October 17th 2021: Gaius Douglas

You may view this service on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/XYEJ-zKgmow

1 Timothy 4:12-16.

This is a wonderful book. I am truly blessed reading the Word, ready to minister at any time. This passage of scripture is about being a living example. We have just heard about the statement of Faith (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxq0BG5K5p8&t=229s ). Do we believe in the basic principle the Lord Jesus has died and is coming back? Do we believe this is the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation? Yes! Whether we accept it is another matter. Whether we walk in the ways of it is a different matter.

God has revealed His truth to us. We don’t always want to believe what it says. Isaiah says we have turned ourselves to our own ways. Paul is writing to Timothy, his son in the faith. He says, ‘I want you to be a living example to the church.’ Paul was writing from a place called Macedonia and he had placed Timothy, a young pastor, in the church there in Ephesus. Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesians. I believe it is the second to last letter he wrote.

Paul has very little negativity, if any at all, to the church at Ephesus. He commends their faith. He blesses them for what they stand for. He rejoices in what they stand for. We also know, in Revelation 2, it is the first letter from the Spirit of God. The Spirit of the Lord speaks to the church of the Ephesians and commends them for their conduct and their walk. But one thing He had against them; they have lost their first love.

Paul instructed Timothy to go to this church because it had doctrinal issues. They had issues where their conduct within the church was not according to scripture. Timothy, this young pastor, was half Greek and half Jew. His grandmother and mother were Jews. We read in second Timothy that his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice brought him up in the truth of scripture. They taught him the truth of scripture. I rejoice in the fact that I had a mother who loved the Lord so much that she spent day and night teaching me scripture, being an example in keeping with God’s Word. We should relish being an example to our children and grandchildren, to be an example to others, to live a life which is in keeping with God’s Word. It is such a blessing when this happens.

Paul wants Timothy to be an example to the believers. We can’t be an example to others if we can’t show love to one another. How can I share the gospel if I hate my brother? How can I share the gospel if I shake someone’s hand, but my heart is far from them? Paul wants Timothy to be a living example. But Timothy is young and there were elders who looked down on him, thinking of him as a young whippersnapper telling them what to do. Paul says look to the one who is the example. Paul writes, “Be imitators of me, even as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). In Ephesians he says be an example of God.

Who are you imitating? Who are you following? Who am I following? Do I go out and out to tell others I belong to Christ? Who are you? Do you belong to Christ? Are you following Him? The Lord Jesus Christ says, “Follow me and I will make you.” He was and will always be the living example (John 6:38, John 12, John 4:34). It was always about God the Father, never about Him. He went to a wedding feast. He should have been the guest of honour but He was not. He sat there because He was doing the will of the Father. He never sought fame for Himself. How many Christians like a pat on the back? We are the body of Jesus Christ. We are members of the body of Jesus Christ, that wonderful body, paid for at such a great price.

Paul wants Timothy to go and be a living example in word, in deed, in manner of life, in conversation. In all of these things follow Him, not me. Jesus Christ delighted to do the will of the Lord God. (John 17, Psalm 40). This is what he wants us to do.

Titles associated with Jesus.

When we look at the gospel of John, chapter 6, He says, ‘I am the living bread, eat of me.’ What have we been feeding on this morning? Are we waiting to come to chapel to delight the Lord, to meet with other Christians? We have the capacity to delight the Lord in whatever we are doing, living for Him. Jesus delighted the Lord wherever He went. What are you feeding on? In the wilderness the Lord provided bread from heaven for the Israelites. After a while they got fed up with it. Are you fed up because you think the way of God isn’t relevant today?

He is not only bread to feed on, He is also the living water. Jeremiah was told to eat the bread and it sufficed him. Ezekiel was told to be a living example, doing many things for God, to show the people what God was telling them. The Lord says, ‘Eat of me, you will never hunger. Drink of me, you will never thirst.’

He is the living Word. He says ‘I will provide you with a Word which will sustain you, which will keep you. In Hebrews 4:12 we read, “For the Word of God is living powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” I believe this with all my heart and with all my soul. It has sustained me throughout my life, forever and ever because it is the Word of God. And it is able to do the same for you. The way of God sustains us forever. You can live in the power, the strength that is here, in the Bible.

Christ gives us a new name. We have a new name, a new title, a new calling. We belong to Christ. The salvation we have Christ has given us. He has breathed into us eternal life. Man became a living soul (Genesis 1:7). We read in Ephesians 2:1, God has breathed into us and we are living souls. Are you alive this morning? Why? Because you have confessed Christ as your Saviour.

Because He lives, we are to be a living testimony in our home, on the phone, in our community. He continues to transform us every day. We are temples of the Holy Spirit of God. We are redeemed by His precious blood. We are no longer our own, we are alive to God.

