Paul challenged Timothy to "make full proof" of his ministry. It would not be the same as Paul's was, but that wasn't the point. Timothy was to fulfill everything that God had for him to do. What a great challenge, not only to Timothy, but to us today as well. Every one of us wants to have a good ministry. One that is pleasing in the Lord's sight, one that accomplishes much for the Glory of God. However, it is all too easy for us to get off course. We begin to drift at times without realizing that we are moving off center. This morning, I want to challenge you to make "full proof" of your ministries.
I. Let's Not Lose Our Sight.
NOTE: Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..."
A. We must keep our eyes upon the Savior.
1. Heb. 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..."
2. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
3. He knows the way, He knows what we are up against, and He knows how to help us.
4. The ship's pilot must carefully the compass to keep on the right course.
5. The storms and winds will come, but they will not change the compass reading.
6. This world and our people may change, but Jesus remains the same!
B. We cannot look back.
1. Luke 9:62, "No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
2. Our service for God is not yesterday, nor is it tomorrow, it today!
3. We cannot make full proof of our ministries if we are always looking back.
4. NOTE: "Used-to-be's" and "Could- have-been's"
5. As pastors, we sometimes guilty of this very thing.
C. We shouldn't look at others.
1. In Jn. 21:21 Peter looked at John and asked Jesus, "Lord, and what shall this man do?"
2. Jesus rebuked him saying, "What is that to thee? Follow thou me!"
3. I have been around long enough to learn this lesson: Many men will fail, and All men could fail!
4. There is only One who will never let us down...look unto Him.
D. Let's not focus on the temporal.
1. 2 Co. 4:18, "For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2. Certainly we need buildings, schools, and other temporal things BUT we must be careful not to shift our focus from the eternal.
3. Nothing will destroy a ministry faster than to focus inward and not outward.
4. The churches which are truly growing are those who focusing on reaching others for Christ!
5. Jn. 4:35, "...Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."
6. Dr. Donnelson is often quoted on Missions being the strong right- arm of this fellowship, but many are trying to function with their right arm either cut off or in a sling!
7. The harvest will spoil while many focus all their attention on building bigger and better barns!
II. Let's Not Lose Our Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
A. We lose it through unconfessed sin.
1. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." Ps. 66:18
2. And we will not hear Him!
3. The cannot work through us if He is having to work on us!
B. We lose our sensitivity when we refuse to follow His leadership.
1. The Holy Spirit is our guide, but we must submit to His leader- ship; God will not force Himself upon us.
2. We must be careful not to grieve Him by our selfish will.
3. God gets blamed for a lot of our mistakes...
C. We lose our sensitivity when we fail to appropriate His power for our service.
1. Jesus said, "All power..." and "Ye shall receive power..."
2. However, too often the work of the ministry is done in the power of the flesh rather than the power of the Holy Spirit.
3. We need His filling daily if we are to make full proof of our ministries.
III. Let's Not Lose Our Strategy.
A. Every successful army, business, etc. has a strategy for success or victory.
1. No one plans to fail, but many of us fail to plan effectively.
2. We must have a plan if we are to make full proof of our ministries.
B. Our Captain has already mapped out the strategy for victory.
1. Thank God, He didn't leave it up to me to figure it out!
2. Haggai 1:8, "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord."
3. GO - BRING - BUILD Mt. 28:19-20
a. We must go...preaching the gospel.
b. We must bring...them into the body, baptizing.
c. We must build...them up through teaching them to observe all things.
C. We don't need a new plan...we just need to obey the one we have.
1. Let's not lose our sight...
2. Let's not lose our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit...
3. Let's not lose our strategy to win the world for the glory of God!
4. LET'S MAKE FULL PROOF OF OUR MINISTRIES!