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Can We Talk..?


"11 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We so glad that our brothers and sisters from around the world are here with us today.
We continue to pray for all of you, daily.
If you have prayer requests or concern, please write to our Prayer Wall and let us know. You can share as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
I understand that we live in a day in which religious celebrities present a gospel that promises perfect health, great relationships, awesome kids and an abundance of finances. However, the situation is more perverted than that! This "new" gospel seeks to popularize the idea that faith is merely a therapeutic means, intended to make us feel better about ourselves. Tragically, this distorted message has infiltrated many, if not most, of the churches of our Lord! Allow me to say quite clearly, the Christian Faith is not a means of avoiding pain and suffering! Nor should any individual imagine that personal faith is a means to avoid the trials and challenges of life. Just look at the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

The symbol of the Christian life and faith is an instrument of suffering and death, the cross! When the Apostle Paul asks whether "tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger or sword" is capable of separating us from the love of Christ, it is evident that he is assuming that we who believe in Christ the Lord will experience some of these ourselves, if not all of them!
Let us bow our heads in prayer. 

Heavenly Father,

Father, thank You, we are so grateful for Your Word, for the great privilege of being able to read and study it. Lord, we pray that You would cause this Word for us, to touch our hearts, that we would respond to it as we ought, that we would hear and apply them to our hearts, to guide us in our walk with You. That we would not only be protected against false doctrine, but that we would positively impact the lives of those we touch, by our excellent example. May it all bring glory to You and increase Your kingdom.
In Jesus' name we pray

Today's Message: Can We Talk..?

As a pastor, my goal is to strive to be godly both in my own life and in what is being taught. I do not believe that one should not expect that those who are oppose to the Word of God will be thrilled by a leader who stands like a rock, firm against the torrents of modern philosophy and the current culture. In fact, it is almost certain that he will be castigated as unwilling to change, as obstinate, as uncooperative, as petty; and when these opprobrium, tossed about fail to sway him, know that the next fusillade will endeavor to sully his character. He steals houses, he caused women to take their own lives, he attempted to sue the church, all he is concerned about is money, all alike are slanders spread about in an effort to destroy him through assailing his integrity and character. The only defense against such spineless and craven efforts is a godly life that cannot be disputed!

I believe the message is to present Christ as Lord AND Savior. My purpose is not to teach a Gospel message designed only to allow Christians to avoid the inevitable trials or uncomfortable pressures of this life; I am called to present Jesus Christ, as the One and Only Savior, necessary. Because man is utterly sinful and completely incapable of making himself acceptable before the One True and Living God. Furthermore, I do not believe that the Gospel message is about maximizing human potential, for easier living, or  "Living your best life now," as is presently being taught by Joel Osteen, I believe that the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is about rescuing sinners. Apart from Jesus Christ, man has no hope of entering heaven, to be in the presence of Almighty God. But rather, he is condemned, damned, to an eternal separation from God.

As a footnote, anyone who teaches the Gospel message, will be judged, even more harshly, as written in James 3:1, which teaches, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment." I believe, that many pastors today, would do well to take note of this warning from James, teachers will indeed be judged more harshly than other Christians. This was a very pertinent warning then, just as it is for all of us who teach the Word of God today. 

And in Galatians 1:6-9, the Apostle Paul warns us, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!"
Revelation 22:18-19 clearly tells us that "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."

I believe that this epistle is of great importance to those of us who teach God's Word today. The critical instruction that the aging Apostle Paul passed on to young Timothy, as he faced a hostile environment; as will every servant of Christ, who will conduct his service in an environment of opposition and hostility. The milieu in which he ministers will include unbelievers who reject the idea that they are sinful and in need of a Savior. Counted among the congregants, will be individuals who seek a comfortable, trouble free environment in which to preen their own egos. These hapless souls will resist any effort that causes them to feel uncomfortable. Therefore, the man of God will find it necessary to remain focused on the essentials.

Open with me your Bibles, to the Fourth chapter in the Book of First Timothy. As we conclude our study on this marvelous portion of God's Word, in Paul's instruction to Timothy, and all of us, he now emphasizes these essentials. I would encourage all of you to follow along with me as I read to you from our text, to set the stage in our minds. I Timothy 4:11-16.  

"Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."

It's more than evident, that the Ephesian congregation was in disarray. Much like today, it had individuals, who were functioning as elders who were unsuited for the call. They were teaching error as truth and introducing heresies that could only lead to ruin. The Apostle Paul had gone to Ephesus to address these problems; however, for reasons unknown, he found it necessary to leave abruptly. 

In verses 11 and 12, Paul tells Timothy "Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

Paul has spent the better part of three chapters warning young Timothy of the deadly effects of false teaching. He speaks of demonic spirits, the myths, the lies, the seducing spirits and the like. Paul, then presents the effects of truth on the sinner. He uses himself as an example of what the true Gospel does, when the Holy Spirit applies it to the heart of a sinner. A teacher of the Word of God, takes upon himself the responsibility of teaching and training others, in the ways of the Lord. It is the responsibility of the pastor, to instruct the lost the way of salvation, and he is to teach the saved how to grow in grace, how to live the Christian life and how to mature in the faith.

I believe, that unless that person has a sound, true biblical understanding, and themselves, is mature in the faith and is able to share the Good News clearly, correctly, and effectively, they could cause others to stumble or to be led astray. If we who teach are to be what God desires,
we, ourselves  must be taking in God’s Word daily. Much like the man in Acts chapter 8, who was reading the scroll of Isaiah, When Philip ran up to him and asked "Do you understand what you are reading?," to which the man replied "Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?" We all need guidance when seeking understanding. 

The second step after reading and understanding the Bible, is to allow the Bible to shape us and change our lives. Contrary to the popular teaching of today, being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ is the purpose of our salvation. Once we’ve taken in God’s Word and allowed it to transform us into what God desires us to be, the obvious next step, which is the emphasis of today’s text, is living out biblical truth.

Timothy, the pastor of the church in Ephesus, had a weakness, one that every minister of Christ has likely faced at one time, he was young. Whether young in years or lacking in experience, every servant of Christ begins with a deficit, that can only be rectified by staying the course for the duration. However, it is more than just enduring that is required; the man of God must always endeavor to grow in the faith. Paul specifically addressed several aspects of spiritual maturation that the youthful servant of Christ, and consequently, every minister of Christ, must address, if he is to serve acceptably.

Should Timothy fail, however, to confront his youthfulness, he would fail in his service before the Lord. By the same token, should Timothy confront his deficit, as a man of the faith, he would be prepared for success in his service to the people of God and before the Lord. May I also say that I love young ministers, their enthusiasm is often unsurpassed; I find it to be exhilarating, and I truly enjoy encouraging them in their service, especially those who are not yet aware of their calling. But oh, when that light bulb comes on, it's like a brush fire in the dry California forest.

When we consider the context, Paul’s main emphasis is in the ministry in the local church.  Our text today, takes the final step in the truth, that a pastor, needs to be what they read, in order for others to grow in the faith.

When Paul tells Timothy, to "Prescribe and teach these things," This is a command and to teach these things is specific to him in the realm of his calling as a pastor and teacher. Then, Paul says "Let no one look down on your youthfulness."

What in the world would cause someone to despise Timothy because of his youth? The main issue would be that he had to tell those within the church that they could not continue being an Elder or Deacon to others, and therefore, that they could not continue in teaching. There is little doubt, that many of them were older than Timothy. Therefore, if Timothy had an attitude of superiority, if he was puffed up, especially if he himself was not living out Christian truth in front of them, they would surely begin to despise him. This is why Paul tells Timothy  "but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example." As a pastor, I believe that living out our faith, for the example and benefit of others, is a critical issue, one that needs to be taken seriously.

I can tell you, that nearly every believer, has at least one excuse as to why they may not be active in ministry. Timothy’s was that he was too young. Most biblical scholars would agree, Timothy was most likely in his thirties. This conclusion is reached by examining the other uses of the word, as it is used in other places throughout the New Testament. Allow me to just tell you, that nearly everyone I know, who has served in ministry, first came up with an excuse, or ten, as to why they could not serve in the Church. Myself included. When God, first called me to teach, I had several excuses. By the way, might I also add, that God addressed each one of them, until I had none! Believe me when I say, God has the antidote for hindrances to ministry.

