Encouragement Comes From Within

February 18, 2005
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

Second Timothy. I promise I won’t keep you too much longer. Second Timothy chapter four. Second Timothy chapter four. When you reach Second Timothy chapter four, please signify by saying amen. Praise the Lord. Please stand for the reading of God’s Word. We’re going to look at verse one and . . . Let’s say verse one through verse five. It says:

1. I charge thee therefore before God . . .

This is the apostle Paul speaking.

1. . . . and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3. For the time will come when they will not endure . . .

Say, “Endure.”

3. . . . sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. Master, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see and hear You only and not me. Master, I decrease tonight that You would increase. And Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name.

And the people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of the Lord.

In the book of Second Timothy chapter four, verse one and two, Paul began to admonish Timothy, his son in the Lord, to preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season. He told him to reprove and rebuke and to exalt with all long suffering and doctrine.

But prison is the last place that you would expect a letter of encouragement to come from. A lot of times most of us are going through the fire, and we’re walking through the flood. Glory to God. And at the same time that we’re going through God will place a word in our spirit for somebody else. Amen, somebody.

You see, when you have a relationship with God, it doesn’t matter what you’re going through. You have said to the Lord that, “I submit and I surrender, no matter what my situation and my circumstance is. You can use me as Your instrument.” Come on, somebody in this house.

And when we look at the apostle Paul, he was in a prison. He was (glory to God) bound (glory to God) in the flesh, but let me tell you something; he was not bound in the spirit. I don’t care what you’re going through tonight; I don’t care what the situation or the circumstance is that’s trying to bind you. You may be bound (glory to God) in the natural, but you need to tell the devil tonight that you are not bound in the spirit, because your spirit is still free, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there’s liberty. Give God praise in this house tonight. Oh, glory to God.

He sent him a letter of encouragement from his own prison. And in First Timothy he wrote to this young pastor, because he was facing heavy burdens of responsibility in the church at Ephesus. You see, the task that God had given to him was challenging. And any time God gives you a task, let me tell you something, child of God; it’s going to be challenging; it’s going to be taxing; it’s going to be tiring. That’s why you’ve got to understand that the joy of Lord has got to be your strength. You can’t just draw strength from your natural being; you’ve got to learn how to draw strength from the Spirit of God. Give Him praise all over this house tonight.

He was going through, because the task that God had given him was so challenging. Glory to God. And not just pastors such as Timothy need encouragement to go on, but all those that labor together in the Gospel needs to be encouraged to go on in Jesus.

Paul was telling Timothy that no matter what season you are in in your life, you need to learn how to move on in God. And I came to tell you tonight, people of God, no matter what season you’re going through in your life, you need to learn how to move on in God. You need to say that this too shall pass. Give God praise in this place. I wish you would help me preach tonight. Hallelujah.

Moving on in Jesus. You see, you can’t allow the devil to put your fire out. You can’t allow the devil (I’m going to say it again) to put your fire out. The fire is supposed to burn continually in the temple. Guess what. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. Not only were we baptized with the Holy Ghost, but we were baptized with the Fire, and you’ve got to keep that Fire burning on the inside of you.

He was going through. And even though Timothy was being elevated by the Lord, and moving in, and God . . . I tell you . . . Let me tell you this. I can imagine that Timothy was fatigued from maturing.

If I took a poll in here of all the people of God that are walking with God, about at least half of you will say that you’re feeling some time of fatigue from the journey that you’re on. I believe (glory to God) that sometimes we do get tired. Sometimes we do get weary. But I’ve got to be like Jeremiah, though I’m going through, I can’t stay in that place. Though I . . . Oh, my God. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. I’m going to get up. I’m going to get up. I’m going to get up. I’m going to get up. I’m going to get up. I’m going to get up. And I’m going to praise God. Give Him a handclap of praise in this house tonight.

