Purpose of Guarding the Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to encourage readers to invest their time into the Word of God and "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Paul wrote these words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:14) in his presumed last letter before his execution. May we be those who see the word of God as a treasure, guarding it with our lives, investing in it with our hearts and minds, and reaping the fruit of an abundant life while getting to know the God who loves us and created us for His marvelous pleasure and glory.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

What is your purpose?

Who defines your purpose?

What makes you tick?

God has defined our purpose in the Bible.

  • God has created you for His good pleasure in order that you might know Him and have a personnel relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
  • You were created to discover the God who created you, loves you, gave up His Son to save you from yourself and transform you into the likeness of Christ.
  • Your purpose is to discover the will of God for your life, that is His perfect plan prepared beforehand for you to walk in all the days of your life.

The world has defined the purpose for humanity too.

  • The world system tells us to confirm and blend in with society. The world says such things as, “Don’t be a radical. Do what feels right to you. You know what’s best. There is no absolute truth. Be politically correct. There are many ways to God. Don’t be intolerant. Everyone is basically good. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Don’t depend upon God. Look out for number one. You deserve to be happy. You are entitled to the American dream. Seize the day. Have it your way.”

Even God’s chosen people bought into this philosophy rebelling against God’s kingship among their nation. Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

But where has these life philosophies taken us. Are we satisfied? If we are honest, they leave us empty and void. Only God can fill that void. Paul wrote about humanity in its fallen state and tells of a God who reached down from heaven to rescue humanity offering forgiveness, reconciliation through Christ and a better way.

Ephesians 2:1-10 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

America is following the same pattern as any other great nation throughout history. The question for you is will you be a conformist or realize your citizenship is in heaven. Will you choose the broad way or the narrow way? We must be in the world but not of the world.

Paul wrote our purpose in Romans 12:1-2, I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Paul chose Christ over all others.

Philippians 3:4-14 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

How you can leave a lasting legacy:

  • Reprioritize your life. Make God your first priority.
  • Be a family man. Be the best husband/wife/father/mother you can be and don’t sacrifice your family for the sake of your career. Spent time with you children and labor to train them in godliness. Re-evaluate these priorities often because they will be tested constantly.
  • Make an eternal investment. Eternity is forever. Jesus said in Matthew 6:20-21, But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. We must incorporate and involve God in every element of our life and acknowledge our utter dependence upon Him. Spent time with God.
  • Equip and immerse yourselves in the Bible. Read your Bible – how many actually do this anymore? Know it from cover to cover. Be a Bible expert! We have the words of God! Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
  • Pray without ceasing. Prayer is an attitude and a continual awareness that God is with us. We must learn dependence upon Him and hear His prompting by the Holy Spirit and through the Word of God. Act in obedience when prompted.
  • Find a Paul – someone of the same sex to mentor you and challenge you in your relationship with Christ, talk about life with, pray with, hold you accountable, may find this person in your church, usually older than you, but not always.
  • Find a Timothy – someone of the same sex that you can mentor and challenge in their relationship with Christ, pray for them, share your life with them, be genuinely interested in their life, call them, hold them accountable, may find a new believer in your church or may be someone you lead to Christ at work. Paul wrote Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2 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.
  • Be a part of a small group fellowship. Christianity is meant to be lived in community and not just individually. Small group fellowships have really been beneficial in providing opportunities to minister and be ministered by others.
  • Be different. Be a rebel. Rebel against the culture and the ways of the world.
  • Be an encourager rather than a discourager. Build others up. Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.
  • Be optimistic and hopeful in Christ, eagerly awaiting His return.
  • Think of others needs before your own.
  • Be aware of God and His workings in your life. He is working, but do we see it?
  • Take personal responsibility for your actions – own up when you make a mistake. Few actually do this today.
  • Tell the truth all the time.
  • Be real. Don’t hide behind your work or be fake at church. Be humble.
  • Be zealous in your commitment to Christ and for the good deeds God has in store for you to do through the power given by Him in the Holy Spirit.
  • Be God’s ambassador at TTS&S. Pray for those you work with directly. Seize opportunities to share Christ when prompted. Be a hard worker and do the best you can at whatever you do. Christians should be the best employees. Paul wrote in Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Let’s finish strong and be able to say like Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

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