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Being Reliable

2 Timothy 2:2
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

Why "reliable" people? What does it mean to be reliable? What would happen to the cause of Christ if Timothy couldn't find reliable men to entrust to gospel to? How does this fit with Matthew 28:18-20?

Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

How can you become reliable.... someone? Who can be trusted with the gospel?

1. Following instructions

Mark 6:7-12
7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.
8 These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff--no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.
9 Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.
10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.
11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."
12 They went out and preached that people should repent.

Jesus gave very specific instructions because he wanted to help them be effective. They become very effective. What about you? Decide to follow the specific advice of effective disciples.. Act like the instructions come from Jesus.

Colossians 3:23-24
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Be detailed and deliberate.

2. Communicating

Mark 6:30
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.

Communication is an important part of following up on the instructions you've been given. Look at who initiated the "report". What things are important to report or communicate? When did lack of communication make you ineffective? When did lack of communication make you ineffective?

Learn from the disciples -- How did Jesus feel when they did this? How would he have felt if they didn't bother about communicating? What would it have shown about their attitude.

3. Trustworthy in little things

Luke 16:10-12
10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

Why is this true? What "little" things is God trusting you with? (studies, people you meet, being on time, helping with child care, with communion). How is it going? How can you prove trustworthy?

Financial trustworthiness is part of being reliable. What in your finances do you need to straighten out? Contribution?

4. No excuse-making

1 Samuel 13:5-14
5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven.
6 When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.
7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear.
8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul's men began to scatter.
9 So he said, "Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings. " And Saul offered up the burnt offering.
10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
11 "What have you done?" asked Samuel. Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash,
12 I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord's favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."
13 "You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.
14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command."

What excuses did Saul make for not following God's instructions? What was God's reaction? Obedience, trustworthiness, reliability come from your heart - so do excuses!

Let's become reliable!