Serve Confidently      2 Timothy 4:1-8, 16-18      May 09-2004
Email the writer James McCullen

Introduction
The Holy Spirit gives confidence, therefore we have no excuse if we do not serve the Lord
confidently. Our boldness in service grows as we walk with the Lord, and experience the strength He gives. We may also learn as we watch how God has enabled others to serve in difficult situations. Timothy certainly received an example, and encouragement, from Paul.

1.    The . . Reason to Serve Confidently. v 1-2
    If we have a reason to serve with confidence, and we do, by what authority would we make that claim? We serve the Lord of Lords and King of Kings who will judge the living and the dead. We also have an advocacy reason. The word translated "proclaim" in verse two (preach in the KJV) usually refers to the kind of proclamation the minister does. However, laymen can also preach like this and share at all times what the Lord has done for them. All of us are to be persistent in sharing a pertinent message, with patience. Recently I heard of a wife who prayed for and shared with her husband for 55 years before he received Christ. That is a wonderful reason to share.

    A.    The . . Authority Reason to Serve Confidently
        1.    The . . Kings Authority. v 1 a
                " Before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead,":
        2.    The . . Kingdom Authority. v 1 b
                " and by His appearing and His kingdom, I solemnly charge you

    B.    The . . Advocacy Reason to Serve Confidently.
        1.   An Advocacy of . . Proclaiming. v 2a
                " proclaim the message;"
        2.    An Advocacy of . . Persisting. v 2b
                "persist in it whether convenient or not;"
        3.    An Advocacy of . . Pertinence. v 2c
                " rebuke, correct, and encourage"
        4.    An Advocacy of . . Patience. v 2d
                " with great patience and teaching."

2.    The . . Restraints to Serving Confidently. v 3-4
        Serving the Lord will bring several restraints. One will be rejection as many do not want our message, and will not tolerate it. In addition, false teachers will reject our message. Why? Because they want a message that tickles their ears, and will be like a revolving door turning away from truth, while turning toward myths.

    A.    The Restraint of the . . Rejected Message.   v 3
        1.    Rejected because of their . . Tolerance. v 3a
                " For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine,"
        2.    Rejected because of their . . Teachers. v 3b
                ". but according to their own desires, will accumulate teachers for themselves"
        3.    Rejected because of their . . Tickles. v 3c
                "because they have an itch to hear something new."

    B.    The Restraint of the . . Revolving Myths. v 4
        1.    Revolving In . . Turning Away. v 4a
                "They will turn away from hearing the truth In . . ." v 4b
        2.    Revolving In . . Turning Towards. v 4b
                "and will turn aside to myths.

3.    The . . Readiness to Serve Confidently. v 5-8
        We should be ready to serve confidently with a godly endurance. The endurance needs to be in all we do, especially evangelism. Some seem to be willing to serve in most ways but want to leave evangelism to the paid staff, and that is not biblical. In fact we should be like Paul, willing to expend our life in serving our Lord. Paul gave a fine example of his readiness to serve, as he says "I have fought a good fight." It is sad but occasionally necessary to fight a good fight for the faith. Remember Jesus cleansed the temple twice, and at times we must stand for a cleansing of the faith. Those who serve looking forward to the return of the Lord, and serve with a motivated confidence will receive the crown of righteousness.

    A.    The Endurance of . . Readiness. v 5
            "But as for you, keep a clear head about everything, endure hardship, do the work of
            an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6. I am already being poured out as a drink offering,
            and the time for my departure is close.
        1.    Endurance in . . Everything. v 5a
        2.    Endurance In . . Evangelism. v 5b
        3.    Endurance In . . Expending Of Life. v 6

    B.    The Example of . . Readiness. v 7-8
        7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 In the future, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.
        1.    Example In the . . Fight. v 7a
        2.    Example In the . . Faith. v 7b
        3.    Example In the . . Future. v 8
 

4.    The . . Rescue and Reward of Serving Confidently. v 16-18
    Serving confidently brings some rewards and times of rescuing by the Lord. It is sad to know of ministers who serve, and no one stands with them. Paul had this experience and speaks of an absence of support from man, but an abundance of support from the Lord. I am pleased to testify of fine laymen standing with me on many occasions of ministry. I think all ministers need this kind of support from those with whom he serves. Paul further shares about the Lord delivering him from Satan's attacks, and then gives adoration to the Lord for His Person, and the heavenly home He makes possible. Yes! It is a joy to serve confidently. Amen? Amen!

    A.    Rescued from the Absence of Support. v 16
        "At my first defense, no one came to my assistance, but everyone deserted me. May it
        not be counted against them.

    B.    Rewarded by the . . Abundance of Support. v 17a
        "But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully
        made through me, and all the Gentiles might hear"

    C.    Rescued from the . . Attacks of Satan.. v 17b
        "So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil work"

    D.    Rewarded through the . . Adoration of Salvation and the Savior. v 18b
        "and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever
        and ever! Amen