Friday, October 3, 2014

Protect Your Confidence

This is a message I gave last Sunday at Shift Church in Gainesville in Text form as we had some issue with our recording equipment.  I hope it speaks to you!

What is up, Shift Church? I am Brad Zachritz, the Lead Pastor here at Shift and we are concluding a series called “I Don't Know What I Believe.” Go ahead and grab you bible or the bible app….you probably all know what to look up now.  2 Timothy, chapter 1, verses 9-14. We have been camping out here throughout the entire series. If you don’t have a bible or the bible app don’t worry we will also put the words up on the screen so you can follow along up there.

Today, we are going to start with verse 11.

11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.  Paul had a great calling on his life. The calling of someone that is a teacher of the gospel is a strong one. Not everyone can or should do this. It’s a calling and Paul is called with great authority. But because of this he says, 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. 

We looked at suffering as part of this series because following Jesus doesn’t always lead to worldly success; it leads to suffering as well. And sometimes the suffering is a success because you can look back and see how God let you go through that and now God can accomplish this through you.

Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know WHOM I have believed, I don’t think you will have a better understanding of when Jesus is coming back or the end times. Or even what to believe about global warming or evolution. But, my prayer has been that we will know Jesus! Then, Paul says this, I know whom I have believed (past tense)….

and am convinced (present tense, Jesus is still working) that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, keep…when you get a sermon that hits you, you need to keep it like in a doggy bag when you leave a restaurant because the Devil wants to snatch the Truth from you. So, keep it as a pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. The pattern of sound teaching will be that there is fruit of love of Jesus and love of others. Now, here is the verse that we are going to wrap this all up with today:

14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Our “S” word for this final week is Spirit!  Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit. In these verses there are 4 connections that Paul makes for Timothy, that I believe God wants to make for you.

1. Vulnerability & Value – It is an interesting comparison because of what Paul says right there is this verse: 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

“Deposit” means the same thing that it means to us today…property entrusted to another.  Money, things, or even people. There is something that God has entrusted to Timothy that Paul instructs him to guard.  This is not just a teaching of Paul to Timothy, this is more of an alarm to Timothy saying, “warning there is something that you are holding that is under attack.”

You don’t tell somebody to guard something when nobody wants to come for it.  And you don’t tell someone to guard something that is not worth anything. You don’t have to guard junk. That’s why I don’t lock the doors on my car.

You only guard something that is worth something.

How many of you feel venerable in a certain area of your life? Or you feel vulnerable when you are around certain people? Or maybe its when you have to speak in front of some people, or maybe, it's in a certain social group where you just don’t feel comfortable.

Vulnerability signifies value. Something that has great value is very vulnerable. Let's break this down a little simpler. A thief does not break into an empty house.

If your life is under attack, then you must have something good inside. If you didn’t have something good inside of you, then you would be left alone. Because the enemy comes like a thief in the night. Do you all believe in Satan? If you don’t then just watch the news. You don’t have to read the Bible to know the Devil is real.

I know the Devil is real and that he really attacks us. When you have a good deposit, like Timothy did, you have got to be on your guard. Because the thing that makes you valuable also makes you vulnerable. And you feel vulnerable because God has given you something that is valuable.

The next time that you feel down because you are under attack remember that you are valuable because of the deposit that God has given to you.  You wouldn’t be vulnerable if you weren’t so valuable. There is something Good that God wants to Deposit inside of you.

We need to reappraise our value in Christ. No matter what you are feeling or going through you are not worthless to God. It is because that we are so valuable to God that there is an enemy that is opposing us.

So if you are struggling to raise your kids, then you need to reappraise the value that they must have. If you feel like you need to give up, maybe you need to reappraise the value of what you have been entrusted.  If you have a gift that you constantly feel is not good enough, then maybe it's because of its tremendous value to God.

Vulnerability = value and value = vulnerability…guard the good deposit.  Because if your fighting for something in your life you need to reappraise its value.

2. The connection between Circumstance & Confidence – Lets make the connection between circumstance and confidence.

We understand most of the time what the enemy is attacking through the struggles of our lives. The enemy will attack your circumstance and he only attacks your circumstance because he is after your confidence.

If I steal your wallet, I am not really interested in your wallet. I am interested in what is in your wallet.  I would demonstrate this but, I think it would be awkward for me to leave here in a Police cruiser.

When Paul was writing all of this to Timothy, he was setting up a connection between circumstance and confidence. This letter to Timothy was all about teaching Him to Protect His Confidence. This is what we are supposed to do: Protect Your Confidence.

When your circumstance is challenging and it will be, it is your confidence that ultimately be under attack. What I mean is, cancer can’t beat you if you are a believer in Jesus. Why? Because Jesus has destroyed death.

Bankruptcy can’t break your spirit if you are a believer because we don’t hope in what we see. When you find yourself feeling low with your emotions that doesn’t break you. It doesn’t break you as a believer when your circumstances start to fight against you. What breaks you as a believer in Jesus is when your circumstance starts to make you question your confidence. That is when the Devil has got you!

Did you know that when you sin it doesn’t change your relationship with God? It might disappoint Him. If you have a relationship with God, sin can’t alter your relationship with God. Come on, that would mean that you are holding on to Him. But, when you read this letter from Paul, “HE (God) has saved us.” So He is holding on to me!

Sin doesn’t change my relationship with God, it takes away my confidence in my relationship with God. The author of Hebrews writes it like this, Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

The enemy wants you to throw away your confidence so that you loose your boldness. For example, I am pretty confident most of the time when I am up here teaching at Shift Church. Sure, I am always nervous, often I think I don’t have what it takes but at the end of the day I know God has called me to lead this. I am confident that God wants me to do this. So, Satan will always be after what I am confident that God has called me to because he wants me to loose my boldness.

