SHOW, SPEAK, DO IT YOURSELF!

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
 
Titus 2 live wellOur small group gathering brings out a lot of interesting thoughts as we open God’s Word in our home. Last night was no exception. “How we respond in anger shows what is in our hearts.” “Helping others must come for a pure heart avoiding self.” “We can’t quote Scripture and then act the opposite.” These people whom we only met a few months ago have become fast friends in the faith. We help each other in prayer and focus on God and decide what God wants for us in His transformation of us. We speak out readily on what does not match God’s Word. We encourage each other and pray for each other. Wait…isn’t that what Paul is telling Titus to be and do? Why, yes it is!
 
Read and study The Word. Show others how God works His Word into our lives. “Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine”, says Paul to Titus. Teach the older men and women to model the faith. AND, here is the kicker that most leaders miss…”DO IT YOURSELF”! You cannot and must not tell others to do what you are not willing or too lazy to do yourself. THEN those who are against us will have no evidence to bring us down. They will try, but their efforts will fail in the end. This, my friends, is the blessed assurance to stick with the faith, hope, joy, peace of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
 
This is a God-Filled life lived with integrity. Healthy. Robust.
 
Titus 2 showTitus 2, The Message
A God-Filled Life
 
1-6 Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.
 
7-8 But mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself, incorruptible in your teaching, your words solid and sane. Then anyone who is dead set against us, when he finds nothing weird or misguided, might eventually come around.
 
Titus 2 exampleLEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #16: SHOW, TELL, MODEL THE FAITH
 
Characteristics –
 
–We are all ministers, called to stand for what is right and good, invited to join God in His work to tell the world about Him, to give Him glory, to help people find and follow Jesus.
–Model the faith as you teach the faith.
–Be men and women who live lives of temperance, dignity and wisdom, with a healthy faith, full of love and tenacious endurance, with reverence for God, giving Him glory for all.
–Most of all love well, as Jesus taught us to love unconditionally, not as the world does with conditions.
–Our behavior reflects what we say we believe.
–Our behavior tells others Who God is and what He can do in our lives. So, what IS our behavior telling people who live around us?
–Sometimes we speak. Most times we model the faith with our very lives.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
We look over what Paul is telling Titus with Your Word and we fall short. We repent of times we go about life all by ourselves. Give us wisdom, insight and understanding to model what we believe well, in ways that give YOU glory and honor and point others to You. Life is all about You in us. Continue to transform me. Transform Your church. Transform the world through Your people.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
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RAISING HOPE

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
 
We can only take others as far as we have been ourselves. We cannot speak The Message of Jesus truthfully accurately and with understanding if we do not know Him personally. We cannot point others to God if we do not know where to point. We cannot quote God’s Word with insight if we do not know what it says and understand what it means. We cannot continue to talk of Him with living for Him.
 
We cannot raise the hopes of others until we have been through hard times and found hope and help in Jesus ourselves. Only then can we explain how God has brought us through and how He can do the same for others. Hope does not see the circumstance, only the Person of Hope and solution for freedom, from the inside out. The tortured, persecuted church in Paul’s time, at the writing of the letters of leadership teaching to Timothy and Titus fall on ears who are going through rough times. Paul is in jail…raising the hopes of those who are still free but have to live inconspicuously among those who do not like what they are preaching.
 
There is no one then, who is more qualified to raise the hope of Jesus in us, among God’s people (and us now), than Paul. He reminds his young apprentices to “Get a grip” on The Message and know how to “use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it.” Learn to know the difference! Worldly thinking or God’s thinking? We must get a grip on God’s thinking and behaving in this world today. Know the difference. Be different. Make a difference by raising the hopes of those who are hopeless with The Message, Jesus, our Savior and Lord from whom our hope lies.
 
Titus 1 letterTitus 1, The Message
 
1-4 I, Paul, am God’s slave and Christ’s agent for promoting the faith among God’s chosen people, getting out the accurate word on God and how to respond rightly to it. My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago—and he doesn’t break promises! And then when the time was ripe, he went public with his truth. I’ve been entrusted to proclaim this Message by order of our Savior, God himself. Dear Titus, legitimate son in the faith: Receive everything God our Father and Jesus our Savior give you!
 