He may have been feeling a little fatigued from the journey that he was on. But he was receiving a word of encouragement. And this is what God is giving to all of the saints tonight. He’s giving you a word of encouragement, because He that began this good work in you is faithful to perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ. Whatever God starts, guess what; God is going to finish. God never does anything halfway. God is a finishing God. He’s the Author; He’s the Finisher of our faith. He’s the first, and He’s the last. He’s the beginning, and He’s the end. I wish you’d praise Him all over this house tonight. Hallelujah.

In the book of John chapter four and verse five and six . . . Go there with me tonight. Hallelujah. Somebody shout, “Hallelujah.” Glory to God. In John (hallelujah) chapter four and verse five, this is what it says. It said:

5. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

6. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that even Jesus was wearied with His journey? A lot of us think that we’re super man and super woman. And when people ask us how we’re doing, all the time we say, “Oh, I’m blessed, I’m blessed, I’m blessed,” knowing good and well we need for them to get on their knees and pray for us right now.”

He was weary from His journey. And being wearied with His journey . . . How many of you understand that Jesus was tired?

And then there came ministry. No matter what season you’re in on your journey, God is calling you to be instant. The longest journey you will ever take is the one on the inside of you.

You see, Jesus pulled His strength from within. A lot of times we’re trying to pull strength from without, and we’re pulling (glory to God) things we can see. But how many of you know your strength comes from things that you can’t see? I came to tell somebody that greater is He that’s in you than he that is in the world. You need to pull some strength. Come on, just start pulling. Somebody start pulling. Somebody start pulling. Just start pulling. Pull, pull. Oh, my God. Give God praise in this house tonight. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

He was pulling His strength from the inside of Him. Glory to God. You see, the process of moving to the next level in any aspect of life begins on the inside of you. The process (I need to say that again) of moving to the next level starts on the inside of you. It doesn’t start on the outside where everybody can see. It starts on the inside where God can deal with you. Come on, somebody, and bless God in this house tonight.

I came to have church. I’m not looking at the numbers; I’m looking at God. Oh, my God. He said, “Where two or three,” He said, “Are gathered together in My Name,” He said, “I’m going to be in the midst.” He said, “Because somebody needs to turn internally tonight.”

You’ve been looking for answers all around you. But the answer’s already inside you. There’s a well inside of you, and all you got to do is learn how to dwell (oh, my God), draw from that well in the Name of Jesus. Give God praise in this place. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Glory to God.

Eventually what is happening internally will begin to move externally. You see, the joy has got to start on the inside, and then it’ll move to the outside. The love has got to start on the inside, then it will move to the outside. The character has got to start where? On the inside. Then it’ll move to the outside. The fruit has got to be where? On the inside. Then it’ll move to the outside. It’s going to start from the inside out. Look at your neighbor and say, “It’s from the inside out.” Glory to God. Glory to God.

There are mountains that are within us that need to be moved. The mountains of doubt, the mountains of unbelief, the mountains of saying, “I could never do it,” the mountains of saying, “It can’t be done if it’s trying to be done by me.” But let me tell you something, child of God. God is your Creator. He knew who you were before the foundations of the earth. If He said you can do it, it’s already done. You need to count it done. You’re only going through the process right now. In the Name of Jesus.

He needed encouragement. He needed encouragement. How many of you in here need encouragement tonight? I don’t know about you, but every now and then I need somebody to say, “Pastor, you’re preaching, pastor.” Every now and then I need somebody to say, “Pastor, you did it good, pastor. You prayed well, pastor. God moved, pastor.” I don’t know about you, but every now and then I need some encouragement. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Glory to God.

He was in prison, but yet he found it within him to encourage his son in the Lord. Some people say, “I can’t receive from you, because you’re going through. You made a mistake.” God can send anybody to you to encourage you. They don’t have to be on your so-called level to encourage you. Hallelujah.

He encouraged him from his own prison. My God. You see, Paul wanted Timothy to see his success as a life-long journey, so that he would never feel defeated by the challenges that he encountered, and the obstacles that seemed to delay him temporarily.

