Saturday, August 13, 2011

What’s The Rub?


Describe the time and conditions of Paul’s last letter which was written from Rome just shortly before his martyrdom. (AD 58/61/63/64/66/68 – Nero)

2 Timothy 1 NKJV

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,

5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

After all that this elder Apostle had learned from his journeys, he referenced his conclusion that the same genuine faith which had dwelt in Lois and in Eunice, must certainly also dwell in Timothy. Why? Because:

Close rubs off

Whomever we surround ourselves with makes a difference. One of the best examples I can offer is contained in the account of flood in Noah’s day. God spoke to Noah and told him that He would destroy the whole earth by water. God further told Noah to build an Ark – a really big boat.

Now up until that time it had not rained but rather there was a water belt above the earth which caused a “greenhouse” type of effect which protected the earth from those harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun while providing a lush environment conducive to the growth and health of plants and trees. The bible says that before the flood a mist went up from the ground along with dew in the morning and the evening which watered the earth and caused it to bring forth abundantly.

However, Noah had a new message, it was going to rain. We are told that it took Noah and his 3 sons 120 years to build the ark and in all that time Noah preached a message of righteousness. During that 120 years Noah worked and witnessed, he did not have one single convert!

How do you measure success?

How you measure success can determine if you see yourself, or others, as successful or as a failure … think about it!

At any rate, when the time came for Noah and his family to enter the ark, there were only 8 people who would ultimately be saved from the destruction which was to come upon all the earth. There was Noah, Noah’s wife, Noah’s 3 sons and their wives.

Remember we said that “Close rubs off”. Well it sure did in the lives of those three women who became the wives of Noah’s three sons. These young ladies were saved, delivered, given a second chance and made successful only because of with whom they decided to associate.

Who you connect yourself to can determine your success or your demise.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

It is wise to fear and follow the Lord and it is wise to walk with those who fear and follow the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

Choose your friends wisely and do not be deceived into thinking that you can buddy up with or pal around with those who are walking down destructive pathways of life and not be influenced by them. Now I am not suggesting that you be afraid of sinners, however I am definitely telling you that You cannot walk another person’s road and expect to be yourself.

Some people aren’t like you and some people aren’t good for you. Fish for lost souls and be a witness to those on the dangerous highways of life, however – do not choose to make close friends or allow yourself to be influenced into going the wrong way by those who do not follow Christ.

Proverbs 22

24 Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go,

25 Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

How can you tell who the angry people are? Well one way is:

Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression.

The Apostle Paul recognized that someone had a tremendous, positive, Godly and lasting effect on Timothy. It happened to be Timothy’s mother and grandmother. No doubt they invested much in his life but more than anything, they simply rubbed off on him.

Paul continued that process in Timothy’s life himself and concluded this admonition to Timothy by reminding him:

2 Timothy 1: 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Evidently Paul expected to rub off on Timothy and be an influence on his life long after the Apostle Paul had run his race and finished his course in this life. Close rubs off and Godly influence is designed to last a lifetime.

Today I want to ask three questions:

1. Who are you allowing to rub off on you?

2. Who are rubbing off on?

3. What’s the rub?