INTRODUCTION: On his second missionary journey, as he was passing through Lystra and Derbe – towns in Asia Minor – Paul was introduced to a young man by the name of Timothy (Acts 16). Timothy, whose name means ‘honoring God,” was the grand-son of a believing woman Lois and the son of an equally devout mother, Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5).
 
Paul took Timothy under his wings and mentored him for ministry eventually entrusting him to the oversight of pastors and churches in the region. Two epistles (letters) bear the name of Timothy and both contain salient advice to Timothy in particular, and young people in general.
 
2 Timothy 2:15 is a favorite scripture verse of mine, having been introduced to the verse by my Bible teacher and mentor, many years ago. Although written hundreds of years ago, these epistles to Timothy can still serve as guides for young people as they navigate the vagaries of life. I would like to three points that you can hold on to from the words of Paul.
 
1. Due Diligence
2. Present for approval
3. Unashamed workers
1. DUE DILIGENCE

Definition
Law: the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or their property 


Business: research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction

 
A. Due diligence in life

– God has given you one life…and only one

– All that you can do, all that you can achieve, must be done in tis life

– Life does not give a lot of do-overs…sometimes you may mess up in a way that closes the door
 forever
– Proverbs 4:1-4

ILLUSTRATE: Ben Johnson ran the 100m in 9.78 seconds (Seoul Korea – 1988 Olympics). Johnson boasted that they could never take away his gold medal….that the record would stand for 50- 100 years. Unfortunately, 24 hours later, Johnson failed a drugs test. A banned substance was found in his urine, and so ended a very promising life

Application: Apart from having only one life, you are also young only once. In another verse Paul said to Timothy: Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:12-13)

B. Due Diligence in your education

– “ A mind is a terrible thing to waste…”

– Good grades do not happen by accident
 – They are the product of hard work and persistence

– The kids who do well in school are the ones who are willing to work hard for it

– Be one of those kids who is always in the books…learning, learning learning…burn the midnight oil if you have to …remember that no matter how hard it is you are learning something that people just like you, studied before, so how hard can it be…you are just as good even better

Application: This is the age when your brain is ripe for learning. You may have heard that you are never too old to learn, and that is true. But why wait to get an education when you are old when you can do it now, and get it out of the way?

 
C. Due Diligence in Spirituality

– God has created you a spiritual being
– Paul was talking about more than education when he said these words to Timothy

– the Apostle was saying the Timothy should do his due diligence when it comes to spiritual things…
– Both 1st and 2 Timothy – Paul’s letters that bear the name of this young man…addresses many of the issues that young people face…
– Paul also makes it clear that the Christian faith Timothy espoused was above reproach
– Paul addresses the need for Prayer and good Christian ethics.

Application: Young people, you are not too old or too young to thing about your life in relation to God. You are more than just a human mechanism, you are God’s child and you have a responsibility to do your due diligence in matters of life and faith. 


 
2. Present For Approval

“…present yourself approved to God….”

A. Seeking to please

– For the rest of your life you will be in the process of pleasing someone
 – Years ago Frank Sinatra sang a song about doing it “My Way”

– The truth is we never really get the chance to do it our way

– You start off by pleasing your parents….your schoolteachers….your employers….your customers…your friends…your wife….husband…children…

– If we are honest with ourselves we will realize that we spend our entire lives pleasing someone or the other….

– No one truly does it his or her own way…

– You will have to conform
 – The Master / Servant relationship: Primary employment relationship of olden times

Application: We don’t always think in terms of seeking approval but we really need that and everything we do will have to meet some standard or the other

B. How To Please

– Advice to Timothy in these Epistles

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit,[b] in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Tim 4:15)

(i) Pay Attention to Your Gifts (1 Timothy 1:6-7)
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

(ii)Do not be ashamed of your faith
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner…” (2 Tim 1:8)
We live in an age where Christian believers are marginalized
– Jesus said you will be mocked and persecuted for your faith
– Be prepared for it and do not be ashamed

(iii) Keep Yourself Pure
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Tim 2:22)
Sexual immorality is rampant on college campuses and might seem to be a rite of passage
– However purity before God should never be seen as an outdated value

C. Whom Will You Please
– There is only One true Master that you have to please…

– You must please God

– You see nothing really matters until you gain the approval of your Heavenly Father

– And you will find that He is willing to work with you to make your life pleasant to Him

– Jeremiah 2911: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”


3. Unashamed Workers

A. The Accountability Factor


– Everyone at some point has to give account
 – There will be a reckoning time…

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey….Verse 19 – After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.” (Matthew 25:14-19)

B. “Enter Into the Joy of the Lord…”

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Matt. 25:23

Application: in life as in everything else you will face those moments when all that you have done will be brought up for evaluation. At the end of your period of study you may have a graduation, or not. And you will be proud …or not of all that you have accomplished.
 
