Don't allow yourself to be a victim of emptiness and lack of purpose. Focus on displaying God's agape love to others.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today?
Well, sure, I was waiting for you to answer, you know that? My father used to say to me, “Boy, when you ask questions give people a chance to answer.” Oh, how he pounded that into me. He also took the obverse of that truth and said, “When people ask you a question, you think before you open your mouth.” He wasn’t highly educated, but my father was quite a, quite a psychologist. He knew something about people, I assure you.
Well, we’re looking at 1 Timothy, chapter 1. We just finished, I think, our discussion of the fifth verse, 1:5, “The end.” That is the objective – Greek word “telos” – the reason for being. The objective of God’s command is love. What He wants to produce in your heart and in mine is His love. Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who was given unto us.” Galatians 5:22, “The fruit of the spirit is love.” Paul said, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love in it, I’m like sounding brass, jangling symbols.” So God’s end objective, final objective in dealing with you and with me, is to produce His Holy agape – Calvary love – in our hearts. Now, that is implemented in our experience by a pure heart; your heart cleansed through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Also, a good conscience. Constant referral to your blessed Lord. The minute you step out of line anywhere, confess and forsake whatever wrong it may have been. And faith unfeigned, that is a commitment that really means business, faith unfeigned. You’re committed to the Will of God. Feigned faith is a professed commitment that’s not substantiated by action. Real faith always eventuates in action in obedience to God’s Will.
Now, he said that’s the structure that implements God’s purpose in your life. Will you remember that? You can see these are not, these are not profound or complex. They’re profound, alright, but they’re not complex truths. What implements God’s purpose in your life? A pure heart, a good conscience, and faith that eventuates in action. That does it. You don’t need anything else but that to implement God’s purpose in your life.
Now He says, “From, from which,” that is, from this we’ve just been talking about, “some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” Now, you had, you had three things that implement God’s purpose. A pure heart, a good conscience, unfeigned faith.
You have three things that, that, that prove the lack of God’s love and God’s truth in your, your life. What are they? Vain jangling, ambition, and error in what you say. That’s the content of it, and the authority of it: “whereof they affirm.”
So, what do you think about that? This, you have to see this is two sides of the discussion. We had the positive – love out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and unfeigned faith. That’s, that’s the positive side of it. Now what’s the other side? If you miss that, then what happens? Are you following me? If you miss God’s structure, which He has provided for you to achieve His objective in your life – Divine love, Calvary love, coming from a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith that dares to obey God – if you miss that, then what?
Well, there’s a couple of interesting word studies here. I’ll just touch on them briefly. This “having swerved aside” means “miss it.” If you miss the mark. Every now and then when you’re driving, perhaps on a vacation or business trip, and you’re following the map and you say to your companions, “Now, we have to watch for a turnoff down the road here, because if we miss, that we’ll go way out of our way.” So, you’re busy talking and laughing and enjoying the trip, and you go by that turnoff, and pretty soon the, the terrain begins to look unfamiliar, and you say, “I wonder if we didn’t miss that turnoff,” and you begin to think about it, and you look at the map again. You find out that you indeed did miss it and you’ve gone miles out of your way.
Now that’s the verb that he uses here, “swerved aside.” You missed it. Give thought to being sure that you are indeed in the Will of God. Now, I don’t mean that you sit around contemplating your navel and, and, and conjuring up doubts that will plague you all the day long. That isn’t what we’re talking about, but give some thought to being sure that you are indeed in the Will of God.
