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For the last few Sunday’s, Pastor’s sermons have centered on I Timothy 3 and 4. They are very instructional passages. Paul is writing plainly to Timothy. Since we believe the Bible was inspired by God for instruction to all, these passages help us understand the duties of a bishop (our preachers or pastors), those of our deacons, how we should behave in God’s house, how to live a Christian life and the importance of God’s word.

They are all good sermons and are available for you to hear on our First Baptist Church of Cottondale’s website. They were recorded as preached and you’ll hear some of our youngest attendees adding to your listening pleasure.

Sunday, September 27, 2015, the sermon hit me very hard. As it applied to me, of course. There were several points I need to attend to  in my life, but more than that I thought about profiting and who will see it.

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (1 Timothy 4:14-15 KJV)

I believe every Christian knows someone who has neglected a God-given gift. To see that neglect in someone who submitted to the laying on of the hands of other ministers is one of the most saddening things to watch. It is painful seeing someone who stood in a pulpit, and preached from the Bible to others, self destruct.

You see, everyone's “profiting” – or lack thereof - continues to be seen by all. Some have reached for the world and ignored souls, even their own. That too, is an example, albeit not a good one. Paul knew that he was an example to others and was an encouragement Timothy.  He wrote elsewhere to lead by example:

Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. (2 Thessalonians 3:9 KJV)

Paul instructs Timothy to be on his guard – not just for himself, but for those who will hear his sharing of God’s word:

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Timothy 4:16 KJV)

So – what’s it to us? I believe we need to pray for those who have not found their way to God, even if it appears tey were there and left Him. I believe through the Holy Spirit we can take heed to doctrine and follow instructions. I believe our best instruction is found in Christ’s response to Peter when he was concerned about another disciple duties:

Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. (John 21:21-22 KJV)

Whatever another person does or does not, what is that to me – or you? Christ has given us the ultimate instruction: Follow thou me. To do less is neglecting our own gift and consuming our own soul.

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