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The Fathers Love Letter To You
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2 Timothy 1:8-12

BE NOT ASHAMED

Intro::  Ashamed of Daddy Mary Anna Martin grew up during the depression, but her family, despite its poverty, was rich in love and happiness. Her dad and mom were caring and tender parents, and laughter filled their home. Her father always whistled, and her mother sang while doing her housework. Her father was a baker, but he lost his bakery shop in the first years of the depression. He had to take any job he could to pay the family's rent and keep food on their table. He worked at the local YMCA for awhile, then with the WPA. When that job ran out, he found a job as a janitor. He was an older man, small and gray, and it was hard work. But he did his best and whistled as he worked.

Mary Anna said, "My life was happy and carefree until the year I left elementary school and started junior high. I was thirteen, and soon became part of a new group of friends. I knew that Daddy was a janitor, but I didn't know where, until that awful day during lunch break." Mary Anna was seated at a table with her new friends when she heard a teacher call her father's name in a loud voice. Someone had dropped their tray, and food and milk covered the table and floor. She saw him walk toward the table, carrying a mop and old rags. One of the girls said to Mary Anna, "That janitor has the same last name as yours. Do you know him?"

Mary Anna slowly raised her head and looked at the little, gray man cleaning up the spilled food. She hesitated, then said, "I've never seen him before in my life." A wave of intense embarrassment swept over her, and she instantly felt ashamed of denying her dearest friend on earth. She hated herself for those words and tried to make up for what she had done by showing her father that she loved him more than ever. He loved for someone to brush his hair as he sat in his easy chair. She would do it. She sang to him and read to him and spent time with him. But regardless of how hard she tried, nothing made her feel better.

The years passed, and her father developed Alzheimer's disease. One day when he was ill and she was sitting with him, she started crying. Her mother asked her what was wrong, and Mary Anna poured out her heart and told her what had been bothering her for more than fifteen years. She said, "I have been asking God to forgive me, but I can't get over what I had done."

Her mother drew her close and held her tightly as she wept. "Honey," she said, "your daddy knew you loved him, and he would have loved you even if he had known about your being ashamed of him when you were so young. You know Simon Peter denied that he knew our beloved Jesus before he was crucified on the cross, and Jesus loved him just the same." Suddenly Mary Anna felt at peace with herself for the first time since she was in junior high. She knew that because of the love of Christ, it was time to turn the corner.

We have all been ashamed of things as we have passed through this life. Perhaps it was something we did, some thing we said, how we acted in a certain situation or how we reacted to a certain situation. We have all experienced shame!

Paul is writing to a young Pastor who is a little discouraged by the things going around him and in the life of his friends. Paul seems to sense the fact that Timothy is growing ashamed of the Gospel because of the affliction, persecutions and trials that accompany it. Paul wants Timothy to know that there are some things in life of which we must never be ashamed.

As believers, there is a tendency among us from time to time to be ashamed of who we are and what we have as Christians. There are times when we will hope that no one finds out that we are a believer. Maybe we are ashamed to admit that we love the Lord and are trusting Him to save our souls. Maybe we are ashamed to speak up in a discussion about doctrinal matters, because the truth from the Bible differs from what those around us believe. Maybe we are ashamed to sell out completely to the Lord, like He wants us to. Maybe there is shame over some failure in the past that haunts us and prevents us from being all the Lord wants us to be. Whatever the reason, God's people often find themselves ashamed of the Gospel, the Lord and of our relationship to Him.

This passage is designed to teach us that there are just some blessings of which God's children should never be ashamed! Let me share them with you this morning!

I. V. 8 BE NOT ASHAMED OF YOUR SAVIOR

A. Not Of His Pain - Do not be ashamed to identify yourself with the cross of Jesus. It is the cross that purchased salvation! It is the cross that stands as the dividing line between saint and sinner, 1 Cor. 1:18, 21! It is what happened on that cross that day at Calvary that makes all the difference in life. (Ill. The cross is why you are here and not in the gutter!) Instead of shame, let us find glory in His sufferings - Gal. 6:14.)

B. Not Of His Plan - Do not be ashamed to identify yourself with the Gospel message. It may bring division, it may bring affliction , it may bring persecution, but it is that very message that penetrated your heart and brought you to the feet of a risen, saving Lord! (Ill. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Rom. 1:16!) (Ill. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only message that delivers that which it promises: salvation, John 14:6.)

C. Not Of His People - Paul warns Timothy to not be ashamed of the people of God, including those like Paul who were imprisoned for the cause of Christ. We should never be ashamed to identify ourselves with that crowd that is serving the Lord! There is no finer group of people in the world than those who have left all to follow Him. They may be strange, they may be weird, but if they are saved, they are family! The best thing a believer can do is throw in with a bunch of folks who love the Lord! (Ill. The saints are good enough for Jesus - Heb. 2:11! If that is true, then they ought to be good enough for you and me! That's the crowd He has chosen to hang out with, Matt. 18:20. If He is going to be there, then that is where I want to be also! Ill. Thomas missed a meeting and he was absent when Jesus showed up, John 20:24. Don't be ashamed of that old-fashioned, worshiping, praising crowd. That's His crowd, it should be ours as well!)

II. V. 9-10 BE NOT ASHAMED OF HIS SALVATION

(Ill. I do not know why anyone would be ashamed of their salvation. But, it appears that some must be. After all, they do all they can to avoid living like they know the Lord! Well, I am not ashamed, and here's why.)

