Don't Neglect What God Has Given You
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 118 · 3 months ago

Don't Neglect What God Has Given You

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It's so easy to do but don't neglect what God has given you.

Thing we're gonna continue in our series in the Book of First Timothy. And as you know, if you've been around, if you've heard me preach at all, I love to use illustrations. I love to get you to think about something. I love to show you something and you'll remember it. You're like, I don't know why he's holding that. I don't know what that is, but it's means something, and like you won't hear anything that I say. You'll forget everything that I say. But you're like, man, he was holding this strange thing and I forget. I wonder what that was about. And like that's the point, right, you remember it. You you hang onto it and you try to figure out what it is doing. And so I'm so excited to preach this message today because God gave me the most amazing object illustration. Like it was so good, you know, like I'm always coming up with different stuff, but this one was like next level. Like I was like, you know, a couple of weeks, I was just like, this is amazing. I'm so excited to share it with you, Like it is so good. It's so good. Um, I I had to tell you that I've from just because I'm so excited to share it with you, but I'm gonna have to wait until later. But I do want to give you a sneak peek of what it is. All right, look at this cool thing. You don't even know what this is. It's cool in and of itself, right, that's pretty neat. But the what it means for your life is so much better. All right, It's so good, Like I can't believe God gave me this. It's it's it's gonna be so good. It's gonna change your life. I'm just telling you, we'll get to it, all right, We'll get to it. Say tell your neighbor, We'll get to it. We'll get to it. We'll get to it. Because I am really excited to preach this message today because the last two messages that I had the opportunity to preach through the book at first Timothy, were very hard messages. They were challenging messages for a number of different reasons, one being the text that Paul had right written to Timothy.

It is just hard to understand, like he's using words that he only uses one time, and so in the context, you're trying to figure out what is this word? So you're trying to understand what Paul meant, and then the challenges how does that relate to our context today, which is a whole another question, and it's a whole another challenge. And so we looked at the roles of men and women in ministry and the challenge of of what it was Paul saying and what does that apply to us, and also the qualifications for church leaders and what is a church leadership structure in the church, and how does that all work? And I had to do a lot of teaching. I had to explain about words and how this all works and and how this applies and go into depth and detail and all this stuff. And I loved it. But this message is the exact opposite of those two messages, all right, Like those were hard to understands are hard to apply. This message is extremely easy to understand. What Paul is telling Timothy is super straightforward. That's not the issue, and it's super easy to know the application for us today, all right. It's it's really really simple. And so there's just just a straightforward text today. And first Timothy, chapter four, the words you'll see are on the screen. It says this, Paul says to Timothy, do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the Church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your task so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. I've got one point this morning. One thing I want you to remember is, do not neglect what...

God has given you. That's it. Do not neglect what God has given you. Don't forget about it. No, don't neglect it. Don't neglect what God has given you. Shove your neighbors say, don't neglect what God has given you. Don't neglect what God has given you. That's it. That's the only slide. That's all I got. Don't neglect what God has given you. Have you ever had something so important, so valuable to you that you put it somewhere safe because you didn't want to lose it, And you lost it. I had a car, my first car, when I was nineteen nineties, six green Toyota Tacoma that my parents bought me. Thank you, Mom and Dad. That was a great car. I love that car. It was as a nice truck bed in the back. It had a cap on the back and I threw my football stuff in there. I put my baseball stuff in there. I put my basketball stuff in there. I was. I was utilizing that truck. It was. It was a great truck. It even had those windows you know that you rolled down like this. You know anybody, anybody will do that before. Yeah, I was cool. Man. I had a car that was great. But um, it was cool to have good sounding music in your car. And uh, I thought it was cool and I wanted to be cool. So I asked my parents to get me a new car stereo to replace the one in my green Toyota Tacoma truck. And for some reason they got it for me. I don't remember the details. Maybe it was a birthday or Christmas or something. And they installed it, which I don't even know you can do that in the new cars today, like take this stereo out, put a new one in. I don't know. That's what you used to be able...

