II Tim. 2:1-15




Today, I want to discuss eight words:

Eight words that Paul used when he wrote Timothy about sowing the Word of        




The 1st word is STRONG.

BE STRONG in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (Vs. 1).



I hope you ladies are paying attention.

Some of you have lots of money.



Father’s Day is coming up.

And there's a big sale going on at Home Depot.



They have six packs on sale this week (5/22/03).

Now, before you tell people I've gone off the deep end.



I'm not talking about six packs of beer.

I'm talking about six packs of cordless power tools.



A cordless drill, circular saw, miter saw, reciprocating saw, speed saw and    


Just to be honest about it, I've had lots of cordless flashlights.



In fact, I've never wanted a flashlight that wasn't cordless.

Picture that.

Picture someone wandering around in the woods with a flashlight that has a   

cord on it?

That's a long cord (around this tree and around that tree).



But a cordless drill is a different thing.

That's hog heaven.



How in the world did we ever get along without cordless drills?

But you have to buy something else: a battery charger and rechargeable         




Cordless power tools are great.

But cordless power tools without a good battery are worthless.



Paul was saying sow the Word of God.

But he was also saying that we have to be strong in the grace that is in Christ

Jesus or we will be like a cordless power tool without a battery.



It's easy to get discouraged without God's help.

There's a legend about a man who found a barn;



Not just any barn,

The barn where Satan stores the seed he sows in human hearts.



Satan has many kinds of seed: the seed of greed, the seed of strife, the seed of       

unbelief, etc.

But there was one kind of seed that Satan seemed to have too much of.



One end of his barn was filled with the seed of discouragement.

“Why do you have so much seed of discouragement,” the man asked.


Satan replied, “There's only one place where it won't grow.”

Discouragement won't grow in the heart of a person who is strong in the grace        

that is in Christ Jesus.



The grace that is in Christ Jesus will keep us strong when we are sowing the  

Word of God.

Without it, we'll get discouraged.



We'll be like a cordless power tool without a battery.

The 2nd word is COMMIT.



“The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same       

COMMIT thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also”         

(Vs. 2).

Notice, that four generations are mentioned.



Paul said, “The things that thou hast heard of me“---Me is the first generation.

“Commit thou“---Thou is the second generation.



“To faithful men“--- Faithful men is the third generation.

“Who shall be able to teach others“---Others is the fourth generation.



Don't commit the sowing of the Word of God to unfaithful people.

Commit the sowing of the Word of God to faithful people.



We need faithful people to sow the same Word of God that Paul sowed.

If we don't go by the Scriptures, we can forget about trying to build the        






It won’t work.

We could build a bridge to the moon out of Jell-O as easy as we can build the        

Church without faithful people sowing the Word of God.



The 3rd word is ENDURE.

“Thou, therefore, ENDURE hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”



“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he    

may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

We have troops in Iraq.



Our troops had to leave family, friends and home.

They've endured high temperatures, sandstorms, being shot at,



And many other hardships.

They're committed.



They're good soldiers.

They're worthy of our admiration and praise.



But Paul was saying, “We should be just as committed as they are when it     

comes to sowing the Word of God.”

“We should be willing to endure hardships when it comes to sowing the Word        

of God.”



The good soldier tries to please those who are over him.

We should try to please Jesus.



We're in a war.

Nothing should keep us out of Church.


Nothing should keep us from sowing the Word of God.

Nothing should interfere with our Christian responsibilities.



A farmer wanted to sell his milk cow.

A buyer asked about her pedigree, her butterfat production and her monthly  

milk production.



The farmer said, “I don't know about those things.”

“I just know that she will faithfully give all of her milk.”



God doesn't ask us about our pedigree or anything like that.

But He does ask us to be faithful in our prayers, our presence, our gifts and  

our service.



There's not a Church anywhere that couldn't be stronger, if some of it's        

members would be just a little more faithful.

Some of you could help your Church, if you would be just a little more         




The 4th word is STRIVE.

“And if a man also STRIVE for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he  

STRIVE lawfully” (Vs. 5).



The New RSV reads, “In the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without   

competing by the rules.”

It was 1988.



Ben Johnson ran in the Summer Olympics.

He won the gold medal in the one hundred meter dash.




But the Olympic Committee said he broke the rules by using steroids.

They wiped out his victory;



Stripped him of his medal;

And banned him from running in the other events.



Shortly after Jesus was raised from the dead, He joined two men who were

          were walking down the road to Emmaus.

They were sad.



They believed in the Messiah.

They hoped that Jesus was the Messiah.



But He was crucified.

He was buried.



His body disappeared.

These men didn't understand it.



Jesus said, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have   

spoken” (Luke 24:25).

He condemned them for not believing everything recorded in the Word of     




They believed the good things about the Messiah.

But they rejected the bad things.



Jesus once said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”

“For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the    

weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith:”


“These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone”

(Matt. 23:23,24).

He was saying, “Woe unto you for preaching a partial message.”



“You're preaching tithing.”

“But you're ignoring the law, judgment, mercy and faith.”



It wasn't wrong for the Jews to preach tithing.

But it was wrong for them to ignore the more important matters of the law,   

judgment, mercy and faith.



The baseball player has to touch all the bases.

The football player has to stay in bounds.



The runner has to stay off steroids.

These are the rules.



Athletes have to go by the rules.

If we want to understand the Bible, we have to strive to know all of it.



Strive to know what the Bible says about heaven.

But also strive to know what it says about hell.



