Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pentecost 21 (Proper 24)

Today's readings were Genesis 32:22-30, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 (sermon text), and Luke 18:1-8. Theme: "Following to Grow the Church."

Paul is writing to train Pastor Timothy, warning and exhorting. Because of sin's rise in these last days, endurance of hardship is required of each Christian. To prepare the warriors God has entrusted to your keeping, train up your children in the faith at home so that they will not desert the house of God; this is important from their birth, required before age 18. Those around middle-school age especially ask difficult questions, so dig into the Word with them. Exhort them to great faith, not just good faith.

Go beyond comfort zones yourself. follow His steps, eat the Word as a community, grow the Church, never stagnate. Looking at Matthew 13:1-23, we see that growth is hard - Jacob, Timothy, and the persistent widow wrestled. Even with growth is invisible, Christ fertilizes and causes growth as we preach. Trust Him, following His steps. Look at the mustard seed: the tiniest, least promising seed will, in time and with patience, grow into a great and mighty tree. Look to eternity's harvest, not just the short term! Weeds will, in time, be sorted out. Look to the full net, not fearing the apparent emptiness. Keep going with Christ's Cross and kingdom as your focus.

Soli Deo gloria.

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