...to do, right, And so they put it in and I was enjoying it, and it was awesome. It was cool, you know. I was bumping down the road to school and it was sounding good and I thought I was cool. And so then my family decided to go on a family vacation to Canada, as we normally did, and so I loved this new stereo. It was awesome. And so it had this red face plate on the front of the stereo, and it was designed so that you could pop this face plate off and put it in your like glove box, or put it somewhere safe, so that, you know, when people are walking by your beautiful car and they look in the window and see your fancy stereo, they not tempted to break in and steal it. You know, you put it somewhere safe. And so we were going on vacation. I had to leave my truck in the driveway, and I said, all right, this is important to me, This means a lot to me. I'm gonna pop this face plate off and I'm gonna put it somewhere, say where nobody's gonna find it. And so we went on vacation. I think it was like a week and a half vacation. And we got back and I got in my car, and I'm like, where's my music. I don't know where this face plate is. I put it somewhere safe. I walked into my house. I tore apart my garage. I tore apart my house. I did not find the face plate and unit. And I found it six years later. And I think in the moment I had to order a new one to replace the one that I put in such a safe place that nobody, including myself whatever, find it. And I believe that moment, gonna hide it somewhere, I'm gonna leave it there. And then in the process of doing that, we forget about it, we leave of it, we ignore...

...it, we neglect it, we forget about what God has given us. And my one message today to you is, don't neglect what God has given you. Don't do it, don't neglect, don't forget what God has given you. What has God given you. It's a hard question to think about, to consider, but I think if you think about it for more than a second, you probably know exactly what God has given you. At least one thing, something important, something valuable. God has given you. You know, and if you've been around church, you have some people in your life that know a little bit about your life. They could tell you exactly what God has given you. So one of the opportunities that God gave me back in high school was my pastor of my church that I grew up attending. He would say, Kevin, I want you to preach a message in this like teen talent show kind of thing. You know. They were like bringing people up to train them, the teachers in the church, and it's like a talent show. Teams involved, it was called. And so my pastor was like, you should do this, Kevin, you should preach, And I said, no way. God was was working in my life. He was trying to get me to say yes to something that God wanted me to do. And he wouldn't let me ignore it. He wouldn't let me forget about it. You know. It was like you gotta do this. And so what I felt like I was telling me to do was he said, I need you to go on a mission strip to Utah. Like, I don't go to summer camp, I don't preach. You want me to go on a missions trip to Utah? What are you telling me to do? And so I went home and I met with my youth pastor, I...

...said, I think God wants me to go on a missions trip to Utah. like, okay, it was five hundred dollars to get a plane ticket and go spend a week in Utah. People in my church gave me five hundred dollars to go. It's like, now, that doesn't seem like a whole lot of money, but back then, eighteen year old me, people giving five hundred dollars to help me go to say yes to Jesus Man. So I went to Utah and after my week there, the pastor who I was staying with, he was like, you should go to seminary after you graduate from college and then see what God does and maybe you know you'll go into full time ministry. And I was like okay. And so I started to say yes to what God was given me. And I got home from that trip and and there was a preacher that was at our church and you know, one of those people that you don't really know, but he just comes in and gives a message, and I guess it was for me that day. He he said, you right in the front of your Bible, the words I'm available, and then draw a line and I want you, if you are available to God, I want you to sign your name in the front of your Bible and date it. I was like, God, like, you sent this guy up from I think he was from South Carolina, right, you sent him all the way up here to tell me, like, sign your name on this from your bible and say I'm available. Okay, So I prayed, I talked to my pastors, I fasted. I'm like, I didn't have to pray very long. I didn't have to fast very long. I knew exactly what guy wanted me to do. I signed that thing. I'm available whatever you want me to do. God, I'm saying yes to it. And maybe some of you today need to do the exact same thing. Just right it in the front of your Bible. I'm available and sign it. Today's day. I could show you the Bible that...

