Give Attention to Reading

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: I Timothy 4:1-16


I.         Timothy was told to give attention to reading, exhortation, and teaching (I Timothy 4:13)

            A.        You cannot teach without knowledge about the subject you are teaching

            B.        You cannot encourage people to go the right direction if you don’t know where you are going.

            C.        So let’s focus on the need to read our Bibles

II.        There are going to be false teachers - I Timothy 4:1-3

            A.        For this reason, we cannot simply rely on what other people tell us the Bible says.

            B.        There are going to be people who will alter the Bible

                        1.         Some will do it because they can make money off the gullible - II Peter 2:1-3

                        2.         Some do it from rebellion - II Peter 2:10

                        3.         Some are ignorant of what the Bible teaches - II Peter 2:12

                        4.         Some are driven by pride - II Peter 2:18-19; Philippians 1:15-17

            C.        The Bereans were called noble because they checked what Paul taught - Acts 17:11

III.       Learning from God strengthens you - I Timothy 4:6

            A.        We need to learn it all

                        1.         Every word is pure - Proverbs 30:5

                        2.         The sum of God’s teaching is truth - Psalms 119:160

            B.        Dreams are not a source - Jeremiah 23:28-29

                        1.         God’s word is a fire. It burns out the useless impurities

                        2.         God’s word is a hammer. It breaks down stubbornness

            C.        Opinions are useless - Proverbs 3:5-6

                        1.         Books by men may be considered, but they cannot substitute for you directly reading your own Bible

            D.        We need to learn discipline - I Timothy 4:7-8

                        1.         We need to make it a priority

                        2.         Not only reading, but putting what we have learned into practice

IV.      Be an example - I Timothy 4:12

            A.        Guide others while being guided - Psalms 119:105

            B.        Put effort into it - I Timothy 4:15

                        1.         Treasure it like gold - Psalms 119:127

                        2.         Enjoy it like honey - Psalms 119:103

                        3.         Love it - Psalms 119:97

V.        Pay attention because your salvation depends on it - I Timothy 4:16

            A.        When a lawyer asked what he need to do for salvation, Jesus turned around and asked him what did he read in his Bible - Luke 10:25-26

            B.        When we read, we gain insight into the mystery of Christ - Ephesians 3:3-4

            C.        To Israel God broke His message down in simple terms - Isaiah 28:9-13

                        1.         But they treated it as if it was a foreign language

                        2.         Instead of gaining comfort and rest, they refused to listen

                        3.         The result was that they became worse - broken and snared and captive

            D.        How do I read? What do I read?

                        1.         Read a bit each day. Add one fact to the next.

                        2.         Build it up in your mind to understand what God is teaching

            E.        Hunger and thirst for righteousness - Matthew 5:6

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