A Good Grip on the Message
5-9 I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions. As you select them, ask, “Is this man well-thought-of? Is he committed to his wife? Are his children believers? Do they respect him and stay out of trouble?” It’s important that a church leader, responsible for the affairs in God’s house, be looked up to—not pushy, not short-tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money-hungry. He must welcome people, be helpful, wise, fair, reverent, have a good grip on himself, and have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it.
 
10-16 For there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk. Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. They’ve got to be shut up. They’re disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck. One of their own prophets said it best:
 
The Cretans are liars from the womb,
barking dogs, lazy bellies.
 
He certainly spoke the truth. Get on them right away. Stop that diseased talk of Jewish make-believe and made-up rules so they can recover a robust faith. Everything is clean to the clean-minded; nothing is clean to dirty-minded unbelievers. They leave their dirty fingerprints on every thought and act. They say they know God, but their actions speak louder than their words. They’re real creeps, disobedient good-for-nothings.
 
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #15: RAISE HOPE IN THE HOPELESS WITH THE MESSAGE
 
Titus 1 hope and knowledgeCharacteristics of Leaders of Hope
 
-Raise hope by pointing the way to life in Jesus
-Integrity of The Message deep inside
-Responsible and dependable
-Not pushy, short tempered, drunk, a bully and not money hungry.
-Welcoming, hospitable, open arms approach to others.
-Always helpful
-Wise, has good skills for living life well.
-Sees the fair side of things, what is good for all.
-Reverent and obedient to God
-Knows himself and has a good grip on self control.
-Knows The Message and lives it out loud.
-Knows how to tell others The Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them if they don’t know. Cares enough to confront.
-Loves God. Loves others.
-Discerns and sees evil and evil’s schemes quickly and speaks Truth.
-Believes in repentance and restoration between humankind and God.
-Knows how to tell others The Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them if they don’t know. Cares enough to confront.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your Word that teaches us about the Hope we have in You through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving us. Thank you for raising our hopes through tough times. We praise You for all you have done, are doing and will do in and through our lives here on earth. Continue to transform me, your church and then the world…with Hope.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
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KEEP IT SIMPLE

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
 
“Don’t load yourselves up with equipment. Keep it simple; you are the equipment. And no luxury inns—get a modest place and be content there until you leave. If you’re not welcomed, leave town. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and move on.”
                                                                                                                                           –Jesus
 
2 Timothy 4 simple
“We are the equipment”, says Jesus to those He passed on the work of our Heavenly Father to point people to salvation in Him. Mm, I wonder how much more peace and joy we would have in this life if we took that message to heart. We carry baggage we don’t need. We hold on to stuff that is not relevant to The Message. We worry ourselves over things that do not matter. We think we have to have certain things in life and all problems and situations settled before telling the Good News. But Jesus, and now Paul says, “Keep it simple.” HE is The Message and we are the equipment that proclaims The Message.
 
2 Timothy 4, The Message
 
1-2 I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
 
3-5 You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
 
2 Timothy 4 race6-8 You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.
 
9-13 Get here as fast as you can. Demas, chasing fads, went off to Thessalonica and left me here. Crescens is in Galatia province, Titus in Dalmatia. Luke is the only one here with me. Bring Mark with you; he’ll be my right-hand man since I’m sending Tychicus to Ephesus. Bring the winter coat I left in Troas with Carpus; also the books and parchment notebooks.
 
14-15 Watch out for Alexander the coppersmith. Fiercely opposed to our Message, he caused no end of trouble. God will give him what he’s got coming.
 
16-18 At my preliminary hearing no one stood by me. They all ran like scared rabbits. But it doesn’t matter—the Master stood by me and helped me spread the Message loud and clear to those who had never heard it. I was snatched from the jaws of the lion! God’s looking after me, keeping me safe in the kingdom of heaven. All praise to him, praise forever! Oh, yes!
 
19-20 Say hello to Priscilla and Aquila; also, the family of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed behind in Corinth. I had to leave Trophimus sick in Miletus.
 
21 Try hard to get here before winter.
 
Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all your friends here send greetings.
 
22 God be with you. Grace be with you.
 
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #14: KEEP IT SIMPLE!
 