I have that I did that. All those years ago. I was saying no to God so many times, no to preaching, no to invested in my faith, and finally it was like, Okay, I'm gonna start saying yes. I can't neglect any longer what God has given me. I can't forget what God has given me. I can't stop not paying attention to what God has given me. So again this idea of speaking these opportunities into people's lives that Paul is speaking into Timothy's life. He's saying, these things that God has given you, don't forget about them. It's similar to what an athlete experiences. You know, those people that are bigger, faster, stronger than everybody else, and you just look at them when they're young, they're like middle school and you're like, you are gonna be the best athlete in the world. Like you just know because they have all the gifts, the talents. God has given them all that, and guess what. Like Lebron James, for example, everyone knew he was gonna be the best basketball player in the world when he was sixteen. How do you? How do you do that? And he actually has lived up to pretty much everything they were saying about it maybe surpassed it, depending on who you talked to, which is incredible because that never happens. Almost everyone who's identified as a young person that you're gonna be something great, You're gonna be something good. Almost everyone doesn't make it. And it could be for a variety of reasons, and Paul gives Timothy one of the reasons is that you just get distracted. He says, don't get distracted. When you're that good at something, everyone wants to put their attention on you, that US is with you, and you...

...get distracted. You get caught up in other things. You get caught up in relationships, you get caught up in substances, you get caught up in all these different things life throws your way, and you forget what God has given you. And Paul tells Timothy, not only do you get distracted, but you don't throw yourself into it all in Like, if you're super good at something, you don't even have to try that hard right to be good at it. You just roll out of bed and be like, this is what I do. But you don't make it very far doing that. You gotta practice, You gotta put in the effort. If God's blessed you with something, giving you something, you gotta go all in on. An Athletes got got all the skill, they'll show up for the games, but you ask them to practice and get in the weight room. Some of the best ones are like, no way, that's not what I do, they're neglecting what God has given them. And the other one that Paul tells Timothy is that people will see your progress in this and this is a a spiritual, emotional, mental, whole person thing that an athlete, we don't want people to see our progress. We want people to see our performance. Because if people are seeing our progress, that means one time it wasn't as good as the next time. And my my performance at that time wasn't as good as this time. So hey, look you're getting better. But I don't want to get better. I want to be good, right, I don't want people to see my progress. I want people to see my performance. And so this takes a spiritual emotional mental well being, of of healthiness, of understanding that it's okay it is healthy for people to see your progress. But an athletes, again, we don't. We want performance. Like the best MLB pictures in the world. Okay, they throw a little white ball a hundred miles an hour exactly where they want it every single time, and some...

...of the best ones they can't lift their foot off throw it short distance to the first baseman. Why physically they can do it. They can wake up out of bed and not even have their eyes open and make that throw any single day of the week. But they can't do it in the game. They physically mentally, there's a block. They can't do it. And so Paul is telling Timothy, he's telling us, He's saying, embrace the progress. It doesn't have to be perfect every single time. Embrace the progress. Be healthy in a holistic way, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. And if you're not an athlete person, maybe you're more of an artsy guy, artsy girl. Music same thing. Right, you ever watched those talent shows, little three year old grabs the microphone, walks on stage, sings and they got the best voice in the whole world. Right, You're like, what is that? An angel? That's amazing? And then what three years later You're like, what happened to that person? What happened to him? Did they get distracted? And maybe some of the older ones like like, there's this really famous singing group that was put together of all these young kids, they called the Mickey Mouse Club. Maybe you've heard of it before. There's famous people, yeah, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, justin timber Lake. Right, these big names that were identified at a young age, very young age, say you're gonna be good. God's given you all the tools, all the gifts, all the abilities. You're gonna be good. And I mean, we know them today. They lived up to you know, a lot of that. They weren't the only ones in the Mickey Mouse Club.

So some people that are so talented, so gifted, they get distracted. They get caught up in other things that you have, family issues that pull them away from what God has given them, and they neglect what God has given them. Some people, again, they don't go all in on what God has given them. Meaning they got this great talent. They could show up and they could sing, and hundreds of thousands of people will watch them sing. But I don't want to run through the scales on this keyboard. I don't want to do my voice exercises. I don't want to take care of my vocal cores. I don't want to do all that other stuff because that's not fine. I don't want to do that. And you're neglecting what God has given you? Or what about right? Paul's telling Timothy, let people see your progress again. Nobody wants to see progress. Everyone wants to us to see our performance, and you're like, I of it. If a hundred thousand people showed up at a stadium to watch me sing, would you? Because most everyone that has that happened hate it, every moment of it. And it's not all that it's cracked up to be. So that spiritual, mental, emotional, holistic understanding of everything is important. So it's saying, don't neglect what God has given you, don't forget about what God has given you, don't get distracted by what other things are going on, don't just go halfhearted into it, and don't be afraid of people seeing your progress in it. And it's important, Paul tells Timothy. It's important not only for yourself but for those around you, Like you gotta get this right for yourself and for those around you over here. It's hard to see it, I know, but if you stand up you can see it. I...