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Date: April 17, 2017

TEXT: Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…”

Introduction: This semester, I have been doing a class on adolescent psychology. In a nutshell, it is a class about the physical, social and psychological development of young people. Considering my experiences with young people over the years, and having been young once…a long, long, long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), there were moments when I had to interject…so that explains it!

I found out early in the class, that young people’s brains do not fully develop until they are well in their twenties. During the adolescent period, synapses are being formed and the brain is going through “a period of profound brain growth and change” and is described by some psychologists as “a work in progress.” In a 1990 study done by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, they found that among other things, “adolescents are not adults…they are on the way to being there…they are “under construction” and that they do not have a “stable, solid capacity to make complex judgments, weigh closely competing alternatives in a balanced and careful way, control impulses and take the longer view.” The study also found that between the periods of adulthood and childhood, the wiring diagrams of the brain becomes richer and more complex, that the pre-frontal cortex – the part responsible for such skills as setting priorities, organizing plans and ideas, forming strategies, controlling impulses, and so on – is the last area to fully mature.

So what does all of this have to do with the passage of scripture, I just read. Well it has everything to do with it in light of the influences and experiences that young people – and adults as well – are surrounded with in these days in which we live. We don’t very often talk about the spirit world because it seems too spooky and difficult to understand. In pop culture when people like Stephen King and Steven Spielberg address things that have a spiritual element, it is often presented in an unrealistic way either to amuse, scare or affect us in a way that seems to unreal to be true. But there is a spirit world…parallel to our universe, there is realm inhabited by spirits and unclean forces…the Bible is very clear on that. The Apostle Paul in the previous passage talks about “principalities,” “powers,” “rulers of darkness” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” In the gospels we see Jesus casting demons out of people, having dialog with Satan and demons, so we know that these things are real.

One of the deceptions of the end of days, is Satan’s ability to make us believe these things are not true. So it is quite possible that my sermon today, may be seen as the ramblings of an old man who has somehow become too “spiritual,” especially regarding the subject matter. I have entitled this sermon The Battle for Hearts and Minds because I think there is a spiritual war going on that we need to be aware of. Especially when it comes to the hearts and minds of our children.

 I would like to ask a few questions to the parents of teenagers who are here today. How many of you know about some of the apps and social media platforms that your children may or may not have on their phones, iPads, computers. We live in what one psychologist calls the “App Generation.” There is n App for everything and increasingly you will find that these apps control our lives. How many of you have heard of: Facebook, Whats App, Instagram, SnapChat…? You have…? Well how about:

 FINSTA (Finstagram): A fake instagram account created under a different name so that parents don’t know what teens are up to online


Tinder Food Stamps: Tinder is a popular dating app. Food stamps is when sex is exchanged for food.

Yik Yak and Kik: A messaging app where anonymous messages can be posted within a particular radius. Used in a lot of cyber bullying issues.

Thes are just a few of the many apps out there that encourages bad behavior and our teens, our young adults and even our adults are exposed to so much more in terms of outside influence than any other generation before us…and its scary…

In addition to all of that we have so many celebrities and media personalities that seem to be glorifying bad behavior. And with many of these messaging and social media platforms people feel more connected to those who wield tremendous influence in the culture.

So how does this fit into what I want to talk about today, specifically the passage of scripture read? There are three things I want us to focus on:

 

  1. The Enemy is Real
  2. The Battle being waged
  3. The cyber world is a spirit world…

And finally we will look at what scripture says we can do to engage, as well as protect ourselves from the “gods” of this world.


 

 1. THE ENEMY IS REAL

 

  1. I Saw Satan…(not me)
    – (Luke 10: 17-20) the Disciples return after Jesus sends out the 70
    – They say:
    “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
    – Jesus said: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven…”
    – The implication here is that Satan is a real entity…Jesus is telling them that He saw him fall from heaven…
    – He was actually kicked out but he was not destroyed…
    – He took up residence in the air above us…
    – That’s why he is called “the prince of the powers of the air.” (Eph 2:2)
    – Then Jesus said: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
    – He gave them power over the influence and power of Satan
  2. Satan is Alive and Well
    – In the book of Job we see a classic encounter between God, Stan and man
    – The book acknowledges that satan is “going to and fro on the earth” and “walking back and forth on it.”
    – When God challenges satan regarding His faithful servant Job, satan requests permission to attack Job. And he did so with everything he had
    – Job is an ancient book but we know that satan is still alive and well…