Characteristics
 
–Loves God. Loves People.
–Keeps telling The Message no matter what.
–Keeps The Message of Truth all about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.
–When called to tell, we tell. We don’t wait until all conditions in life are stable. We just tell The Message.
–Knows that God will always be with us.
–Proclaims the Message with intensity, never giving up, never quitting.
–Always encourages and challenges everyone around them to seek God first in all of life.
–Keeps it simple so it is easy to tell at a moment’s notice.
–Takes advantage of every opportunity.
–Ready at all times to proclaim. Because The Message is simple. Jesus saves us from death to eternal life.
 
2 Timothy 4 pour outDear Heavenly Father,
Your Message is simple. We complicate it. We overthink it. You loved us first. We love you back. We are saved from all sin because of Jesus’ work on The Cross, His mission to bring us back to You. We love others because of the unconditional love you have for us. If we don’t love, we don’t know You. Yes, it is simple. Help us to keep The Message simple and uncomplicated so that others may know you, too. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world through Your repenting, transforming church.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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TRUTH AND TENACITY

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
 
I was impressed this morning hearing the words of a military soldier who is on a mission in another country. He had a scary health issue while on mission and was sent to a hospital to be checked out. As he was waiting to go back his words reminded me of the tenacity of our life mission. “I must get back to it. I want to finish something I start. I want to finish my mission.” We are all soldiers on a mission for God. Paul reminds Timothy of the ups and downs of being on mission with loving advice and encouragement to “stick with what you’ve learned.” Don’t let deceived people faze you. There will be trouble ahead, but stick with it.
 
A leader continually and consistently learns. The very word “teacher” in the Greek language means “One who learns”. So as teachers and leaders we are on mission from God to pass on what we have learned. Know your message, says Paul, “Stick with what you have learned and believe”.
 
What is The Message? Our next passage explains it well.
 
2 Timothy 3 beware2 Timothy 3, The Message
Keep the Message Alive
 
10-13 You’ve been a good apprentice to me, a part of my teaching, my manner of life, direction, faith, steadiness, love, patience, troubles, sufferings—suffering along with me in all the grief I had to put up with in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. And you also well know that God rescued me! Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it. Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.
 
14-17 But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
 
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #13: STICK WITH THE MISSION OF THE WORD OF GOD
 
2 Timothy 3 God breathedLeadership Characteristics –
–Reads God’s Word for guidance and correction for living.
–Meditates on God’s Word so it is consumed internally.
–Teaches God’s Word as the only Truth trustworthy for living life God’s Way.
–Knows that God’s Word is God inspired and written by Him.
–Knows that God’s Word is HIS story, showing us His characteristics and ways of living.
–God’s Word is the standard by which we live. We are not perfect, only forgiven. We need help. God sent us His Word in human form, Jesus, then gave us His Word written down so that we might know Him.
–We do not worship His Word, we worship God alone. His Word leads us to worship, humility and tenacious love.
–His Word is knowledge of God.
–To God be the glory, honor and praise!
 
“Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”
 
I want to run the race and finish the mission well. Don’t you?
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your Word that guides, corrects, humbles, encourages, and trains us for our mission. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who turns on the Light so we can see Your Word for what it is…Truth! Thank you for all the “ah-ha” moments when Truth teaches us. Thank you for opportunities to pass on Your Truth. Thank you for You. Thank you for being with us. Thank you for being patient with us. Thank you for saving us. Continue to transform me. Transform Your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
And I’m singing….
 
“I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”
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IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK…

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
 
2 Timothy 3 ducks
Dad had a saying that he used when discernment washed over him about a person or situation. Dad was kind but not naive when it came to being an elder in God’s church. “Mm, if it walks and quacks like a duck, it’s probably is a duck.”, he would say. Meaning? Watch, look for Truth, be aware and be cautious.
 
Just yesterday, in the middle of our day, we got a call that we had won $950,000 and a new Mercedes from Publishers Clearing House. He had numbers to give us to give to the people who were going to drive up in 30 minutes to bestow these prizes. He even began quoting the Bible when Randy told him we are ministers. We played along. We are retired so we have the time.
 
We acted grateful and shocked, knowing all along this was a hoax. While Randy is getting all the rest of details, WITHOUT giving out any of our personal financial information, I am on my phone calling the local police for advice. I then get back on Randy’s phone to talk with “the manager” who assures us this is real. Uh, huh. We get more details and promises.
 
