How To Behave In God's Family
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 120 · 2 months ago

How To Behave In God's Family

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Teach Jesus. Don't Be A Jerk. Strive for Contentment. Kill Them With Kindness. Hold On To The Gospel. Give Generously. Message by Scott Greening.

My wife and I. I think most recently she was the one that was leaving for a for a little business jaunt. But sometimes I'll take a trip and go somewhere, and you spend the night overnight out of town, and you leave. We have three kids. So we have our daughter Torah, who's in sixth grade. We have our son Asher, who's in third grade. And then we have a toddler who's gonna be two next month, Naomi. We call her busy and uh and that, and so what happens when somebody leaves, When mom or dad leaves and you have kids that age, you have like the final talk before you leave, right, Like you talk to the kids and you say, okay, listen, these are the things that you have to do. Obey your mother. I do not want to come home and hear stories that you were hard on your mother. I want you to to help clean up, Like we talked about this every day, but especially when I'm gone, if you can miraculously have this ability to actually follow through and clean your room. I want you to be nice to one another. I don't want mom to have to like mediate fights between the two of you while I'm away. Right, And so you you go through the list, and those of you that have have kids and that you you know the drill, like you you want things to go well while you're gone. You know it were outnumbered when there's two of us at this point, there's three of them. Like, we can't play one on one defense anymore. We have to play zone on a regular basis. But then when you leave, it's even more the case. And so you give the list of commands. These I'm gonna make it real simple. Don't fight, clean, obey like those those are the things that we communicate. As we're coming to the end of the Book of First Timothy, it's kind of like Paul is doing that in a sense with Timothy. He's getting and he's saying, hey, I have given you this, this book, this letter. Let me see if I'm holding this the right way. Whoops, Nope, I'm not holding it the right way. There we go, and he's he's telling Timothy, Okay, here are the the instructions. Here is how you are to behave in God's family. And so earlier in the Book of First Timothy. Uh he he lays out and he says, here's the reason why I'm writing this book. I hope I'm going to be able to come and see you, but I'm not. I'm not there yet. So I'm writing these instructions so that if I'm delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the Church of the Living God. And he goes...

...on and gives a few more descriptives of what the churches, but he says God's household, where we could say God's family. And so he's been laying out and and I've tried to keep up a little bit knowing that I'm I'm coming here this morning with your your series and what Kevin's been sharing and and that from from the Book of First Timothy. But but there have been all sorts of things that that Paul has commanded and talked and said, hey, these are the instructions for how churches are supposed to act and behave. But as he comes to to chapter six, we kind of get that, like real, let's get real cliptical, crystal clear, and we're gonna talk very specifically. I'm gonna give you some great commands. This is what it all boils down to. It's a great privilege for me to to be here at our church. Josh, who does most of the preaching, and that he always likes the last sermon in a series calls him the finale can get a little more gravitas to it. So I'm I'm very honored that I get to be here for the finale of this series on on fighting for authentic faith, and I hope that we can do it justice. And I'm gonna to remind us today of six commands for God's children. Six commands if you want to do good as part of God's family, if you want to know how you're supposed to behave as one of God's children. This is the message that God has for you today from the from the book of First Timothy. And the first thing is that that we're to teach Jesus or to teach Jesus. First Timothy, Chapter six, verse three says if anyone teaches otherwise, well, let's pick up that last phrase verse verse two. These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceded and understand nothing. You are to teach and insist on Jesus. If you want to be part of God's family, if you want to to behave and do the right sort of things as as a member of God's family, God wants you to know that it's all about staying centered on Jesus. I've kind of framed the sermon and around the idea of God's family and that. So a lot of my illustrations this morning are about our family and how we interact with them. My wife's getting nervous. You can pray for I...