    His character is in his names
    – He is “the evil one.” (Mt. 13:19)
    He is the “god of this world.” (2 Cor 4:4)
    – He is a “murderer” (Jn 8:44)
    – He is a “tempter” (Mt 4:3)
    – he is an “accuser” (Rev 12:10)
  3. SATAN WANTS YOU!
    Peter reminds us that he is our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
    – In other words if you are not careful…we are told by the apostle to be sober, be vigilant
    – And he will throw everything in the book against you
    – Scripture is full of warnings against the wiles and cunning of Stan
    – One of his deceptions is to make you think he is not real
    – Just some made up character with horns, a pitchfork and a bifurcated tail
    – But he is real!!!

2. THE BATTLE IS SPIRITUAL

  1. Spiritual Battle
    – First we must understand that there is a battle…
    – Daniel 7:21 – “I was watching and the same horn was making war against the saints and prevailing against them…”
    – Daniel was seeing a war being fought in our time…a prophetic word
    – We should recognize the battle being waged is a spiritual one
    “We wrestle not against flesh and blood…”
    – Dark forces are controlling
    – When we look at what’s happening in the world
    – It is more than simply ideological, political, religious, or even physical
    – Our news is filled with reports of ISIS, of terrorism, of beheadings, of religious extremism, of political and nationalistic strifes
    – But there is always an underlying cause…
    – “spiritual hosts of wickedness in high (heavenly) places.”
  2. The Battle is Universal

    – Paul talks about: principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness…
    – This seems to imply a hierarchy…in the same way that governments of nations have a hierarchy of rulership
    – The US is a nation state ruled by a president…but the powers of his government is articulated in the three branches (powers)
    – The Executive: The President
    – The Legislative: Senate and House of Representatives
    – The Judicial: The Supreme Court
    Principalities (Gk: arche): Chief or ruler
    “These principalities are ruling devil spirits possessing executive authority or governmental rule in the world…”
    – “This ruling power usually involves a particular nation, people or race.”
    – There are evil angels ruling the kingdoms of the world that oppose the truth of God, and of which Satan is the chief prince or ruler, of both the world system and its organization of demons (Matthew 12:24( Beelzebub – ruler of demons)
    – Powers (Gk. Exousia): derived or conferred authority; the right to do something
    Rulers of darkness of this age: The implication here is of some sort of demonic power that is controlling all that is happening in the world
    – Every age has its its own…think of Hitler in Germany, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Radovic in Bosnia, Amin in Uganda…think of Rawanda, Syria, the atrocities of ISIS…all of these are being controlled and manipulated by “rulers of darknes”

  3. The Battle is Personal
    – Paul said “we wrestle…” struggle (Gk. Pale)
    – Each person will have his or her own struggle. Why?
    – Because Satan really wants you…
    – Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Peter :8)
    – The battle being waged is for the hearts and minds of individuals
    – In the same way that God wants your heart so that he can have your mind…
    Satan wants your mind so he can have your heart…
    – They say that the mind is the devil’s playground that is why we need to guard it…

APPLICATION: Whether you agree or not is irrelevant, but there is a war going on and the sooner we recognize it the better, because it affects all of us. I have some news for you, and that is if you are a Christian, you are already in the battle. Here is what Paul had to say about this:


 

  • He uses the term “WE” in Eph. 6:12 so he is talking to all of us
    – He talks about waging a “good warfare” (I Tim 1:18)
    – About being a “soldier engaged in warfare” (2 Tim 2:4)
    – About an inward battle (Romans 7:23)

3. THE BATTLE FIELD

  1. A Parallel Universe
    ILLUSTRATE: Kirk: Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
    In its five year jouney the Enterprise would encounter all kinds of parallel civilizations
    – So when we talk about a “spirit world” it sounds like that
    – But there is a spirit world
    – We know and believe that demons exist…but have you seen one
    – We know and believe that angels exist…but have you seen one
    – Yet we do know that they have manifested themselves in our earthly sphere on occasion

 

 