Allow me to pose a question to all of you, "How is your speech?" What do the things you say demonstrate to others about who you are in Christ? No need to answer, I'd just like you to meditate on that a while. Might I suggest, as you are meditating on that question, you would consider the Apostle Paul's words in Ephesians 4:29, which says "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, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

Beloved, allow me to tell you this, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, there is no place for name-calling, sarcasm, profanity, ridicule, gossip, blaming, destructive criticism, angry words of threat and revenge, griping, complaining, or lying. That said, how is your behavior? Do your actions accurately represent Christ's likeness in your life? How do you treat others? Is it kindly? What does your behavior demonstrate to others, when you are called upon to help those in need? Are your actions demonstrating Christ's love for others? Allow me to just say, that loving others, as Jesus Christ has demonstrated His love for us, then your love for others is truly caring for and meeting the needs of others. Every day, we are each presented with wonderful opportunities, both large and small, to be Christ's example for others. So, how are you doing?

In verse 13, Paul writes "Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching." Here, Paul was instructing Timothy, to make sure that his Church was continually exposed to God's Word. As a pastor, he was to be hard at work in the Church reading, teaching, and exhorting others. However, his primary task, was to be one who maintained a godly life, in order for others to see and then demonstrate to them, the truth of God’s Word. I believe, this serves as an excellent example, for all of us, who follow Christ. Is God's Word changing you and the way you live? If the answer is yes, then others will be interested in learning about your faith. If it is not, however, you will be labeled as "just another Christian hypocrite!" Godliness is not piety that can be strapped on at the beginning of each day. It must be the practical, reflecting one’s walk with Christ.

Paul writes in verse 14, " Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery." Not unlike young Timothy, we are also not to neglect our spiritual gifts. Some of us, are called and gifted to preach and teach. While others, are gift to sing, I might add, I am however, not one of them. And, unless you are prepared to replace the stain glass windows, I would not recommend encouraging me to do so! Perhaps some of you are called to be a warrior in prayer for others. If so, are you continually in prayer for those who are spiritually lost, who are not yet saved? I believe this a very important gift. The point here is, however, whatever God has chosen to gift you with, do not neglect those gifts but use it for the good of God's people, all for His glory.

I believe that God views the church much differently than most of us. Many today, come to church, in order to see what God can do for them, they attend church, because it meets their personal needs. However the purpose of attending church is, what can you do for God, and serve the needs of others today? 

In verse 15 he says "Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all." The Lord's message to Timothy, is the same for all of us, God has a ministry in the local Church for every Christian. As a footnote, when God calls us to a certain area of ministry or when He equips us with a specific gift, that  doesn’t mean we are going to just be able to just jump in and use it right away, and certainly not as good as someone who has been serving for decades. But I can assure you, that our giftedness gets better and better, the more we practice using it. Timothy's calling to be a pastor would only be fully realized the more he practiced and used the gift God had given him.  

In verse 16, Paul closes this portion of his letter with these crucial words, "Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you." Here, the Apostle Paul is reminding young Timothy it is in the exercising of his gifts, chiefly, preaching and teaching, in Timothy’s case, that he will grow into godliness and as he takes care and persistently practices his unique gifts those who hear will also benefit, growing in godliness. It is Timothy’s perseverance in sound doctrine and practice that will save him in the ministry. It will also lead him to persevere in the faith, confirming his salvation. 

In Closing...

If by chance today's message has caused you to squirm a bit in your seat, feeling a bit convicted,  then I say this to you in love, you are not living the Christian life. Because truly living the Christian life involves denying yourself daily, sacrificing yourself for others and living under the Lordship of Christ. 

It is my prayer, that no one will leave today unaffected by today's message, primarily focusing on the last verse specifically, the part about your persevering in the faith comes as you use your gifts for God’s kingdom. Church is not a place to attend in order to see how God, the pastor and others can serve you, but a place where the body of Christ can assemble themselves together, to worship, pray, and be in the ministry of service to Christ and to one another.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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