...think they're all good, But when you when we teach our kids, there are certain subject matters that there may be room for them to like experience and grow and and learn from failure. So if we talk about cooking, like my daughter especially has an interest in cooking, we're working with her to know know how to do that. There are different things that are more or less important when it comes to teaching about cooking. Sometimes she will let her learn by experience, Like we're big into seasoning and trying to make food taste good. Like, so she's learns how to make eggs like, okay, if she forgets to salt the eggs or put a little pepper in or like that's okay, no problem, Like we can learn and we can taste and say maybe next time we do a little something different. There are other aspects of cooking that we don't just teach and leave it up to experimentation. We insist on these things. They're like, you need to know how to turn on the stovetop without killing yourself. So we have a propane stovetop. We you know, you need to know how to do this. You never do this when mom and dad are not around. You never do this when you're toddler daughter. Is like reaching up to the stovetop. That's one thing we teach and insist you have to do it this way. Another thing that we would teach and insists on is like making your chicken gets cooked all the way right, like the just in case you're wondering if chickens still pink in the middle, that's not like medium rare okay, Like like chicken needs to be cooked and and cooked all the way through. Like we don't want to give ourselves salmonila, so we insist on, okay, we need to make sure the chicken gets cooked all the way through. When we come and we talk about Jesus and we we teach Jesus to others. It's not just well, okay, here's an interesting thought, here's here's the way that I believe. But there's there's a there's a lot of room for you to kind of figure it out on your own. If Jesus really is who the Bible says that he is the son of God who came to live the perfect life that we couldn't live, and die the death that we deserve to die as a punishment for our sins. And then, and especially since he rose from the grave that dim and straits that he is in fact God and flesh and has victory over...

...sin and death, there's no room for wafflely on who Jesus is. We have to teach and insist on Jesus. That's the first thing. I want to be part of God's family. Teach Jesus. The next part is, don't be a jerk. Okay, don't be a jerk. We pick this back up and in versus uh, in verse four. Uh, So we're we're verse three. Teach Jesus and to godly teaching, be committed these things. If if they're not, they are conceded and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result and envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and con sten friction between people of corrupt mind who have been robbed of the truth and think that godliness is a means to financial gain. We have a phrase at our house, save the drama for your lama, right. We do not tolerate drama. It was one of my proudest moments this summer when our son we he's uh, he was going into third grade. He goes to a Christian school over in our area and there there's a lot of tight knit relationships and and he was missing his friends. We got invited to go to a pool party with his some of his classmates, and we thought, oh, he's gonna want to do this. He's gonna be excited to do this. He hasn't seen his friends, and so we asked him, We said, hey, funny like so and so has invited us over to their house for a pool party. Do you want to go? Some of your friends will be there. And he was like, no, I don't think I want to go. And I was shocked and I said, well why not, buddy, Why don't you want to go? He's like, those girls are so dramatic, Like I can't handle it. They're always like bickering with one another. They're always getting into arguments with the other kids and girls in the class, like I don't I don't want to go there. And I thought, Oh, I am having an influence on my son. I praise the Lord. Sometimes people just love the drama of arguing, of making points of of really like some obscure thought on like the fourth index of some theology book from four hundred years ago,...

...of like this is the most important thing for us to focus on. And Paul says, hey, that that's not what happens here. Don't focus on all of those things. If you are constantly involved in controversy, if you are constantly quarreling with other people, especially but not exclusively, especially within the church itself, you're quarreling and talking about things and can you believe what Pastor Kevin said last week? And did you know that? Did you no? If you're constantly stirring up things and and and you're it's resulting in envy and strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, constant friction between people. If you're causing drama. Knock it off. Won't be a jerk. There's an election on Tuesday. There are hugely important issues that people are wrestling with and I don't want to minimize that. And it's great to be in a country where we have the ability to vote and to participate in our election, and there are Christian responsibilities with that, and encourage all of you to prayerfully consider all of that and participate. But if you're fighting about the election at church, or if you're fighting about the election with your co workers, they're not seeing Jesus. If there are minor theological differences, and and I know that this is not the case for your church, but if you're saying, well that that church, you know, they really they need to straighten out because they they're different than us in this this little way. They're good on Jesus, but there's there's this little thing. Don't don't do that. Don't get caught up in the quarrels and the minor things, and and an attitude where where you say, hey, I'm I'm better there there. We need to fight, we need to do this. Don't be a jerk. The next thing, then, is the the application of this is that Paul says, strive for contentment, be content. He started with it in in verse five. You think that godliness is a means to financial gain if you want to know the ultimate jerk move, like start using the Bible as a like your get rich scheme, right, Like, that's not what it's about. Like, we're to be generous and giving towards other people. It's not about getting. It's about giving. Because God has been so generous to us, we have...