...just got some wood like a little camp fire, right, just some some logs and some kindling, and just pretend I got everything I need. All right, I got everything I need. He's got oxygen, that got all this stuff. If I wanted to start a fire, what do I need? A spark? That's exactly what Paul tells Timothy in his second letter. In second Timothy says, you need to start the fire again, Timothy, of the spiritual gift that was given to you. Which is crazy to me, because this is the second time Paul is telling him, don't neglect what God has given you, that spiritual gift that God has given you. Don't forget about it. So if he's telling him the second time, what did Timothy do the first time? He forgot? And you're not gonna forget, right, You're not gonna forget. You're gonna hear it this time, this one time, and you're gonna say, I'm not gonna forget what God has given me. You can listen to this sermon a hundred times. Don't forget what God has given you. Don't do it. Don't forget. And so Paul tells Timothy light that flame against bring that fire alive again. Timothy. This is serious stuff. It's serious for you, and it's serious for everyone in your life that this is important, Timothy. Don't forget about it. And here's that fire. It's got everything that it needs. Accept a spark. Lucky for you, I brought one. God has given us everything that we need to fight their fan the flames of that fire, that spiritual gift that God has given us, and all we have to do is just lighted, like, just grab the thing and put it down here and turn it on. But almost nobody does. And we know that God has given it...

...to us. We know how important it is, We know how important it is not only for our own self but for those in our life. And we put it down and we save it for later. We neglect it, we forget about it, and we move on with life. Don't neglect what God has given you m hm. About ten years ago, I moved into my first little I don't even know if you call it a house. It was in the back alleyway in the backyard above a garage, this three room, main room, bedroom, bathroom, little place. And I got to know my neighbors around me, and uh, I was praying kring and sharing Jesus with them, right. And one of my neighbors who I was talking to was an older, single guy, and uh, he was crazy in every way of every way. He was crazy. When I was praying for him, I was trying to find ways to care for him. I think I brought a pizza a couple of times, and uh, one time I invited him over to my house and he came inside and we sat on our couch and I was telling him about Jesus. I don't know, I have no idea how it worked out, but that's what we were doing, you know. So I was telling him, I said, well, God loves you, and you know, none of us are perfect people, like we've all sinned, we've all fallen short. And it's like you might not have killed anybody before, but like you're still it's a sinner. And he's like, well, actually I have. It's like scoot over a little bit,...

...you know. I let this guy into my house and I told him. I said, okay, well God loves you, and he died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin, and if you trust and believe in Him, you will be forgiven and we have a right relationship with God forever. Said do you believe that? He said, yeah, I do, Like amazing, Like this is awesome. Okay, so um, time goes by. I really don't think it was all that long. A couple of months go by and I haven't seen him in a while, and I think I was walking down the road to get some pizza, and uh I saw his sister outside on the sidewalk and uh so I said, hey, you know, it's good to see you. Where's your brother? And she was standing sort of near the door, and you could look right in the door and there was a couch like right there. And she said to me, she said, well, a couple of weeks ago, my brother took his life. And she said, see that right there, that's where I found him. And I was like, oh right. Like, man, don't neglect the opportunities that God has given you with the people in your life. I mean, you never know what's going on, no matter how crazy they are, the stuff that they're dealing with, the stuff that this guy said he was dealing with. I mean, who knows what happened in that room, But that's reality. And as don't neglect what God has given you.