Paul wants Timothy to be a living example to the church, “In word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’ (1 Timothy 4:12). This is your life. How am I meant to live when I leave this church? When we go out, there will be challenges. We are fighting a battle against the world, flesh and the Devil. But God has given us the power, the ability, the wisdom and His Word. He has given us the armour. He says, ‘Put on the armour of God that you will be able to stand, that you will be able to fight all the things that will come against you which will take you away and prevent you from being a living example for me, for my glory, for my praise.’ Amen.

December 22nd 2019: Gaius Douglas

Gaius-Dec 2019My prayer for you is that your prayer is ‘Be near me Lord Jesus.’

“For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up,” Psalm 69:9

Zeal is passion, enthusiasm, a great desire. We see this great and wonderful desire in Christ to do His Father’s will. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14

God became flesh. He lived among us. He was sent as a babe, not as an adult. “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up,” Psalm 69:9. The zeal of thine house was in Israel, the temple. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit if we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. He had a great desire, even at birth. The Father sent the Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. The Word became flesh. Mary, about 15 or 16 years old, went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. She was barren yet God put in her John the Baptist. When Mary came visited Elizabeth the babe in Elizabeth’s womb leapt. That is the Spirit of God. Even in the womb of Mary, His mother, He was desirous to do the will of His Father.

When Jesus was twelve and in the temple, the zeal of the Lord had eaten Him up and He was teaching. As a young man He was passionate to please His Father. From a baby, God manifest in flesh, placed in the womb of Mary, my Saviour, the one who made you and me. As He grew “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” (Isaiah 53:3). He was desirous to do God’s will (John 4:34). He asked us to follow Him. The zeal of the Lord had eaten Him up even in His mother’s womb. You are not too young or too old to live for Him.

He hath put a new song in my mouth. If you know that, He has put that song in your heart to praise God. Is it yours? Is He yours? The Lord Jesus Christ is not for Christmas but for life. If we are really honest, how much have we thought of the Lord Jesus Christ in the past week, leading up to Christmas?

I love singing carols; they are all of Christ. Quite often when we think of Christmas we think of commercialism, not of Christ. Christmas begins with Christ. Mass is a celebration. We celebrate Christ. Stop. Think. Are we doing that? Will we celebrate Christ on 25th December? The Lord Jesus Christ is not only for Christmas but for life. Do you celebrate Christ 365 days a year? So often, we split the Bible up and only speak of His birth at Christmas time and speak of His death at Easter. How sad! This same Jesus, sent to be Saviour, to save us, from our sins. If we knew this we should be celebrating this 365 days a year.

When we get to glory we will sing His glory and praise, not differentiating His birth and death. We cannot speak of His birth without speaking of His death, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour,” (John 12:27).

Anyone who receives Him are His people. Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Our sins, which were many, the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He has saved us to live, not to die.

The Lord may come at any time, none of us know where we will be next Christmas. But Jesus came to save us, for us to live, not to die. Are you living for Him? The alternative is death. Moses, at the end of his life, spoke to the leaders of Israel, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live,” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

How often do we talk to our friends about the Lord Jesus Christ? We have gone so far away from Christ many don’t want to recognise Him. God sent His only Son, His indescribable gift. Let us give thanks for Him. The gift of eternal life is through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, celebrate Him. Will you put Christ back into your Christmas?

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the earth,
Every creature was stirring, awaiting a birth.
The time for Messiah was certainly near,
The prophets foretold it; the Bible was clear.
From the book of beginnings, the very first sin,
God’s word made it clear how His grace entered in.
Born of a virgin, He’d come as a man.
The Creator among us, the time was at hand.
The stars were arranged to show marvellous things,
Setting Wise Men to journey and find the true King.
Shepherds in Bethlehem gazed on the sky,
Longing to see him, their Lord the Most High.
How could they know that the very next night
An angel of God would speak words of delight?
How the Saviour was born, it was news of great joy.
In a cloth and a manger they’d find the dear boy.
And a heavenly host would soon join to sing
Of the glory of God and of wonderful things.
He entered creation, set position aside
To show us how deeply his love did abide.
Sin sent us away from our almighty Lord.
He became one of us that we might be restored.
He’s the Prince of our Peace; He’s the one who makes whole.
He is Wisdom Incarnate, a Shepherd of Souls.
He’s the Author of Life; He’s the Ruler of All.
He can offer salvation, on His name we call.
The shepherds and Wise Men would bow to adore
Holy God among men, our greatest reward.
All glory and honour is due to this King.
Let all join in worship; let every tongue sing.
Jesus is Lord, all creation proclaims.
He’s the first and last, He is always the same.
History turned on the first Christmas day,
When God became man in a humble display.
As we think of the manger in which He was laid,
Let our hearts welcome Him to the world He made!

Poet unknown