Strive to know what the Bible says about mercy.

But also strive to know what it says about judgment.



Strive to know what the Bible says about the Millennium.

But also strive to know what it says about the Tribulation Period.




Many have joined the Book Club.

Many have subscribed to the Book of the Month.



I'm not against that.

Reading is a good thing.



But all of us are approaching the end of our life.

And when we get there, what we have learned from the Book of Books will   

mean more to us than what we have learned from the Book of the   Month.



The 5th word is LABOR.

“The farmer that LABORETH must be first partaker of the fruits” (Vs. 6).



The farmer labors to produce a crop.

He prepares the soil;



Sows the crop;

Tends the crop;



Harvests the crop.

He's the first to partake of the crop.



“Be like the farmer.”

Labor to sow the Word of God.



Labor to nurture those who hear it.

Labor to harvest souls for Jesus.




The farmer who labors over his crop, nurtures it, fertilizes it, sprays it, etc.    

will have a better harvest than the farmer who doesn't.

And the person who labors to sow the Word of God will have a better reward       

than the person who doesn't.



Paul said, “Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all   


Think about it;



Ponder it.

Laboring to sow the Word of God is not easy.



But God won't forget what we do.

Henry Ward Beecher said, “The greatest thing is not to be a great scientist, a

great statesman or even a great theologian.”



“The greatest thing is to bring others to Jesus.”

The greatest thing is not to be like the farmer who said, “take thine ease, eat,

drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19).



He died that night.

He dropped into hell.



The greatest thing is to be like the farmer who labors.

“They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament.”



“And they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever”       

(Dan. 12:3).

The 6th word is REMEMBER.




“REMEMBER that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the   

dead according to my gospel.”

Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.



Remember that we will be raised from the dead too.

And our works will follow us.



Paul said, “For which I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the       

Word of God is not bound.”

Sowing the Word of God got Paul into trouble.



He was called an evildoer;

Bound and cast into prison.



But those who did that to Paul couldn't bind or stop the Word of God.

People can mistreat us;



But people can't stop the Word of God.

But don't misunderstand me.



My greatest concern right now is not what people will do to us.

My greatest concern right now is what we are doing to ourselves.



If we go through life doing the will of God, our life will be a success no        

matter what happens to us.

But if we go through life ignoring the will of God, our life will be a failure no

matter what else we do.



All of us can do better than we're doing.

But we're not doing it.


All of us tend to procrastinate.

If we aren’t careful, it will be too late;



Too late to win someone to Jesus;

Too late to keep someone out of hell;



Too late to change our life;

Too late to prepare for the judgment.



Paul said, “Therefore, I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may    

also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

Paul endured hardship so others could be saved.



He said, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live

with him.”

One commentary says, “If we share the cross, we will share the crown.”



“If we share the reproach, we will share the glory.”

I'm talking about remembering.



I ask you to remember that we have two different inheritances in heaven.

Our first inheritance is salvation because we have sincerely accepted Jesus as         

our Saviour.



Our second inheritance is rewards because our works will follow us.

Our first inheritance is a gift of God's grace because Jesus died for us.



Our second inheritance is a reward for works because we laid down our life  

for Jesus.

Notice this.


Every believer will be saved.

But not every believer will the same reward.



Every believer will be judged.

And every judgment will be different.



Does it make sense for us to be judged, if we're all going to receive the same thing?




God will go by His Word.

God will do what is right and fair.



His Word says, “Lay up treasure in heaven” (Matt. 6:19-21).

It says, “He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;”



“And he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Cor. 8:7-9).

Someone said our mansion in heaven will be built out of the materials we      

send to heaven.



Some are sending gold, silver and precious stones.

Others are sending wood, hay and stubble.


Some are sending every day that goes by.

Others are sending just occasionally.



The judgment takes all this into account.

The 7th word is CHARGE.





“CHARGE them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit,       

but to the subverting of the hearers.”

There are two kinds of sowings:



Sowings that profit.

And sowings that don't profit.



We can come to Church to discuss things like faith, grace, the virgin birth, the        

 resurrection and the Second Coming.

Or we can come to Church to discuss things like our children and  

grandchildren, beauty reviews, cooking, ballgames, farming, hunting and fishing.



Paul was saying, “Don't waste your time discussing unimportant things.”

That will undermine why we are here.



A seminary professor asked his students, “How many gospels are there?”

Every student said four: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.



The professor said there are five: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and yours.

We are charged with sowing the Word of God.



And it's very important that we sow the right kind of seed at the right time.

The 8th word is STUDY.



“STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to         

 be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Read the Word of God! No!



Study the Word of God!

There's a big difference.

Studying involves effort, careful reading, meditation, research, etc.

Do it for three reasons:


          (1) Study because God approves of those who do.

          (2) Study because you don't want to be ashamed when you stand                           

before God.

          (3) Study because you want to be right about what you believe and                        



A mechanic died.

His children put some of his personal belongings in a yard sale.



They agreed that anything they didn't sell would go to the trash heap.

On the day of the sale, a customer picked up a car part that no one could     




The customer recognized it as a part off of a 1957 Chevrolet.

He bought it.


He took it home.

He bolted it in place on a car that he was rebuilding.



It fit perfectly.

That part had been wasting away.



It was destined for the trash heap.

But the customer redeemed it.



Now, it's fulfilling the purpose it was made for.

That's what God asks us to do.



Sow the Word of God so people will fulfill the purpose they were made for.