A. The Greatness Of His Salvation - Paul reminds Timothy that we are "saved". This word is in a tense that means it is a completed act. We are saved and will remain saved forever! Praise God! We have been delivered from the depths of sin and are saved from the wrath of God. His salvation is precious because it is complete, perfect and eternal. It delivers the soul, changes the life, alters the courses, defines the destiny and perfect the saint! Why would anyone be shamed of that? If you are saved this morning, you God a debt of praise and gratitude! As far as the Lord is concerned this morning, we are as good for Heaven as if we were already there, Eph. 2:6; Rom. 8:29-30.

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we have a "great salvation", Heb. 2:3. The word "great" refers to the "magnitude" of salvation. It is so glorious and so vast in what it offers us that we have not even begun to comprehend all that we have, are and will be in Jesus. Eph. 2:7 indicates that it will take eternity for the Lord to reveal all that we have and are in Him!

B. The Grace Of His Salvation - Timothy is also reminded that our salvation and our calling have nothing to do with who we are, or with anything we may have done. We are saved by grace! The "unmerited love and favor of God for sinners" was manifested toward us even before the world was ever formed! Before you and I were even conceived, before Adam was even formed, grace had already been extended to you and me through Christ Jesus. Even though God knew all about us and all about the things we would do, still He extended His saving grace toward us. It was His grace that loved us, sought us, called us, saved us, keep us and that will take us home. Who we are and what we do have nothing to do with it, Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5. In fact, our works did nothing but condemn us, Isa. 64:6. Salvation is pure grace from start to finish! When we attempt to add anything to the grace of God, we have nullified salvation!

C. The Glory Of His Salvation - Paul tells Timothy that through His sufferings on the cross, Jesus abolished death. The word "abolish" means "to render inoperative". The most dreaded enemy of mankind was rendered ineffective when Jesus came, died and rose again. This is what Paul meant when he referred to the "sting of death" being taken away, 1 Cor. 15:55. For those who come to Christ, death is rendered inoperative! It is taken out of the picture and the spotlight of grace shines on life and immortality! These are the great gifts of Jesus Christ to those who trust Him by faith for the salvation of their souls, Rom. 6:23!

III. V. 11-12 BE NOT ASHAMED OF YOUR SERVICE

(Ill. Paul tells Timothy that it is the Gospel that compels him to serve the Lord. It is the message of grace that motivates him to pour out his life for the glory of God. There is a word of encouragement for all those who want to actively serve the Lord Jesus Christ.)

A. V. 11 The Appointments In Service - Paul reminds us that the positions occupy in the Lord's kingdom work are not of our own choosing. The word "appointed" is in the "passive" voice. God chose him to be a Preacher - "One who conveys the message of the King,; he tells others about the King's glory."; an Apostle - "One sent out with orders on behalf of the King."; and a Teacher - "One who shows men the way of salvation, or one who tells men about how to come to know the King."

The whole point here is this: the Lord chooses when, where and how we are to serve Him! Our job is to be available, willing, yielded, usable and faithful! Let us not be shamed of the appoint of the Lord into His service, but let us determine that, by His grace, we will fulfill His call on our lives for His glory! Whatever your appointment by the King, it is great and it is to be fulfilled completely and faithfully so that He receives the glory due His great Name, Ill. David - Psalm 84:10!

B. V. 12 The Afflictions In Service - Paul was suffering for his testimony. He was in prison because he had faithfully served the Lord. This is the sobering truth about service to the Lord! Those who will faithfully serve Him will be tested, tried and afflicted, 2 Tim. 3:12; John 16:33. However, it is this pressure that the Lord uses to mold us into His image! (Ill. The Potter and the clay. To mold the clay, the Potter has to exert pressure on the clay. As He does, the clay is formed into a shape that pleases Him. This molding process may be painful and it may cause us to wonder about the Potter's wisdom, but we must always remember this: The Potter is never closer to the clay than when He is in the process of molding it into a vessel of honor!) (Ill. Don't be surprised or ashamed when suffering comes your way as a servant of the Lord. We must never forget that suffering is a part of His plan for us and that it merely allows God a fresh canvas upon which to paint the glorious colors of His grace!)

C. V. 12 The Assurance In Service - Paul closes with a profound statement of faith that still causes the people of the Lord to rejoice. He tells us that he is "persuaded". The word means "to be tranquilized". It carries the idea of "being able to rest in total assurance that all is well." It is a calm in the soul! He is confident that the Lord is "able". The word means "mighty, powerful and strong." He is confident that the Lord is able to "keep". This word means "to guard, to watch, to keep an eye on." He is confident that the Lord is able to keep that which he has "committed" to Him. This word means "a deposit or trust consigned to another's faithful keeping." I think that Paul is referring to three areas of life in this verse.

1. He has committed his Soul

2. He has committed his Sacrifices

3. He has committed his Service

(Ill. The Lord is well able to "keep" all the things we commit to His safekeeping! He will not lose a single soul committed to Him. He will not forget our sacrifices for His sake. He will not forget the service rendered for His name's sake. He will see to it that these things and keep them safely for His children. Left to ourselves, we would lose our salvation, but He is able to keep us, 1 Pet. 1:5. Left to ourselves, our sacrifices for Him would go unnoticed, but He is able to see and remember them all. Left to ourselves, our service to Him would die when we did, but He knows our service and He will reward His children when they stand before Him one day! Nobody else may see or care, but He does! Commit it to Him and keep on serving Him for His glory!)

Conc: A water bearer in India had two large pots, hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house; the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaw, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry, and said, "as we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walked back from the stream, you watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, my master would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. As we seek to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks he has appointed for you, don't be afraid of your flaws. Go on boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength. You, too, can bring beauty to His pathway!

I know there are areas of your life that make you shamed today. The good news is that He can and will still use you in spite of them! We are all just a bunch of cracked pots, but that is the kind He uses for His glory. Bring the things you are ashamed of to Him today and let Him take care of them.



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