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Presentation 09. Opening Greetings 1 v 1-2 Paul’s Encouragement 1 v 3-7 Paul’s Challenge1 v 8-18 Exhortation to faithfulness 2 v 1-7 Call to Christian.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation 09. Opening Greetings 1 v 1-2 Paul’s Encouragement 1 v 3-7 Paul’s Challenge1 v 8-18 Exhortation to faithfulness 2 v 1-7 Call to Christian."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Opening Greetings 1 v 1-2 Paul’s Encouragement 1 v 3-7 Paul’s Challenge1 v 8-18 Exhortation to faithfulness 2 v 1-7 Call to Christian Endurance 2 v 8-13 The Approved Workman2 v Recognising the Times3 v 1-9 The Scope of God’s Provision3 v Charge to Faithful Service 4 v 1-5 Paul’s Epitaph4. v 6-8 Paul’s Final Reflections 4. v 9-18 The Structure of the Book Presentation 09

4 Other people make a greater impact upon our lives than we might think. “We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually. We need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves”. C. S. LEWIS God has made us social beings who live our lives in relationship to others. This need of others is something that we should not be ashamed to acknowledge within the fellowship of God’s people. Someone had said, ‘our sociology reflects our theology’. If that is so then Paul unfolds a rich practical theology in these closing verses. As we study them think of the influence we may have on others and which they in turn may have upon us. Introduction Presentation 09

5 ADMISSION OF NEED Paul admits his need in v9 ‘do your best to come to me’. Paul tells Timothy he needed him, his fellowship and encouragement. Young Christians often think that older, more mature Christians are self-sufficient - they do not need our encouragement. They often fail to see the value of a visit, a letter, a phone call, an invitation to supper. When we are young and caught up with the excitement of Christian living we can become insensitive to the needs of God’s older warriors. When young people in our fellowships take time to enquire about the welfare and health of older members and when they sit beside them and speak to them then they are meeting a real need. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

6 CONFESSION OF FORSAKENNESS Paul then speaks of his loneliness. He does so in a number of contexts. First, in v10 there is a negative context: ‘Demas... has deserted me’. Demas had been a co-worker cf.. Philemon v24, Col Demas’ desertion was not an overnight decision. He had cooled towards God by imperceptible degrees. Other influences in the world had begun to deflect him and mould his life. There is a Demas in every congregation. They start well. They seem to grow in their knowledge and love for God but like a firework they glow brightly for a few seconds in the darkness and then fizzle out. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

7 Other influences at school, college or work shape can their lives. Standards slip as they become more and more in love with this present world. They become deserters. On the rare occasions they attend church, if they attend at all, they slip out early and avoid any awkward questions about their commitment to Christ. How sore it is when that happens. What loneliness and disappointment they inflict upon those who have been close to them and who have invested time and energy upon them. Thomas A Kempis writes ‘If you expect to find peace in the friendship of any person, you are likely to be disappointed. But if you are intimate with God, the disloyalty or death of a friend will not crush you’. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

8 Paul’s sense of loneliness was not only heightened by desertion but in the much more positive context of Christian service; ‘Cresens has gone..and Titus’ v10. God had called his companions away to other spheres of service. And while Paul undoubtedly rejoiced that their service was undiminished, he missed their fellowship. This is a pain that many of us can identify with. We see youngsters from our fellowship go through college or university and then God calls them away to serve him elsewhere. Or, they may emerge as gifted church leaders who are called to serve in another part of the country or another part of the world. It is hard to let go! Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

9 EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE Paul expresses his gratitude to a faithful travelling companion of many years, ‘Only Luke is with me’ v11. Luke was always there when needed. His meticulous attention to detail has provided us with both a gospel and the book of Acts. It is easy to take the Lukes of the church fellowship for granted. They faithfully do all that God asks of them. It is easy for our attention to focus on some new project or new people in church, or on a new enthusiastic convert. But the Lukes must not be forgotten. They too need encouragement. Every Luke in the congregation is worth their weight in gold. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

10 REVALUATION OF OTHERS Paul was constantly re-evaluating the lives of others. In v 11 we read, ‘Mark is helpful to me...’ It is so easy to set our opinion of others in concrete. When people make temporary slips we may think their characters are flawed and therefore they are unsuitable for service. In Acts 15v37-39 we read that Paul and Barnabas argued over just how useful Mark was. Mark had taken fright on the first missionary trip and run back home to mother. Paul decided he would not take him on his next trip since he had proved so unreliable. Now, years later, Paul is saying, ‘My provisional estimation of Mark’s worth was wrong!’ We need to use God’s eraser to revise our opinions. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

11 MATERIAL NEEDS Paul had practical needs cf. v13 ‘Bring the cloak... my scrolls... especially the parchments’. Caring for one another in such practical ways is part of belonging to the fellowship of God’s people. Paul’s request carries its own challenge. Death was hanging over Paul yet he still wanted books and parchments. He wanted neither to stop learning nor to stop teaching others. The desire to go on serving and growing in the knowledge of God rather than seeking early retirement from Christian service is a quite remarkable testimony. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

