Timothy and Titus Training 101
When we were first “called” of God to full time ministry, my dad and other wise counselors we trusted said, “If you can do anything else, with peace in your hearts, then do that. However, if you cannot rest until you do this, then do it.” Do you catch the meaning? When you pray, “God break my heart of those things that break yours”, along with, “make YOUR desires mine”, then God, the Father who has been waiting for you to answer his call, will chart your path. You have taken the first step, in faith, to be fully led by God’s Holy Spirit to do the work He has called you to be and do. You really have nothing to do with it…it’s all God. We just lay down all the world stuff and say yes.
When you say the holy “YES” to God. I must admit, it is a freeing, giddy feeling that brings nothing but a smile to your face that just won’t go away, even when faced with difficult circumstances. Others notice with, “what’s wrong with you?” Because inside, where God resides, you are at peace. What precious memories, I am having right now of when Randy and I were first called into full time ministry, knowing it would mean cutting our income in half, but it just didn’t matter. Over the years, God has taught us, that to live abundantly is to live Christ. No matter what. Like Paul, there have been good times, with plenty in the bank account to pay the bills and other times it was a struggle, but all the bills got paid, there was food to eat and clothes to wear and a home to live. Where God guides, He provides. My hope is built on Jesus Christ. My faith grows by my awareness of God in our midst. He IS always there.
So, this being said, Paul message and encouragement to Timothy is precious, challenging, affirming to us this morning. I pray it opens all our hearts, minds and souls and we allow the Holy Spirit to refresh us with His breath of renewal and restoration. I pray that you would be free to follow the Master, boldly, lovingly and sensibly…
2 Timothy 1, The Message
3-4 Every time I say your name in prayer—which is practically all the time—I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.
5-7 That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
8-10 So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.
11-12 This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.
13-14 So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ, exactly as I set it out for you. It’s as sound as the day you first heard it from me. Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us.
Ah, dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the memories that flood our mind this morning. Thank you for the way You have worked in our lives over the years. When we were defeated and broken, You were there to pick us up, comfort and challenge us again. When we were being a difference for Your Kingdom it was all because of you guiding and directing. Our gift was peace. Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in our lives and in the lives of others around us. Thank you for the heritage of parents and grandparents in our lives that kept us steady, on our feet in our faith. Thank you for your Word and Your Holy Spirit who confronts and comforts us as we read and live it. To YOU be all glory, honor and praise. YOU are God and we are not. We had nothing to do with Your Purpose. We only say yes.
May we continue to say yes…in Jesus Name, Amen