Michelle Thompson • Early Childhood Director
This week, I would like us to take a look at the book of 2 Timothy as we consider Christ’s command to make disciples. As we read, we see Paul mentoring young Timothy in the faith. None of us would claim to be Paul, but what does sharing our faith look like in 2017? For fun, I have used 5 “I” words that I hope are memorable as we seek to follow God in this important assignment. I hope that, after we accept our induction into God’s service, we will spend some time on introspection to determine if we are an inspiration full of Godly information that inspires others to imitation. Consider and pray about in whom you could be investing this year.
Induction: An occasion or act in which a person is installed into service. Did you know that when you accepted Christ as your personal Savior–when you trusted Him with your eternity–you were inducted into service? If God did not have a job for you to do here on earth, there would be no reason for Him to leave you here once you became His child. He saves us and then He wants us to share the Good News with others. You don’t need a theology degree to love others enough to tell them about Jesus and the eternal difference He is making in your life.
Accept and embrace God’s call on your life to boldly share your faith.
I love a good funeral. I don’t mean to sound morbid, but I mean a good funeral–A funeral of an individual who loved Jesus and made a difference in this world. This type of funeral provides me with an opportunity to take serious stock of my life. I love to listen to others talk about someone who motivated others and lived in a way that blessed and impacted the world around them. One common thread I have noticed about these people is that, as they went through their daily lives, Jesus permeated everything. And those around them saw it. Today, I would like to challenge you to take some time for introspection. Are you living a life that is worthy of emulation? Do you love our Lord and spend time with Him? Is your relationship with Him making a difference in how you live your life? Are you tuning out the world’s distractions and to make pleasing Jesus your main goal?
Take time to examine your life. Are you living with pleasing God as your first priority?
As a young minister’s wife, I was mentored by a more experienced ministry wife without even realizing it was happening at the time. She was simply my friend, and she was an inspiration to me. When I read about the qualities of the Lord’s servant in verse 24, I can’t help but think of her. She lived a life of joy and service and invited me to live it beside her. I watched her raise her children, do ministry, help others, and battle cancer, all with a joy and confidence in her Savior that I wanted for myself. Was she perfect? No, thank goodness. She didn’t live a fairy tale; what she lived was real and it was painful at times (if you’ve ever loved someone going through chemo, you understand that). I watched their teenagers (all of whom are in ministry now) make some very bad choices and I watched her and her husband love them with grace and strength through it all. In short, she inspired me to want to live similarly.
I would like to challenge you to find someone you can be real with and strive to inspire them to live this messy life with the peace, guidance and joy of Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:15; 4:1-2
Whether you had the privilege of growing up at Bible Center (or another good, Bible-teaching church), or not, you have a responsibility to share what you know. I have been in church from the time I was 5. I have had so many wonderful teachers and pastors throughout those years. But now, I have a responsibility to do something with that information. A few months ago I saw the movie “Sully” about the pilot who saved hundreds of lives when his plane hit a flock of birds and both engines blew. Sully had been well trained; he knew what to do–and he did it. According to the movie, he didn’t set out to be a hero, he was simply doing his job. Every life on that plane mattered, but do you know what? The lives you have contact with everyday are going to spend eternity somewhere. Are you telling them what you have been taught? Are you “doing your job”?
You don’t have to be an expert to share what you know about Jesus–share what you know and keep learning!
2 Timothy 1:7-14; 4:6-8
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but did you know it is biblical? In today’s passage, Paul knows his time is short. He knows how important it is to pass the baton to Timothy who will carry on the ministry after Paul’s death. Paul knew he wasn’t perfect, but he also knew that, after his conversion, he had lived a life that had been a good example to Timothy and others. Are you living a life in which you will be able to say, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful…? Can others imitate your life and be able to say the same in the end? None of us are perfect. But, our families, friends, and coworkers need to see that Jesus’ followers are people who, because of our flaws, rely on God who loves us and helps us just as we are. They need to see that because of Jesus, we live differently–and they can too!
First, look for godly people you can imitate. Learn from them, ask questions, and seek godly advice. Second, strive to live a life worthy of being followed.