvation and cultivated in a close relationship with God.
2. Godliness has promise in all times.
a. Life now
The word, “Life” refers to a true well-being in this life and obtains life’s real good, since it places man right relations to God and the world, and fits him for the true enjoyment of all earthly good”
b. Life eternal
It also insures the highest well-being in the life to come.
· As parents we need to warn our children of the dangerous teachings of deceivers.
· Encourage people to keep their focus on their personal devotion to God not on the distractions erroneous thinking.
Every believer faces obstacles in their pursuit of godliness. This is why believers cannot give up when the going gets tough.
2. You Can be Effective for God by Striving in Ministry.
A. They strive because of the promised reward of godliness.
B. They strive because of the promised rest of the gospel.
The word “strive” is where we get our word “agonize.” It carries the picture of the athlete putting in the last ounce of his energy into the race in order victoriously to reach the goal.. Paul “and his companions had such a deep sense of the grandeur of the reward held out in the Gospel, that they counted no labor too heavy, no agony too severe, that led them gradually but surely to the expected goal.”
ILLUSTRATION: Don’t give up
I have a personal motto when jogging in a hilly area. “Don’t quit on the hill.” The times that I am tempted to quite running are when I am just about to the top of a hill.
3. You Can be Effective for God by Setting the Right Example.
A. By Living out their Faith
a. Outward conduct
ii. Conversation (Lifestyle) That which your life says
b. Inward disposition
i. Charity: Love for God and Men
ii. Spirit: in zeal, and warmth of spirit, truly inflamed with the love of Christ, and for his glory.
iii. Faith: Trustworthiness, Faithfulness
iv. Purity: Purity of intention and character
Some think that Timothy was between 30 and 40 years of age at this time in his ministry. He was faced with the daunting task of dealing with serious issues and deceivers.
B. Listening to the Word of God
a. Listen to the Word of God by Reading
b. Listen to the Word of God through Preaching
c. Listen to the Word of God through Teaching
C. Yielding your Gifts to God
a. Let God use your gifts
b. Let God use your life.
“the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” “The presbytery” is a collective term denoting the body of elders or presbyters in a local congregation, each congregation apparently having several.
D. Continuing in Your Service for God.
a. Think about serving God
b. Be whole hearted in serving God
c. Progress in serving God
ILLUSTRATION: We had a nickname for a hill in front of our public high school. We called it “suicide hill.” We would run wind sprints up that hill for soccer practice in junior high. To us it was the last thing we wanted to do at the end of a hard practice. But it was necessary for our physical conditioning.
- Our ability to endure physically has much to do with our conditioning. So it is spiritually with our ministry to our children, spouse, and church. If we neglect our spiritual life we will be out of shape for the spiritual challenges that we will face.
“for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
- We must have a people oriented ministry
- We must not let obstacles keep us from ministry
- We must live a life that compliments the message of the gospel
4. We will see God deliver the people to whom we are ministering and we will see experience the deliverance of God in our own lives.