1 Timothy 6:11-19 (click for full reading)
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
Spoons and Ladles
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
Our texts today from Matthew and from Paul’s letter to Timothy speak convicting words about motives. Why do we do what we do? Jesus reminds his followers to not do what the Pharisees do, because “they do not practice what they preach.”
This word from Jesus was not meant just for the teachers of the law, but for all of us. It’s a call to do as we believe. To put our faith into action. Not because we ought to, or should, but because we want to practice what we preach.
Paul, in his letter to Timothy, wrote that we should be “rich in good deeds, and be generous … so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” We have been talking a lot about what it means to have true life as we’ve been working our way through our stewardship theme of “Living Generously.” It would be an easy leap to make to say that we are only talking about money… but a generous life, the “life that is truly life” that Paul talks about is a LOT more than money. And it all goes back to Jesus’ words to the disciples when he reminds them that life is about practicing what we preach.
And what do we preach exactly? You, beloved, are a child of God. Claimed and called in your baptism. You are so loved, in fact, that God went so far as to send his son to make us righteous once more. To give us new life.
So if you believe that – then what does your life do to show it?
Martin Luther said that just as a tree is known by its fruit, so too is our faith known by works. There’s a song that helps me get to this place of living the “life which is truly life.” It’s called “Live Like That” by the Sidewalk Prophets, and my favorite verse says this:
Am I proof that you are who you say you are
That grace can really change our heart
Do I live like your love is true?
People pass, and even if they don’t know my name,
Is there evidence that I’ve been changed,
When they see me, do they see you?
You are saved. No matter what.
But you are saved FOR something.
It’s time to go out and do just that.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. Today’s text is about practicing what we preach… does your life show others what it is that you believe? Why or why not?
2. Have you ever felt convicted? A stirring in your heart to DO something? What did it feel like? How did you respond?
3. We heard that spoons are for feeding yourself, but ladles are for serving others… are you most often a spoon, or a ladle? What might it take to become more ladle-like?
You have been saved FOR something.
Be a ladle. Go out and serve.
Chances are, you know exactly what it is God has been calling you to do…. So go do it.
Listen to the full song I reference above HERE (“Live Like That” by the Sidewalk Prophets)