Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Confirmation Sunday: Teaching, Training and Transition 6/26/11
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Question: If you knew you only had a short time to live, what would you tell your children, your loved ones? You and I would tell only of the most important matters of life. Paul is writing (the last letter that he ever wrote ) to Timothy, a young man who was converted through Paul's ministry. He is concerned about the Gospel being handed off to Timothy intact so that it may continue to bring salvation through Christ to multitudes. Let us read the first 7 verses of 2Timothy

KJV 2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


On this Confirmation Sunday, as we hear the testimonies of our beloved young people and as we reflect on our individual confirmations, let us consider what lessons we could receive from the relationship that Apostle Paul and his young co-worker enjoyed together. Let us go through the text briefly, keeping in mind the young people we have before us and our experiences of our learning of Christ.

Paul's authority
KJV 2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

His love for his son/greetings
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

His prayers/ longing/sympathy/appreciation for his son
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

What important things did Paul share with his son before he began to address his main concern: The guarding, teaching and preaching of the Gospel?. Like some of his other letters, he affirmed Timothy before he began to recall and recount as to how Timothy had gotten to where he was now in his Christian faith. He points out four things.

The first was his parental upbringing: Biographies never begin with individual themselves, but with parents and grandparents as well for they bring/have brought to bear the greatest influence on who we are today.

KJV 2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.


The second influence on Timothy was his spiritual friendship.
After our parents, it is our friends who influence us most. One of our confirmands shared that she was reminded of the importance of Christian friends while being at CCamp. Through Paul's ministry, Timothy had been led to Christ, and Paul did not desert, forget, or abandon him. Paul constantly remembered him. Three times in our text we see the bond of friendship between Paul and Timothy.

ESV 2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.

ESV 2 Timothy 1:4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.

ESV 2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

The third influence in Timothy's life was a special gift of grace.
KJV 2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

1 Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (for the common good)

KJV Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

"Then the second part to me is relating to when Jesus died for us and saved us all but those who believe are saved eternally." (This is the testimony of one of the confirmands of this year)This is the ultimate gift of grace, but here Paul is probably referring to the call of Timothy into the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


The fourth influence on Timothy was personal discipline
KJV 2 Timothy 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir (rekindle, stir into flame) up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
KJV 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power,(word for dynamite) and of love, and of a sound mind.(sound judgment self control)


Misty, Katie, Caleb, Darren, Thomas, and Josh: You are God's chosen through Jesus Christ, you believe it and therefore you are partakers of salvation through Jesus's efforts.
You have been created by Him for His purposes and have had the blessings of a Christian home and Christian friends. You have also been uniquely gifted by Christ according to his grace and for His purposes, so that glory would be brought to Him and salvation to lost souls.

You may not have as of yet fully realized your special calling of the Lord, but in time you will. In the meantime, continue to stir into flames that which you are in Jesus Christ. You are a member of His body, therefore that which He has given you have been and will continue to be used to strengthen, protect, nourish and enhance His body the Church. All gifts, talents that are given to you are for the purpose of bringing glory to God by being used to bring people to a saving relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.


All the rest of us: As we reflect on the days of our confirmation, the time when we stood before the altar of the Lord and made profession of our faith as well as voiced our commitment to follow Him, let us be reminded that we have been purchased by Christ because He loved us and gave Himself for us. That is Gospel. That is a done deal. The Gospel is God's act toward us.

How has it gone for us since those days? God has not changed His mind, He has not moved away from us, He has not revoked His promises to us. God has always been for us, is for us today and will always be for us during time. Do we believe God?

A wife asked her husband why he does not sit by her anymore in the car. He responded to her as she sat on the far right side of the seat in their car. "I have not moved."

I remember an account that was told me by a fellow believer whose relationship with Jesus had grown cold. He shared that as he was listening to a preacher speak of how Apostle Peter was following Jesus from afar during the time of the hearing before Jesus' crucifixion, his heart was touched as he saw himself in Peter "following the Lord from a far." He turned in repentance and his relationship with Jesus was restored and renewed. He then was able to return to a place of leadership and influence.


We must stir up the gift that is within us so that we may not only live in the Gospel, but so that we may also teach and preach the Gospel. We that are further along the way in our walk with Christ need to recognize the Timothy's among us, such as these young as well as other young in our congregation. May we follow the example of Paul so that the Timothy's among us will be loved, appreciated, prayed for, sympathized with, challenged, equipped and supported. It is important that we began this training, teaching and transition process earlier rather than later.


At His Table of Holy Communion, He waits for us to approach, believing His words and promises that are connected to what He has accomplished, It is His obedience unto death that made Holy Communion meaningful and binding. It has power in and of itself, When we believe it then we are participants and partakers in His Body, the Body of Christ.

We gave Him our sin and He gave us forgiveness. Dear young people, believe that message today. Believe that because of what Jesus accomplished on your behalf, your sins, faults and offences are forgiven because of His name and because He shed His blood for you! Come joyfully unto His throne of grace and forgiveness, believing and trusting in Him.

May God bless you.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala



Posted on 26 Jun 2011 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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