The Trowel and The Hammer

1 Timothy 4:11-16 Questions

1 Timothy 4:11-16


Godly Men Endure by Examining their Lives with Truth


The Christian life is always being examined by the world and by the world’s standard. Do you examine yourself and what standard do you use?


Paul tells Timothy to have a ‘model life.’ What are the five keys to having a model life? Why is speech the first of the five keys? How do the other four keys to a ‘model life’ flow from this one? When people hear you speak, do they hear the heart of a man who loves God, or do they hear the heart of a man who loves the world?


Paul’s instruction to Timothy is to delegate the truth, reading Scripture, exhortation, and teaching. Being a delegate of truth means knowing it, using it, and explaining it. Do you consider yourself a delegate of the truth? One component of delegating truth is explaining it, or teaching it? Would you consider yourself a teacher of the truth?


The result of a model life and delegating truth is enduring faith. When push comes to shove are people encouraged by your faith? What are two specific examinations you can implement in your life to strengthen your faith?

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Acts 27:1-12 Questions

 

1.      Do you only trust God is at work when things go well?


2.      How would your friends and family describe the way you handle difficult situations?


3.      How can verse like Matthew 6:33; Mathew 28:19-20 and Romans 8:28-30 help as you continue to live in today’s troubled world?


4.      Are there faithful people in your life who have been an encouragement to you? How have they encouraged you?


5.      Are you an encouragement to others? What are some ways can you help strengthen someone’s faith?


6.      What guides your decision making?


7.      How do you handle situations when your decision is overridden? Does this mean God is not in control?


8.      God provides all kinds of things for those who seek Him first. In troubled times the greatest provision we need is to have the peace of God in our hearts and minds. Write out three specific things you can do to be more at peace with God’s work in your life, be very, very specific. (Do not just write prayer, read Scripture and listen to sermons. What will you pray, what Scripture will you read, when will you read it? Be that specific.

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The Stability of God’s Word

           There is no consistency in the world. The family unit is decaying, marriage has become archaic, discipline is a joke, and respect for human life is lost. Man’s opinion has become the benchmark for life and practice. The problem is opinions are subject to change and the standards of life go with it. With so many opinions leading to so much instability where can we turn to find answers, stability and assurance?

There is only one place, only One who gives the Words of Hope and Life and only One who is reliable, and never changes. This One is God, He never changes so we can be sure His Word is reliable (Heb.6:17-18). His Word is all we have and need to lead us and to teach us. The Scripture is God’s truth and His blueprint for life and godliness. His Word is all that is needed for anyone to make sense of a world that is crooked and perverse, rebellious (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Word of God is so imperative in the life of a God fearer that the longest chapter in the Bible is dedicated to His Word.

           It’s important to note that Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm, consisting of a whopping 176 verses. Throughout this Psalm there are eight synonyms used for God’s Word, (Law, Commandment, Statute, Word, Testimony, Precepts, Judgment, Ordinance). The Psalmist knows there is only One he can rely on and His Word is all He needs regardless of what is going on in his life and who might be against him. This Psalm, so rich in the Word in the life, is vital to the psalmist. It is equally important in the life of the believer today.

I have found that God’s Word must be read, trusted and treasured. The more I seek His Word and His Law the more I can look at this crazy, cruel world and make sense of it. The more I can move forward even though people are against me. It isn’t easy but when it comes to knowing how to live and what is important in life this psalm put it all into perspective.

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The Trowel and The Hammer

The Trowel and The Hammer are tools of the trade for a mason. Spending seven years in the family business, I learned how to use those tools well. The trowel is used to scoop up the mud from a board which is then slapped (called buttering the wall) on the block wall. The ears of the block are also buttered, all with the purpose of holding the blocks together. The mud needs to have a specific consistency, so it can adequately hold up the block and bond the blocks together. The hammer is used to tap the block into place and if needed, to cut a block to fit in the dimension of the wall. They are two of the essential tools used to lay a solid foundation.

           In this same way, these articles will be a tool to help people in building the foundation of their Christian walk. This introductory article lays the ground work for what is to follow; devotional style articles to help those of Cornerstone Bible Church grow in their study of the Word of God. The Trowel and The Hammer is to work in conjunction with our Discipleship ministry called Stone and Mortar.

The Stone and Mortar are the materials used to build the foundation. 1 Peter 2:4-5 speaks of living stones that are choice and precious in the sight of God. These Living Stones are the people of the church. The Mortar that holds the stone together is the Word of God. The Word of God reveals Jesus Christ as the Cornerstone, the stone that all other stones get their strength and support from. He is our benchmark and His Word reveals how we are to fit together and be built up. I pray you will join me in a journey together in being built up as members of God’s Kingdom, His spiritual house.

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