Don't neglect the people in your life that God has given you. So many of us. I want to be friends with them and them and them and them, And it's like, well, who was over at your house the other day for dinner? Like what about them? Why can't they be your friend? You want to be friends with everybody else? Well, what about the people God has given you. Don't neglect the people that God has given you. Don't think like your neighbors, don't think act the people at work that God has strategically and providentially placed them in there your life. You're there in their life for a reason. Don't forget about them, don't neglect them. You never know what's going on in their life. And for myself, right in that moment, I have the opportunity to share Jesus with this guy, and now he's not physically present with us on earth any longer, And like, what if? What if in that moment, right I was gonna I was gonna tell him about Jesus and God get me in an opportunity, And I was like, I don't want to do that. I don't really want to have this conversation. What if I was wrong? What if I said something that was messed up? What if I wasn't doing what I should have been doing. See, it's not only for yourself, but it's also for those around you. Don't neglect, don't forget about what God has given you. So what what has God given you? Um The apostle Paul tells Timothy that this spiritual gift that he received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. I don't know if you've ever had the opportunity to have that done before, somebody to pray like over you, to speak words of life over you and into you. You know, I want to give you that opportunity today as we close our service and our time together, because it's a powerful thing to have somebody stand...

...there lay their hands on you in all the good ways, not weird ways or strange ways. Just be like, hey, I'm with you, I'm touching you, I'm I'm right here, close to you. I'm I'm right here, and I'm gonna pray life into you, truth over you. Like your marriage might not be the best right now. You know, your relationships might not be the best right now. You might be dealing with all these different kinds of things. But here I'm gonna touch you, and I'm gonna speak truth into your life. That God is with you, that there is hope in your situation, that there is forgiveness for what you're dealing with, that there is restoration for whatever it is you're fighting for, Like there is truth being spoken over you in that moment, and if you've never experienced that before, I wanted to give you the opportunity as we close today to have that experience. And so what's that gonna look like? Well, just follow along for a second and you'll see. So if everybody would to do that, which that would be cool, we'd be here forever. So not everybody can do this, but I think like through our time together, through the message today, I believe there's at least one or two three people that are saying, like God's brought me here. I feel like I've been neglecting what God has given me and no longer like I need someone to pray for me in this moment that I'm gonna stay with it. I'm gonna follow Jesus. I'm gonna follow him. I'm gonna get my life right today. Or maybe you're like, I just have this desire that I like, I want to live for Jesus. I want to say yes to Jesus. I'm available, and I just need someone to pray for me. So I'm looking for that one to people yeah that that are just like that's me today, that's me today. So here's what's gonna happen. All right, I'm gonna play a song, and after that song ends, there's gonna be like that piano music in the background. It'll be obvious as soon as the piano music kind of starts. I just want you, if that's you, I just want you to stand up, all right. And then I got a couple of people...

...ready to come and just put their hand on your shoulder and just pray words of of life over you like Paul did Timothy. All right, and then I'll come back up and close the service with finish out the song and say goodbye. But I just think, like again, if you've never had that opportunity, I've had that opportunity a couple of times. And one of the times, like the first time, basically was I was attending this church, North Amvil Bible Church as a student at Lebanon Valley College for three and a half years, and I had these plans, right, I was gonna go to seminary and I was gonna do all this stuff. And the elders of that church, like the elders of the Church of Espicis that did the Timothy showed up in my life and said, hey, Kevin, we want you to be the next or the first ever associate pastor of our church? Would you do that and basically speaking this life and prophecy into me, like, this is for you, this is what I got for you, this is what's God's given you. And what if Church? What if I responded like I responded all those times through high school and said that's not me. What if I said, not right now. I got all these other things that I believe God wants me to do. Not right now. I don't really want to do that right I've got other things I got. I'm getting distracted by other stuff. You know, it's good stuff, but I really don't want to do it now. Not right now, Kevin. I think you should do this. We want you to be the next associate pastor of our church. It would be great. Now What if what if I did that? My pastor, the elders of the church. You know they're praying for me that I'm kneeling on the stage. You know they're praying for me and just speaking these words of life. It's like I wouldn't be here right now if I didn't say yes to them and the words spoken over me back then.

Don't neglect what God has given you. Don't do it. Don't do it. H.

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