You see, that obstacle that is in your way is only delaying you temporarily. Oh, my God. You need to say to that obstacle, “You may be there right now, but you’re temporary. You’re not permanent, because in the Name of Jesus I can speak to that mountain, and I can tell it to be moved to yonder place, in the Name of Jesus.” You need to speak to that mountain on the inside of you, and you need to tell it to go, in the Name of Jesus. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

We all experience frustration when we’re going to the next level. We all got to understand that for every level there’s another what? For every level that you’re on there’s another devil. You see, you’re experiencing a devil, a lot of times, that you’ve never experienced before. You’re experiencing (glory to God) a demon (glory to God) that has now been assigned to you. You see, before you couldn’t handle that demon, because you were not at the next level yet. But now that you’re at the next level God is requiring more out of you.

Paul was saying to Timothy, “Although I’m encouraging you, God is” what? “Asking more of you.” He’s saying, “You got to pray a little more.” He said, “You got to fast a little bit more.” He said, “You got to,” oh, my God, “praise a little bit more. You got to worship a little bit more, because you’re not where you used to be. I called you to a new place in Me.” Give God praise in this house tonight. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Somebody say, “Hallelujah.” Somebody shout, “Glory.” Somebody say, “Thank You, Jesus.”

Oh, my God. With all of your getting, the Bible said, get understanding. You have not understood why you’re going through, but now you understand. Give Him praise in this house. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

You see, these are the times, you see, when we are tempted to give up and to walk away from the things that mean the most to us. But we don’t have to remain in that place. We’ve got to rise up with that eternal fire that’s burning on the inside of us.

Let me tell you something, child of God. God placed an eternal fire in you. If you understand anything about eternity, it goes past this realm. Eternity is never-ending. There’s a never-ending fire that’s on the inside of you. You just got to get your mind to understand that the fire is burning. Get your mind in order tonight. Give Him praise in this house. Hallelujah.

In Second Timothy chapter one and verse six, Paul told Timothy, he said to, “Stir up the gift of God that is within you.” He said, “Stop neglecting that inner fire that’s in you.” He said to us tonight, you have got to fan those flames. You can’t get the pastor to fan it for you, because you’re only in the presence of the pastor for a little while. This is something that’s got to be all the time. If you’re going to stay on fire and not be lukewarm, you’ve got to learn how to fan the flames for yourself. Come on, somebody, and give God another handclap of praise in this house.

He was telling Timothy, he said, “It was placed in you, but now it’s up to you to stir it up. I can’t stir it up for you. I can get it activated, because of the apostolic anointing that is on my life, but it’s up to you to keep the fire (oh, my God) burning.” I can’t keep your fire burning for you. God has placed within you to keep your own fire burning in this house. Give God praise in this place tonight. Hallelujah. Glory to God.

You see, the fire is what’s going to keep you going. You see, once you’ve been baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, you got to keep on fanning the flames. Because Satan knows that you are a threat to his kingdom as long as your fire is burning. But see, once your fire starts going out, he starts talking to God and say, “See, I got him.”

But let me tell you something. I want him to talk to God about me, because I want him to say, “He just won’t stop. He just won’t quit. No matter what I say, no matter what I do, he just keeps on going and going and going and going.” Stand to your feet, and give God a handclap of praise. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Somebody shout, “Hallelujah.” Somebody shout, “Glory.” Somebody shout, “Thank You, Jesus.” Oh, my God. I wish somebody would come up to the mountaintop tonight. Come on, saints.

Who’s got a fire in here? Who’s got a fire in here? Who’s got a Holy Ghost fire in here? Hey. Come on, saints. Yes. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Somebody need to take off. Just take off running. Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. You can’t wait until the battle’s over. You got to shout right now. Go ahead. Oh, yeah. That’s right. There we go. Oh, yeah. Go ahead. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Let the fire be real.

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