Every now and again it does me good, I know, to back off from life, so to speak, and to say, “Now Lord, show me again exactly what You want me to do. I want to be sure that I’m doing what You want me to do.” And as I wait before Him and pray, He refreshes my own soul with a new awareness of, of what He wants and, and whether or not I’m on the main road. All of us have watched people who were greatly used of God who got off on a detour, haven’t we? Sad to see when somebody who has been greatly used of God, gets off on some side road and his or her usefulness is, is greatly reduced because of that. So it’d be a good idea every now and again, in your own private devotions, just to back off from the whole scene of life and say, “Now Lord, show me again what it is that is Your main purpose for me.” He’ll tell you – indeed He will – because if you want the Will of God, that’s what you’ll get. Did you know that? Proverbs 3:5-6 proves that for me, I know: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding in all Thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” What this says to me, is if you really trust God and you really want His Will, that’s what you’ll get. He’ll direct you. Try that for yourself. I know it works, because anything I tell you, I’ve been there.
Well, all of this came out of that one word, “swerved aside.” Said it’s a Greek verb that means to miss the mark, to miss the turnoff, to the miss the road.
Now they’ve “turned aside unto vain jangling.” That’s the first result of missing God’s Will. Vain jangling. Interesting word. It’s a word that means “empty,” and the other definitions of it are provided for us by our good friend Thayer. I make good use of Thayer’s Lexicon and find out how this original language – in which our New Testament was written – how the many faceted meanings of a word can apply.
Talk about this just for a moment. “Vain jangling” comes from a word “mataiologia;” that is, “devoid of force, devoid of truth, devoid of success, devoid of results, useless, to no purpose, and leading away.” It’s used in one sense, in one verse, as “leading away” from salvation. Isn’t that a basketful of, of meaning? How about that? Vain jangling, empty talk. That’s the basic meaning, but here are all the others.
Now, what happens when I miss God’s purpose for my life? I end up arguing about things that don’t really matter. You know, there are many things that we argue about that we’d like to, to change as time has gone by. Isn’t it true?
A lady said to me one day, in tears, said, “I can’t get over it.” I said, “Get over what?” She said, “The last thing I did before my husband died was to scold him because he was too slow in closing the window as we went to bed. It was cold and I wanted him to close the window, and he was slow about it, and I scolded him, and he never woke up the next morning. He was with the Lord. I can’t get over it.”
Well, that’s a hurt that’s pretty hard to work through, isn’t it, because you don’t have any way of undoing or unsaying the words that you said. Husbands and wives, don’t finish the day angry with each other. One of you may not be there in the morning. Never finish the day in anger. “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath,” said Paul. Oh, keep, keep that sweet oneness of heart between the two of you, for sure. But empty, empty talk… You end up arguing, jangling, and fussing, empty fussing. You end up fussing about things that really don’t matter. How many church arguments have gone on about things that really weren’t all that important? What color to paint the boiler room, you know, and who should have a key to the church? That’s good for two hours in any deacon’s meeting in the world, isn’t it? Oh yes.
Now, he said, if you’ll specialize in a pure heart and a good conscience and faith that there dares to obey God, you’re going to avoid this, but if you don’t specialize in that, what’s going to happen? You’re going to end up arguing about things that don’t really matter, and your argument then will be devoid of any force or truth or successful results. It’ll, it’ll have no purpose and it’ll lead some people away from salvation. And this, I think, is the, is the crowning danger.
When you and I miss God’s best, our influence on others is negative and drives them away from Christ, rather than bringing them to Him. You may be the finest debater in the world, but if your heart isn’t full of love and if your faith isn’t leading you to obey God, all you’re going to do is drive people away. Men and women are not won to Christ by argument. You specialize in polemics and you’re not going to find yourself winning very many souls. Men and women are one to Christ by the force of God’s love. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and Paul said, “The love of Christ constrain us.” Specialize in a pure heart and a good conscience and faith that dares to obey God; all of it being used to implement God’s Calvary love through your life.
I pray everyday that even in the words I say over the radio – you can’t see me, nor can I see you, but you can hear a voice – and I pray everyday that God may put His love, as well as His truth and power and wisdom into my voice, into the words I say. Oh, may He grant that. So important, isn’t it, to minister to people out of love?
Dear Father today, may our hearts be filled with Thy love as we obey Thy will, in Jesus’ name, I pray this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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