  • The Invisible World
    – There is an invisible world that you interact with every day
    – Have you ever wondered where the information comes from when you turn on the radio…?
    – Someone may be broadcasting from thousands of miles away but your car radio is not attached to anything
    -Your radio / TV are just receivers that capture invisible signals in the air and broadcasts them
    – there is a app called WAZE that you can download on your phone…its better than google maps
    – It gives you alternate routes in real time so you can escape the traffic
    – As we are driving down it says the next exit in .5 miles is on your right and be careful there is a disabled car on the right lane…sure enough there was…how did it know that?
    – Well satellite technology through GPS gives the road directions but people are connected to each other through the app so real time info is shared….amazing…
    14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
    16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:14-17

     

  • The “Cyber” Universe

 

– Cyberspace: The virtual space created by interconnected computers and computer networks on the Internet. Cyberspace is a conceptual electronic space unbounded by distance or other physical limitations. William Gibson coined the term in his novel Neuromancer (1982) to describe an advanced virtual reality network.
The internet has connected the world in a way it has never been connected before…but where is this “cyber space…”?
– It is everywhere and nowhere at the same time- Yet this cyber world literally runs this physical world…
– I believe the cyber world that has so much influence on the physical world is directly correlated to the spiritual world…
– The cyber world is an unreal that is in and of itself a very real world!!!
– When you lose money in cyberspace…its real money…
– When women, men and children are abused in online porn…its real people being affected.
– This is where I get back to the questions about the apps on our children’s phones
– When we were small preachers preached about TVs being the devil boxes…that it would filter the world into our homes…well it still does that
– Then came the internet and AOL (America Online) remember that?
– Today our children live in a totally different environment…
– In “American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers” Nancy Jo sales writes: “For most American girls, social media is where they live.”
“we wrestle… against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly ”
Wickedness (Gk.
Ponēria) from which we get the word porn

APPLICATION: I started this sermon by talking about some of the apps that are being used by people today. The idea for this sermon came from a brief look at how these apps are really destroying our society and the lives of our children. Parents we need to be vigilant. Now I want you to understand that I am not against the use of apps. The technology itself has good use…who doesn’t want an app that tells you there is an accident up ahead and then suggests another route so you do not get stuck in an hour’s worth of traffic…but I am certainly opposed to an app that can be used to facilitate teenage bad behavior…


So what can we do about it???

 CONCLUSION: In the verses that begin the passage the Apostle Paul said: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

  1. Be Strong in the Lord
  • Understand His power
    – Tap into His power
    – Seek Him for the strength that you need
    – Allow Him to cover and extend His strength upon your family
  1. Put on the Whole Armor of God
  • “That you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
    – Verses 14-17 Paul describes the armor that a Christian soldier (that’s you) can wear
    – In part two’s sermon we will deal more in depth with this
    Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God… Eph 6:14-18

FINAL WORD: there is a battle on for the hearts and minds of people and it is directed at our young ones


 


Pastor Dave Rajoon

Sermon: “Reset” (Jan 31, 2016)
Text: Isa. 43:19
1. Reset Your Passions
a. You are uniquely you…everyone else is taken
– Be yourself
b. Your passions define who you are
“It’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you” Batman Begins
– Jesus was a man with a passion. It is what He did (on the cross) that defines Him
c. A life without passion is a boring life
– Find something to be passionate about
– See Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
2. Reset Your Priorities
a. What is #1 in your life?
– Determine your priorities and focus on them
b. Get Your Priorities Right
– “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” (Mt. 6:33)
– Someone said: Efficiency is doing things right…effectiveness is doing the right things.
– Do the right things first
c. A Biblical Priorities Paradigm
– Micah 6: 8 
– Do Justly
– Love Mercy
– Walk Humbly With God
3. Reset Your Projections
a. Goals are what you aim for
b. Set Realistic Goals
c. Short Term Goals Make for Long Term Success

If you are not aiming for something, you won’t hit anything. If you do not have a destination in mind you may end up anywhere…and you might not like the place you are at. In fact there is a good chance you will end up at the wrong place if you do not plan your destination

it is not to late in life to reset. To take a good hard look at yourself and see where you are…if you are headed in the right direction. Ask yourself if you need to change course a little. The worse thing would be to say, “I’m good…my life is fine…no change needed here!”
You also need to examine the people you are taking advice from. What is their situation in life, can learn from them or should I run from them.

Isa 43:19 – God makes a reset; He is ready to do a “new thing.” He will make make a way where there seems to be none and rivers in the desert. It will become plainly evident that He is doing a new thing. Allow Him in 2016 to do something new in your life. Let Him reset your life.

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May 19, 2010
Big Life Issues
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  • May 19, 2010Big Life Issues
    May 19, 2010
    Big Life Issues
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    Why Did Jesus Have to Suffer And Die?
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    May 19, 2010
    The Holy Spirit and You
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