“MAKE A WISH (2): BE TRUSTWORTHY”           By Pastor YAU

2 Timothy 1:5-7, 2:1-7                                                   January 2, 2005

 

INTRODUCTION:

        The world renowned civil right activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used a popular phrase “I have a dream” to champion his course.  He used the world “dream” to denote his wish, hope or goal of life in bringing equality of the color people in the American society.  A wish or hope or goal can be a powerful driving force if the person who makes it is committed and persistent as did Dr. King to his.  Too often people do not value a wish or goal that much because either they do not have the strong belief on the wish or the will power to make the wish come true.

       Last Sunday, the final Sunday of 2004, we made a wish to be blessed. Today, the first Sunday of the New Year 2005, let us make another wish, a wish to be trustworthy both to the Lord, the people around us and to ourselves on our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

CHRISTIAN FAITH IS AN UNBROKEN CHAIN: 

1)   Christian faith survives the test of time: In the 2,000 years of Christian history, Christian faith, its world-wide body, the Church, and its billions of faithful believers all have sustained, grow and prosper in good time and bad time. We share a historic heritage of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ today as it was with the first century believers. It has never been broken.

2)   Christian faith survives the test of attacks:  The gospel message of Jesus Christ had been under attack from all sides: corruption and heresies on the inside to political and religious fanaticism on the outside. The Words of the Bible stand alone and strong in all war fares through the 2,000 years history.  It has never changed.

3)   Christian faith survives the test of culture and geography:  The timeless truth of the gospel survives in every culture and locality regardless of tradition, language or location. People in all corners of the earth, in every culture, ancient or civilized, in primitive tribal groups or highly civilized metropolitans, all have worshipped Jesus as the Lord and Savior.

       All Christians, regardless of when and where in history, are of a lineage began with the Lord Himself to the Disciples, the Church Fathers, the pioneers and the grass root faithful of today. The chain of faith will not be broken because it was built by the Lord, and was sustained by His power. (Matthew 16:18)

 

UNBROKEN CHAIN OF TRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE:

        We all know the importance of trusting worthy people, a president of a nation, a CEO of a corporation or a person whom you married to. When Jesus entrusted His ministry of salvation of the world, He had unquestioned faith in them as His worthy witnesses. (Acts 1:8)

1)   Trustworthy people in the early age: Through faithful discharge of the trust, the Apostles and the early Christians, the gospel message and the church grew from a handful to a few thousands to churches all across the Roman Empire at the close of the Bible time. Even under severe persecution and heresy attacks, the early believers proved themselves to be trustworthy. Many of them lay down their lives for the sack of the faith. As in the example of Timothy who inherited the faith from his grand mother and mother. Then he was taught by the Apostle Paul. When he was the pastor of the Church at Ephesus, he was commanded to teach some trustworthy men who then will pass that same message to others. It is through this unbroken chain, the church continues to grow.

2)   Trustworthy people through the 20 centuries: The faithful in the 2,000 years of history have proven to be trustworthy both in preserving the integrity of the message and the purity of the church. Millions of believers and missionaries ventured to all corners of the world with the saving message to all people. The faithful who went to Africa, Americas and Asia with the bible are shining links of that unbroken chain. They lived out their faith, served the people, presented the gospel and founded thousands of church all over the world. They are the pioneers of the Christian movement from whom we have this day.

3)   Trustworthy people here today: Millions of faithful believers of Jesus, laboring in all kinds of capacities in communities large and small all around the world are present day witnesses of the power of the gospel and heroes of the Christian Church. These unknown heroes and heroines are giving in many ways quietly and faithfully day in and day out that keep the foundation of the Church strong. Many whom we know are these people trustworthy of the trust given by our Lord.

 

SEVEN STEPS TO BE TRUSTWORTHY:

       Just as millions of the faithful in Christian history earned their title of being trustworthy, Christians of today, you and me, are to accept the challenges and pay the costs to continue the legacy. As Paul encouraged Timothy to be trustworthy, let us stand firm and tall in following their examples:

1)     We will not forget or water down the call of God in our lives by worldly concerns, cares or selfish personal goals. (1:6a)

2)     We will not allow Satan or anything from the world to dampen the fire we used to burn bright in His service and sacrifice. (1:6b)

3)     We will not run away or be discouraged by problems, difficulties or hardship in our Christian walk and services. (1:7)

4)     We will be humble to learn teachings and examples of others in order to grow stronger and more faithful. (2:2)

5)     We will be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ as He had for us. We will take a stand in the face of loss, ridicule, discrimination or persecution as did the faithful millions in history. (2:3)

6)     We will not lose the purpose of our lives that is to please the Lord, to bring victory and fruits to His glory. (2:4-6)

7)     We will stay close everyday to the Lord to draw strength and support in our Christian walk. (2:7) 

 

CONCLUSION: 

       As the representative of the graduating class of the Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary in 1969, I pledged on behalf of the class, our life long faithfulness, commitment and worthy of the call of God as long as we live. I asked the 2,000 plus witnesses in attendance to pray for us that we will never take back what we had placed on the altar as living sacrifice. By the grace and protection of the Lord in the past 35 years, none of us had broken the trust He had given us.

       As we begin the year of 2005, I believe it is of vital importance that we make a wish to the Lord to remain faithful and worthy of His trust. Just as Paul being the example for Timothy, we are the examples for our children and many generations to come: BE TRUSTWORTHY.