Some Profitable Things That We Are to Pursue (1 Timothy 4:12-16)
1. Last week we showed how Solomon pursued some things that were not profitable, and we pointed out some things that we must avoid because they are not profitable. 2. Today we concentrating on "some profitable things that we are to pursue." 3. In 1 Timothy 4:12-16, Paul instructed Timothy to pay careful attention to: a. his conduct [the things that he did] (vs.12) b. "reading, exhortation, and doctrine" [the things he studied and learned] (vs.13). 4. According to vs.15, Timothy was to meditate upon these things, and he was to give himself completely to these things. 5. By doing so, Timothy's "profiting" [progress] would appear to everyone. 6. On the basis of this information, let us turn out attention to "some profitable things that we are to pursue."
I. LET US FIRST SHOW HOW A PERSON CAN BECOME PROFITABLE
A. (2 Timothy 4:11) Mark became "profitable to Paul for the ministry." 1. (Acts 13:5) Mark went with Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey. 2. We learn from Acts 13:13 that John Mark returned to Jerusalem before this mission trip was completed. 3. (Acts 15:36-38) When Paul and Barnabas discussed visiting the areas where they had preached, they disagreed over whether they should take John Mark. 4. (Acts 15:39) There was so much contention between Paul and Barnabas over John Mark that they parted company. 5. Many years later (2 Timothy 4:11), Paul wanted Timothy to bring Mark to him because he had become "profitable" [useful]. B. (Philemon 10-11) Onesimus became "profitable" to Philemon and Paul. 1. At one time Onesimus had been "unprofitable" -- he was a slave who had run away from his master, Philemon. 2. However, Onesimus came in contact with Paul, and he became a Christian. 3. After becoming a Christian Onesimus was "profitable" to Philemon and Paul. C. John Mark and Onesimus show us that a person can become profitable. D. As we go back to Paul's instructions to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12-16), to be profitable a person must concentrate on 2 things: 1. reading, exhortation, and doctrine [studying and learning the right things] 2. proper conduct [doing the right things].
II. CONCERNING READING, EXHORTATION, AND DOCTRINE, WE MUST STUDY AND LEARN THE SCRIPTURES BECAUSE THEY ARE PROFITABLE (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
A. The Scriptures are a gift from God [they are God's inspired Word]. B. The Scriptures are also "profitable": 1. "for doctrine" [teaching] 2. "for reproof" [pointing out our sinful ways] 3. "for correction" [restoring to an upright condition] 4. "for instruction in righteousness" [teaching to live as God desires]. C. The end result of studying and learning the Scriptures is a perfect person who is completely equipped unto all good works.
III. CONCERNING PROPER CONDUCT, WE MUST PRACTICE GODLINESS AND DO GOOD WORKS BECAUSE THEY ARE PROFITABLE
A. (1 Timothy 4:7-8) "Godliness is profitable unto all things." B. (Titus 3:8) Good works are "profitable."
1. With the Lord's help a person can become "profitable." 2. To remain "profitable," we must be devoted to: a. studying and learning the Scriptures b. practicing godliness and doing good works. 3. To illustrate the importance of these principles, see Matthew 16:26-27.