...to be compelled to give to other people. And if you understand that, then you understand that contentment. Because what it's it's all about verse eight that's highlighted on the screen there. If we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. Let us be content. Godliness with contentment is great gain verse six. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. Here's that verse. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those that want to get rich fall into temptation and attract and many foolish and harmful desires that that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money, not money itself. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and have pierced themselves with many griefs. God wants us to remember, like, be content. Don't stress about the stuff you can't take with you, says sir. You came into this world with nothing, You're leaving with nothing. So any time that you spend stressing about more than if you got food to eat, in a place to to to to rest and to lay your head, it's kind of like wasted time. We are to to be content with what God has us. My daughter, we drove past the gas station and gases taken up back up again. I mean it never really went down to recently, but it's taken back up, and so it's four plus or whatever over in our neck of the woods. And my daughter, in sixth grade economic mastermind said, you know what that is because of inflation. Her brother says, what's inflation? She said, I don't know, but I know that's why the gas is expensive. The stock market just just don't look right like it'll all work itself out. I know some of us may be at a station of life or retirements a little closer, so you get feeling a little more stressed about it. I know my parents, you know, have ma or anxiety than I do. I just I don't look like it'll be there. God will provide. We spend so much time worrying about losing the things that we have. We spend so much time thinking, oh, how can I get just a little bit more, that we miss the opportunities to celebrate and share Jesus with others.

Paul continues, He kind of speaking like, here's what the church needs to do. Then he's got some final instructions here to Timothy himself, and I would say it this way, he says, kill them with kindness. Okay, you're in in the midst of all this, but you man of God, Timothy, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. What what are you saying here? And again there's there's two sides from this. Okay, flee from all the drama, flee from wanting to get more, Flee from the people that are are denying Jesus, and pursue this approach to life. Pursue godliness, Pursue righteousness, pursue faith, endurance, gentleness, be gentle with other people kill them with kindness sometimes and and like in businesses, there are times when we need to like rein in expenses, we need to operate within a budget. We need to cut things when they get out of control. And you can get like more fiscally responsible by cutting expenses. But it's really hard to grow a business by just cutting things. And so this is this is what Paul is saying here, Like, yes, there are things you need to cut. Don't be a jerk, don't quarrel, don't don't get envious and greedy and pursue money, like stop that. But you also need to start doing something. You need to to engage in a positive way. The relationships in your church. I know, I'm thankful for Kevin and our friendship we've gotten over these last three or four years, and and that, and I know that his heart is one where he is pursuing people. And you here have probably experienced that from him, of pursuing you with gentleness, pursuing you with God's righteousness, seeking to to develop that in your life. Being patient, like the whole idea of what's your next step. Okay it's not the final step, but like it's the next step. Let's start there. Maybe in a couple of years will be sending you off to be a pastor somewhere. Maybe in a couple of years, like I don't know, but hey, here's this next step. And if you're here today and have not yet participated in the what it's not starting point, that's what we call it. First step. Take it today. Join him in theater. Five seats are going fast.

Okay, do it. Paul then circles back around and he says, hold on to the gospel, Grab hold of the gospel, fight the good fight of the faith, take hold of the eternal life to lives in an unapproachable light whom no one has seen or can't see. To him, be honor and might forever. The Gospel makes life livable. There are times when we go through experiences in our life and broken eye, have had them, probably have another one, and is at some point in the future where we just look at each other. Maybe tears have been spread, share our spread. Uh, tears have been shed? That's the word I'm looking for. And we're at our wits end, and the only thing that we can say is all we have is the Gospel. All we have is Jesus and the amazing thing is that's enough. That's kind of the point, that's kind of where we're supposed to get to. And sometimes God brings difficulty into our life. Sometimes God brings pain. Sometimes God brings in loss so that we get to the right bottom and we say, oh, yeah, all I've got is you and that's enough. If you happen to be here this morning. You don't know this word gospel. It's good news. It's it's the way that God transforms our life. The verses here say it this way and the sight of God, who gives life to everything. The first part of the good News of the gospel is you can't do it. You can't give yourself life, You can't make yourself right before God, God gives you life. He enters in, he initiates he sent his son Jesus to die for you because you can't fix the brokenness in your life. The second part of this, it says Jesus Christ will testifying before ponscious Pilot made the good confession. That's referring to his death based on his actions. It was the unjust crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but in God's plan, he was the substitute sacrifice to pay for the punishment, to fix it's the brokenness in your life. Really...

...generous he was towards you you wouldn't help, but be generous towards other people. I want to encourage you at the end here of first Timothy Kevin gave you a project to write down your your things and UH invite him to come back up here, but to think about how does how I'm using my resources? And it doesn't have to be a lot. Jesus highlighted the widow who gave just a couple of coins because it was all that she had. But what's your perspective? May it show how we really believe? In act? God, help us to know how to behave in your church, not because it's what gives us favor with you, but because you have impacted our lives. God, we are thankful to be your children. Use us in a great way. Amen.

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