12 I remember the dear lady who led me to the Lord, saying upon reaching the age of 70 that she had thought of retiring from Sunday School. She hoped that some younger person would take on the task. But there was no one else around and so she concluded that for her there was no retirement from God’s service. I am not suggesting that we teach until we drop. It is quite legitimate to say, ‘I am too frail to continue with this workload’. However it is important to recognise that our service, in whatever reduced capacity, perhaps just a few minutes of daily prayer for God’s work, does not end this side of the finishing tape. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

13 REALISTIC ABOUT OPPOSITION Paul was very conscious of the reality of the opposition cf.v14-15 ‘Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm’. We do not know who Alexander was. However he clearly mounted opposition against Paul and had proved himself no friend of the gospel. What is important to see is the way that Paul responded. Cf v14 ‘the Lord will repay him’. Paul trusted God to deal with Alexander rather than allow the destructive emotions of vengeance to eat like acid into his soul. The opposition of which Paul speaks here can be found in most churches. And the viciousness of those who oppose the gospel can be deeply wounding. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

14 REALISTIC ABOUT OPPOSITION Some ministers are broken hearted because their elders have shown little interest in standing beside them in mission or in overseeing the spiritual well-being of their congregation or when facing opposition. The convicting work of God’s Spirit’s in men’s hearts can produce a backlash of anti-gospel anger. They want to stamp out not only the gospel that has unsettled them but those who have communicated the message. Alexander’s attack had been so severe that those who should have stood at Paul’s side were silenced into submission. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

15 REALISTIC ABOUT OPPOSITION It must have been tempting for Paul to retaliate. But to have done so would have weakened his message. Therefore, Paul delivers the issues surrounding his ordeal into the hands of the Judge who knew all the facts. However, Paul also warns Timothy of the danger. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Timothy is put on guard so that he might pray for wisdom and so know how best to deal with the opposition. It is unhelpful to allow people to walk into situations of danger thinking, ‘they will soon discover for themselves what difficulties they are up against’. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

16 THE BURDEN OF CROSSBEARING In v16-18 we read ‘no one came to my support... But the Lord stood at my side’. Paul’s purpose is not to be critical of other Christians but to share a valuable lesson: Leaning too heavily on others, regardless of how committed they appear, is to set ourselves up for disappointment. God will use such disappointments to drive us deeper and deeper into himself for he never disappoints. He never lets us down. We are never left to bear the burden of the cross alone. The heaviest end of our cross is always carried by Jesus. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

17 THE BURDEN OF CROSSBEARING Hudson Taylor the great pioneer missionary to China did not find the work in which he was engaged easy, nor did he always find the support from his colleagues that he would have wished. Why would God want him to experience this sense of spiritual aloneness? When eventually the answer dawned upon him he wrote: ‘The shadow of the cross falls deep and broad; With God I enter tremblingly the shade; ‘Where does this new light which brightens all around me come from Lord?’ ‘The fellowship of suffering’, He said’. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

18 THE BURDEN OF CROSSBEARING Any sense of abandonment by others which we might at times experience ought to be viewed as our entry into the sufferings of Christ. Of course our sense of aloneness can never be absolute, for he is always with us. But we are at least in some small measure, as cross-bearers able to have fellowship with Christ in what he suffered for us. And it is the knowledge of the presence of Christ which strengthens us when, from a completely human perspective, we appear to be alone. It is his presence within that creates the assurance of faith that Paul expresses in v Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

19 THINKING OF OTHERS Paul’s sore experience of abandonment did not produce a spirit of self-pity echoed in the children’s ditty; “Nobody likes me, Everybody hates me, I think I’ll go and eat worms”. Nor did Paul’s experience turn him in upon himself thinking, ‘Since I have been let down by others why should I not simply care about myself?’ Some people feel vulnerable when they have been hurt by others and so no longer open up their hearts for help. They can become quite cold, Self-contained individuals. But not Paul cf. v19-21 ‘Greet Priscilla.....’ Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09

20 THINKING OF OTHERS What is the cause of Paul’s warm, caring appreciation of Christian fellowship? He understood how God had used past sore experiences to enrich his life. And with the shadow of the executioner’s sword hanging over him he still finds time to think of others? After Jesus was forsaken by his disciples, and was arrested, tried and crucified, a group of woman, including Mary his mother, came to watch him die. Beside them, at the foot of the cross, stood John. Read Jn Isn’t that quite remarkable. We showed his concern for Mary’s future wellbeing in the midst of his own suffering and death! Paul knew what it was to walk in his master’s steps. Paul’s Final Reflections RICH TAPESTRY OF CHURCH LIFE v9-18 Presentation 09


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