Sermon Outline On 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Now, how many of us when we buy something new like an entertainment center, or a bicycle, or shelving simply take one look at the instructions and then throw them away? We think we already know how to do it so we dive into the project without giving it another thought. That is until we can’t seem to find the right part or we have parts left over, or something just doesn’t look right. It’s amazing how often we think we can simply figure things out on our own and or that we can get it right without anyone else’s or an expert’s help. Most of the time it ends up getting us into a mess.
Or, maybe you were like me and you try to read the instructions (at least on occasion) and it doesn’t come out quite right at first either. Last month I bought a new BBQ and I could just tell by looking at all the dozens of parts that I was going to have to read the instructions on this one whether I liked it or not. So, I sorted out all the pieces and laid everything out. I loved Step One. Step One actually had about six steps to it and none of the parts was very well explained. I could tell if I was going to get this done in time to cook my bratwurst on the grill that day for lunch their better be some Divine intervention. Finally, I figured out Step One with its six steps and I moved on to step two. That step went a little better. Things struggled back and forth but finally after over an hour I stepped back and looked at my new grill. It was great except for one thing. The BBQ was at a tilt because apparently I did not understand the instructions and put the wheels on the wrong end of the BBQ! Fortunately, I was able to solve that problem very quickly. Finally, I had my grill and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch cooked out.
You know, in so many ways this is how we treat our Christian life and the Bible. We tend to think that we already have all the answers, we know what it means to be a Christian, or how to live life, and so we think we can figure life out on our own and we don’t need the instruction manual known to us as the Bible. However, just like putting a bicycle together, we usually make a mess out of it and we have to start over and return to the instruction manual to figure it out. Fortunately for us we can always turn to the Bible and the instruction manual for how we are to live life, the Christian life, is right here before us. Fortunately, we have God’s grace that is always before us ready to welcome us back home when we return to God.
Of course, sometimes life is like the second situation when I was putting the BBQ together. Sometimes you read the instruction manual, the Bible, and it still takes awhile to figure out or you may not understand correctly the first time you read it and you keep studying and trying until you figure it out.
Sometimes we do read the Bible but we don’t understand it at all. And, if that doesn’t happen to you once in awhile I would be very shocked. Because the truth is there are some things that we just do not understand yet and that God has not yet revealed to us. However, if we spend time in study, if we study with others through Sunday School, if you seek out your pastor’s help most of the time you can find enough of the understanding that you need and the instructions for life so that you can go through this world in a much better way then trying to figure it out on your own.
Let’s switch directions a bit to our passage today. Sometimes I think there is nothing worse physically then an itching nose or itching ears. There are all kinds of myths and sayings about both of these things. But the simple truth about itching ears when it comes to the Bible is that people who have itching ears always hear only what they want to hear or if they don’t like what they hear they will go and find someone who will tell them what they want to hear. Even in Paul’s day this fact was found to be true. Paul talks about how people have itching ears and do not want to hear the truth.
Unfortunately, too many people in this world don’t want to listen to the Scriptures because it does not say what they want it to say and so they instead search out some myth or twist the words to justify what they are doing. People want to live their life their own way and they don’t like it if Scripture tells us that we should stop doing something.
What we need to be conscious of is not seeking out someone to give us the answers we want to hear just because we do not accept the truth. It is a dangerous path to walk. How we are to live our life, who God call us to be, and to continue to spread the work and Word of Gospel is all in Scripture.
So, if your ears itch, try a little lotion. If your ears itch because God’s teachings step on your toes then listen because truly God has something wonderful that He wants you to know for your good and out of a great love for you.