Wait for it….the “kicker” comes that proves the hoax. They will also pay all the taxes EXCEPT a measly $550 which we will pay to them upon arrival. And there it is. Truth. I tell them that I have my local police friends on another phone who will help me receive this “prize”. Suddenly the phone goes dead. Mm. If it talks, waddles and quacks like a duck…
 
Paul is telling Timothy, “don’t be naive” in this world of untruths, fake people who use religion to make a buck and those “allergic to God”, as Peterson writes in The Message version of this Truth for us today. Be aware. Pray for discernment. Don’t assume all church people have God’s best for us. Satan does some of his best work through the lives of those we sit next to in church. Seek God’s best for yourself. Pray, study His Word, seek God first. Help others seek Him, too. These are difficult times, too. We must be pray for wisdom and discernment in all situations of life.
 
2 Timothy 3, The Message
 
Difficult Times Ahead
1-5 Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.
 
6-9 These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself “truth.” They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.
 
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #12: Don’t be naive! Seek Truth.
 
2 Timothy 3 hungry heartsCharacter Traits –
 
–Pray for wisdom in all situations of life.
–Lean on the Holy Spirit to guide us into all Truth.
–Rely on God for orders and outcomes.
–Look beyond the talk to the walk.
–Avoid behavior all that is opposite of God’s Word and instruction.
–Ask questions until truth is made known. People allergic to God will show their true colors eventually. God helps that to happen so that we will know.
–Be alert for anything not of God, be aware of surroundings that could lead us away from God, and assume nothing until questioned.
–Pray continually.
–Focus on God and His will. “May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done” in every detail of our lives here on earth as it is in heaven.
 
If it walks and quacks like a duck…it’s probably a duck.
 
2 Timothy 3 guard your heart
Dear Heavenly Father,
 
It is scary to know how others use Your Word to get what they want in this life with no conscience of whom it will hurt. We cannot be naive. But we need your help. You have taught us to be loving, accepting and kind but we also need to be filled with Your wisdom, discernment and understanding as we do life here. We want to trust in others but we must be wise and look beyond the talk to the walk. Help us to still be loving AND discerning. We stand with You so we won’t fall for anything that comes along to distract us from you. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
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CONTAINERS

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
 
2 Timothy 2 before
Containers. I’m not good at organizing them well. I try to arrange them according to size and purpose. I put the adjoining lids carefully, by size, in a crate. That sounds easy until a few weeks later when that cabinet looks like a big spoon stirred the containers into one big mess. They become useless to me if I cannot find the right lid. They mock me when I can’t find the right container for just the right use. Ugh. Containers. Grow up, stay organized, will ya? Okay, I digress. Containers frustrate me. Mm. Do God’s containers frustrate Him?
 
It is a good thing God knows how to keep His containers organized in His well-furnished kitchen of life. You see, Paul tells Timothy (and us) that we are containers that hold great blessings. We are called by God to do whatever task He tells us to do. We are used by Him to help others know Him more. But here’s the kicker…We get to say yes or no in how we are used. Are we willing to clean up the bits of cookies on the floor after Bible School or mop after a big fellowship meal? Are we willing to go to a senior citizens home that hasn’t been cleaned in years due to ill health, put on gloves and get down and dirty on our knees to clean the filth that has accumulated? Are we willing to notice the trash piling up, take out the trash, without complaining or forming a committee to do it, so guests will be served well? What kind of container in God’s kitchen are we? Paul tells us EXACTLY what kind of container we need to be and how we are to behave. Listen in…
 
2 Timothy 2, The Message
2 Timothy 2 containers of good gifts20-21 In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
 
22-26 Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.
 
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #11: “Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.”
 
2 Timothy 2 any good workLeadership Characteristics –
 
–Works hard to please God.
–Willing to do whatever God asks of them.
–Is not too proud or haughty to do whatever tasks needs to be done in Jesus Name.
–Does everything in the Name of Jesus.
–Runs from evil and evil’s schemes to use what God has given them for self indulgence.
–Runs quickly to all things that builds maturity in God’s eyes; faith, love, peace, honest sincere prayer with others.
–Runs from arguments that are stupid, solve nothing and promote more gossip.
–Not argumentative, but is the opposite…a peace maker…at all costs…”If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18) Jesus told us to be peacemakers not disturbers of the peace. Walk away from irrational discussions. Your silence will speak volumes.
–Is a teacher who keeps their cool.
–Is a gentle listener…really listening to what the other person is saying without thinking of what you will say in return. Just listen.
–Is patient, even when others do not obey God. Someday they might. Don’t burn bridges in these relationships. Love conquers all.
–Mature enough to know we don’t change people. Only God changes hearts and minds.
 