Paul is telling Timothy, I want you to have a confidence that doesn’t rest on circumstance. The enemy may attack your circumstance but Satan is after your confidence. That’s good news for us. Because your circumstance doesn’t have to improve for your confidence to increase.  My confidence doesn’t stand on what happens, my confidence stands on Jesus alone.

We are going to continue because if we stop here you might leave here today a little cocky in your confidence. There is another connection that I have been wrestling with. Read with me again 2 Timothy 1: 12 - 

I know whom I have believed, and am convinced (Paul is convinced) that he (God) is able to guard what I (Paul) have entrusted to him (God) until that day.

That day is probably stands for the day that Paul will stand before Jesus.  Or when Jesus comes again. But, Paul means until this is all said and done, until the very end. Paul is saying that he entrusts something to God.

But, verse 14 sounds a little different, Paul tells Timothy, Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you

3. The connection between Trusting & Entrusted

There are a lot of people that believe they can trust God. It's hard sometimes, you can’t see Him, you can’t feel Him, you can’t talk with Him, He doesn’t physically hand you a deposit to put in your bank account. It can be hard to trust somebody you can’t see or even completely understand.

There are some of people that totally believe that God is able. There are also those that are skeptical, or maybe returning to a faith they once had. Or this whole God thing might be brand new for you. But, for me, I completely believe that God is able. I believe that He is able to heal, able to save, able to deliver from addiction, able to make a way when there is no way. 

What Paul is telling Timothy sometimes it’s easier to believe that you can trust God than it is to believe that God has entrusted you.

You have probably heard about when Jesus was out walking on the water. And Peter steps out of the boat and starts walking towards Jesus. And I think I have even taught this that Peter starts to sink when he takes his eyes off of Jesus. Well, maybe,  Peter was sinking, not because He was doubting Jesus, but because Peter was doubting himself.  He saw the wind and he saw the waves and he started to doubt. Who did he start to doubt? Not Jesus, Jesus was doing fine on the water, he was out there water skiing with no rope, boat, just his feet.

Paul says to Timothy, you know how God is able and you can trust Him to keep what you have committed to Him. Paul is talking about his life, they have both given their life to Jesus. To Paul, he doesn’t care if he dies in prison because he is convinced and he trusts Him no matter what happens.

We know that Timothy struggles with being timid because just before the verses we are studying today Paul says to Timothy, “For the Spirit of God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Paul opens this letter to Timothy in verse 3, 3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded (Timothy) of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Timothy’s faith was sincere, in God. Paul says its not enough to just believe that God is able. You have got to look at your life and believe that by His strength in you, that you are able. God is perfect, Paul says I am not. Here is where it gets tricky, Timothy, here is where your confidence has to go beyond what God is able, because you can say that God is able all day long. But, that doesn’t put any responsibility on you.

God is able, so I am gonna take a nap, God is able, so I don’t have to do anything cause he is able. Now, we need to understand that he is able but also that God has entrusted us to guard the good deposit with the help of the Holy Spirit, what he has entrusted to me. You probably have heard a million times you can trust God but, my guess is that you have never heard before that God has entrusted you! That’s what it said right there in verse 14.

That’s what Paul told Timothy! And if he told Timothy, he is telling you. Because what makes you any different? You have the same Spirit Timothy had. The same God Timothy had. The same Gospel that Timothy believed.  It was working in Lois, it was working in Eunice, it was working in Timothy and now it is working in you.

God hasn’t given you your children by accident, God hasn’t put you in your job by accident, God hasn’t given you influence with other by accident. God has entrusted it to you! So, guard the good deposit entrusted to you with the help of the Holy Spirit. 

Your confidence is under attack! Not the Message of Jesus, it can withstand any attack. God doesn’t need you to guard the gospel.  He’s Good! The Gospel is doing just fine.

It’s not our job to guard the Gospel; it’s our job to guard our confidence…in the gospel. It’s not our job to fix our circumstance, but to guard your confidence in your circumstance. Protect your confidence….not just your confidence that God is able but your confidence in what God is wanting to accomplish in you through the power of the spirit in you. God has entrusted you!

4. Connection between Safety & Strength -

14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

I think this message and this series needs to end like this. I pray with my children every night as I am putting them to bed for safety and strength. It usually goes something like this:

“God, I ask that you would keep Annabell, Ford, Jude, Wyatt and Luke safe as they sleep tonight. Protect them and allow them to sleep all through the night. I pray that you would give them strength to be leaders for you as they grow up. Amen.”

Well, our last few days have been hard days. There has been some really awesome things like Family Fest but, we found ourselves on Friday making a trip to the ER with our son Wyatt. While we were there Abby and I shared tears…tears of pain, confusion, and uncertainty. Its hard ya’ll.

Our safety is under attack, our confidence is under attack, if you step out to follow Jesus your safety will be under attack. But, we have a something in our back pocket that has been promised to us.

Notice, Paul did not say to Timothy guard the good deposit with your own strength and understanding. No, Paul knows that’s not gonna work!

He says, guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. The Spirit!

How are you going to guard the good deposit? How do you declare your value in vulnerability? How do you protect your confidence? Even, when your circumstance doesn’t make since. How do you have strength when you know your safety is under attack?

With the Help of the Spirit! Today is the day that you need to make the decision to follow JESUS trust him and allow the Spirit to help you guard what has been entrusted to you! Don’t leave here today without talking to someone about how to start this relationship with Jesus. I will be in the back of the room after the service and would love to talk with you. If you know Jesus just high five me and move on….send me an email or something if you want to tell me something people because there is someone here today that needs to talk to me about how to start following Jesus. Pray with me.

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