Grow: Disciplines needed for healthy spiritual growth. (Week 2)

Disciplines needed for healthy spiritual growth.

1 Timothy 4:11-13; Psalms 116:17-19

Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”                 
– 1 Tim. 4:11-13 (ESV)  
Paul was continuing his message to Timothy on how to be a good servant of Christ. In last week’s message, he first instructed him on how he had to continue to grow in the Lord with proper nourishment (daily time in the word, with meditation and prayer); second, proper spiritual exercise, which included not wasting time with arguing about or with the godless and old wives’ tales stuff; and third, to live a life worthy of the calling by working hard and striving to live a life of integrity.
Today’s study focuses on an urgent appeal. In the same way that we have to teach the common courtesies of please and thank you or in school we teach multiplication tables, these are things that you MUST KNOW in order to grow.  

I. “Command and teach these things.” (v 11)

(NLT) “Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them”
Timothy was serving the church of Ephesus, appointed by Paul, as their spiritual ‘personal trainer’ or evangelist.  
A) COMMAND defined:


“to direct with specific authority or prerogative; order, to require authoritatively; demand”  
“Command them to exercise themselves into godliness, teach them the profit of it, and if they serve God, they serve one who will be sure to bear them out.”
– Matthew Henry Commentary  
Nowhere in this scripture to I see the word ‘option’.  These are the things we MUST DO and KNOW to grow!
Not intended to be a “Because I said so” type of command.  
B) TEACH defined:
“to impart knowledge of or skill in; give instruction in or to.”
We have become lazy in our approach in a lot of areas in our lives.  We used to have to do physical research, reading actual physical books and going to the library to cross reference and search out materials needed.
Now, we Google, ask Siri or ask Alexa to find the info for us, and it gives you what their search engines find as their top results, which can be skewed by their programmers.
O.T.   Deut. 6:1-9; Prov. 22:6
N.T.   Matt. 28:19-20
Training a plant Repetition is what helps you remember and grow stronger!  Memory recall or muscle growth.  

II. “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”


A) Separation of Authority from Seniority.


Timothy had been mentored by Paul for over 10 years.  He is now in his mid to late 30’s, men in Bible times were still called ‘youth’ until age 40.
His teachings were not to be discounted because of his age because he was walking in the authority of God’s word, which was evident in how he lived his life.
B) He set the example…both on the outside and the inside.
This is how his authority is grounded.
Outsidespeech and conduct
He lived the same way he talked:  *No “do as I say, not as I do”
Not a double standard, but rather a voluntary commitment to live exemplary lives.
Since we are not perfect, we have to strive for the kind of integrity and quality in life that reflects Christ’s presence and love.  The world has to see that there is something different in how we live our lives because we have Christ living in us.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”    
Roman 12:2
Inside: faith and purity
These are our inner beliefs not just about morals, but rather a mind set on seeking and doing God’s will.
This fine-tunes our hearts to be able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding our lives (NO STATIC)
Inside and outside:  tied together with LOVE
“Love stands in the middle of this pentad, for it is the bond that ties the outer and inner life together. Love always involves the whole of life. Outward expressions of love that are not rooted in Inner love quickly withers and die as insincerities. Inner love that is not expressed by open giving and caring turns to self-adulation and decay. The love of Christ is intensely personal. It is also intensely public. It simply does not exist one way without the other.”
Gary W. Demarest in The Communicator’s Commentary
They will know that you care when you show that you care! That is love demonstrated/lived out!  

III. “…devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”

These are instructions on how to lead a worship service.  
A) Reading the scriptures to the church.


They did not have their own personal copy.  The more it was read to them, the greater the possibility of them putting it to memory.
(Reference again Deut. 6:1-9)
Excited about new Bible Study Group on the Public Reading of Scripture!
B) Exhorting & Teaching the church
Encouraging, giving urgent advice or recommendations   Teaching the doctrines grown out of Scriptures    “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Hebrews 2:12-13
“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.”
2 Timothy 4:2  
This is God’s word telling us what to do, not just my opinion. Sometimes the message is hard, but it’s just like going to the doctor for a check up and him saying “You need to change your diet or it’s gonna kill you.” We don’t want to hear it, but it is for our own good.
Again, these simple truths are here for us as believers to follow, not pick and choose what we want to do. As a disciple of Christ, we are to follow his commands. I challenged you last week with this proclamation:
I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people…” 
Ps. 116:17-19
The challenge has been made. You have to make the choice, because no one can do it for you! It may be tough at first, but we will be a better church body because of putting these things into practice in our lives! I echo the words of Paul when he wrote to the Ephesians…
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Ephesians 4:15-16
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