“Run after mature righteousness” as God’s containers that hold all His gifts to expand His Kingdom for His glory and is our eternity.
 
After what God has done for us, cleaned up the trash in our lives, can we do no less?
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for taking out the trash in my life by your work on the Cross. Thank you for saving me from myself and the indulgences evil has to offer daily. Thank you for continuing to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world…using Your created “containers”, if necessary.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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HOW TO….

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
 
2 Timothy 2 DYIWe love watching DYI, Makeover and How To shows! Randy and I will sit for hours to watch shows that tell us how to improve our home, car or yard. It is comforting somehow to know exactly how the work is accomplished in the best way by professionals who it all the time. Projects of significance are done best when the right method and materials are used to get it done. We know it will last longer because it was done right…according to those in the know!
 
How does God’s church expand exponentially after Jesus went back to heaven to prepare a home for all of us? Who is “in the know”? Who has the right method and message? God appointed Paul to write God’s Best How To down for all of us who would follow after Paul with a desire to expand the Message of Jesus to the world.
 
In 2 Timothy 2, Paul explains to Timothy (and to us) the Message and Method clearly and concisely. Read and see for yourself how God explains through Paul how to pass on this method and message to others He will call in the future. (Us!)
 
2 Timothy 2, The Message
Doing Your Best for God
 
2 Timothy 2 21-7 So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.
 
8-13 Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It’s what you’ve heard from me all along. It’s what I’m sitting in jail for right now—but God’s Word isn’t in jail! That’s why I stick it out here—so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory. This is a sure thing:
 
If we die with him, we’ll live with him;
If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;
If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us;
If we give up on him, he does not give up—
for there’s no way he can be false to himself.
 
14-18 Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples, throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with.
 
19 Meanwhile, God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones:
 
God knows who belongs to him.
spurn evil, all you who name god as god.
 
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #10: KNOW THE MESSAGE AND KNOW THE METHOD. DO YOUR BEST AS YOU PASS IT ON!
 
Leadership Characteristics –
 
–Always be looking for “reliable” people, those who believe in Christ, competent to teach, with a heart to serve Christ, to pass on The Message of Jesus Christ.
–Focus on The Message. Live The Message.
–The Message is Jesus died and rose again for all of us. “It’s a sure thing” so we live gratefully and humbly knowing we are redeemed.
–We do our best for His glory. He gave us The Message in human form and saved us. “If we die with him, we’ll live with him.”
–We tenaciously hold The Message up as a banner no matter what is happening around us. “If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him”.
–Doing less than our best, giving up, turning our backs on The Message will not be tolerated by God. “If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us.” This is serious business.
–Avoid, like the plague, pious, unnecessary “church talk” that doesn’t’ agree with our walk with God.
–Don’t give up. Never, ever give up. He will never give up on us….”there’s no way he can be false to himself.” God in us never gives up on us! When we can’t count on anyone or anything in this life, we can count on God! Isn’t that comforting and exciting at the same time? Doesn’t this give us relief in knowing it’s not all on us? AND doesn’t this reveal, once again Who our God is?
 
“Think it over. God will make it all plain.”
 
THE MESSAGE: “Jesus , descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. Everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory.” John puts it another, clear, and concise way, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (John 3:16-18, The Message) AND “it’s a sure thing!”
 
2 Timothy 2 pass it on.jpgTHE METHOD: Pass The Message on and on and on… “Pass on what you have heard from me–the whole congregation saying Amen! (No one left out!) –to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others.” Let competent leaders train competent leaders who train competent leaders, and on and on…The Message, doing our best, and not giving up.
“Repeat these basic essential over and over to God’s people.”
 
“Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.”
 
Belief must match behavior.
 
Dear Heavenly Father, You gave us The Message that saves us. You gave us the Method to tell others. May we spread The Message by Your power that lies within us, in the precious, beautiful Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Lord and Savior. Continue to transform us to speak clearly and concisely. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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