Far too often, folks run around trying to figure out who they are?
“I’m trying to find myself.” they might say.
“I just want to know who I am.” they might say.
Then… if they dip their toe into religion, generally speaking, they find a “personal” God.
A “personal” God is more or less a “good luck charm.”
“My God is better than your God.” (is the attitude of many religionists.)
“My God is the right God.” (again, it’s a common notion.)
“Just ask Jesus to be your personal Lord and Saviour.” (is a common message from Christian preachers.)
And so forth.
You see this in the pages of history. The Aztecs had their personal God. The Hindus have their personal God. The ancient Greeks have their personal gods.
Even the Jews of the Old Testament tended toward this “personalized” God idea… “The God of Abraham.” “The God of Issac and Jacob”. “The God of Israel.”
Ask any Baptists or Jehovah’s Witness, etc. and you’ll see their God intends save only a limited number, not everyone, just those who meet the right qualifications; the Baptist qualifications, or the JW’s qualifications.
Again, a “personal God.”
Is it any wonder why preachers across the country, will never preach a sermon based on I Tim 4:10.
9 Faithful is the saying and worthy of all welcome
10 (for for this are we toiling and being reproached), that we rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of believers.
11 These things be charging and teaching.
You could, if you were a preacher, spend months on sermons just from this passage of scripture.
You could spend time talking about GOD IS… (God is the savior of all).
You could spend time talking about why or how WE RELY on this God who is the saviour of all.
You could spend time talking about our RELIANCE ON THE LIVING God. – Not a dead God. A living God.
You could spend time talking about the word ESPECIALLY, and how it’s not the word “exclusive”.
You see the word “especially” put a temporary emphasis on one group above another. Not permanent. I could say, “Come to my party on Saturday, and bring the cokes, especially the diet cokes.” By that I would mean to say that I just found out I ran out of diet soda and I need more right away.
You could spend time talking about how this belief (relying on the living God who is the Saviour of all) is not going to be popular and you’ll be reproached for it. And carrying this message is something related to “toil”. Yet Paul says to teach this. Charge it.
We know from other scriptures that God is the creator of all. It just seems awful that so many don’t see that the Creator of all, is also the Saviour of all. Why would the Living God, create all, but destroy most of his creation, as if he’s just experimenting and doesn’t know the outcome of His efforts.
God commissioned Paul to take this this evangel far beyond the Jewish nations. And when Paul step in front of a Gentile audience, something big happened. Grace was shown to those who never even heard of “the law” much list tried to keep it.
You might call Paul the “pagan’s apostle.” When Paul went to the Gentiles, God ceased being just the God of Israel. Now, we know that God’s wisdom and purpose includes all.
Who is God? Certainly He’s not your personal good luck charm. There’s toil and reproach involved in this faith. But somehow, Yet… it’s a faithful saying. And… Somehow this saying is worthy of welcome. Somehow, you must see that God’s purpose and plan is bigger than your momentary toil. The vision here transcends far beyond the believers rewards and experience. It goes to the completion of God’s creative, eonian, purpose. God is the Creator of all and the Saviour of all.
These things be charging and teaching.