First Presbyterian Church of Conrad, IA

From Mirage to Meaning

2 Timothy 4:1-8

          (1) In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: (2) Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. (3) For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to head. (4) They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (5) But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
          (6) For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. (7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (8) Now there is in store 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 longed for his appearing.

Prayer for Illumination

 From Mirage to Meaning

1. The Compromise of Comfort

a) Getting Away from Self-Centered
          - Ancient story - it's all about me
          - Adam/Eve - tempted to be like God, knowing good and evil
          - Life today - it's all about me

b) The "Mirage" of Comfort
          - You were not saved for your comfort, ease, no silver platters
          - Mirage temptation - false image
          - Enemy: Don't need God anymore
          - Enemy: God doesn't care anymore

c) The Consequence of Compromise
          - Deaf to the voice of the Holy Spirit
          - Not told: weak faith, weak defense
          - Amy Grant - "Fat Baby" video 
          - Replace God with self-materialism as object of worship

2. Staying On Course

a) Keep the "End Goal" in Mind Always
          - Follow Christ - surrender of self
          - God's will over our will

b) Avoid "Fair Weather Christianity"
          - Unconditional love means unconditional surrender
          - Look for faith growth in hard times

c) Leave No Stone Unturned
          - Being thorough as a servant
          - Go from minimum to maximum
          - God's reputation is on the line

3. Live for an Audience of "One"

a) Who is Applauding Your Life?
          - Please God with choices, effort
          - Deflect praise to God
          - Give thanks to Him for privilege of letting others see Christ in you

b) Being "Spent" in Christ's Service
          - You were/are worth dying for
          - Dying to self is necessary to find "life" in Christ
          - No greater cause, value than being in service with/for Jesus Christ

c) Living With Expectation
          - Your last breath?
          - Christ's return
          - God is present, active in redeeming all of creation
          - You are commissioned to share Good News!

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