Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Passing the Torch. From one Gman to another.

2 Timothy is the most personal, intimate, emotional, and pastoral book I have yet to study here at ESBS. Before dying, Paul writes 2 Timothy to express his deep affection for his faithful friend and to ensure that his ministry would continue after his death by younger Christians, who would pass the torch from one Gospel man to another.

Timothy is likely the last letter that Paul penned and may have been written only days before he was murdered by beheading at the hands of the Emperor Nero in 68 AD. As he sits alone in his dark, filthy, roman cell, scarred by beatings and persecution, not complaining nor questioning Gods goodness or faithfulness but rather with his head up high determined and confident that he will soon be in Glory, face to face with his Savior and great King Jesus.

Paul has served faithfully as an apostle, he has been ship wrecked, stoned, flogged, harassed, and beaten. He has run the race, he has fought the good fight, he has been faithful and he will soon be in glory.
Paul is about to pass the torch to the next generation of Christian leadership and It is interesting what Paul wants Timothy to understand and accept at this defining moment.
What does biblical leadership look like?
His Instructions:

“Preach the Word in season and out of season” 2 Tim 4:2
Be faithful to the word of God and preach the bible for what it says, not for what you want it to say. Make it sound as good as it really is. The Bible says some radical, offensive, ruthless, shocking things that offend every self righteous, performance driven, post-modern, rebellious impulse of our hearts. People do not want to hear truth but would rather have their itching ears satisfied and wander off into myths. Hold firm to the word, be faithful in times of fruit, and in times of drought. Do not relent. Preach without apology. Do not be silent. They chopped off Paul’s head, stone stephen and crucified Christ because it was the only way to silence them.

“Remember Jesus” 2 Tim 2:8
The bible is about Jesus. Tell people about Jesus. Tell them of his goodness, of his character and his radical grace. Tell them that they are sinners in need of a savior. Tell them that he is a good and forgiving God. Tell tell about the good news that God has done something in Christ to Save wicked, wretched sinners like them. Warn them about Hell, and paint a beautiful image of what Heaven will be like. Inspire them to Love Jesus. Herald. Proclaim. Announce.

“Fulfill your ministry” 2 Tim 4:5
You have YOUR own calling from God. This is not someone elses ministry this is your ministry. If God wanted someone else, he would have picked someone else. It is important and good to learn from others, but not to duplicate their ministry. You are who you are, by the eternal love of God. Offer yourself to God, and reach for YOUR destiny. You are approved and qualified by God.

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