But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
The New International Version. (2011). (2 Ti 3:1–5). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
We need a more purposeful pursuit of Christ. We need to be more engaged with our own personal pursuits, but joined with other believers as well. Not just from a distance, like a book or podcast… but face to face. Challenge yourself to grow… and to do so with others in your life. Continue reading “The diligence of discipleship — Part 2”
It’s not about how you start… it’s how you finish.
Spiritual leaders look back and reflect on the goodness of God. And it’s not always a pleasant place of reflection. Paul was in prison and the executioner was down the hall. Continue reading “Spiritual Leadership — Finishing Well”
Paul had the leading of the Spirit to see Timothy and invite him to come alongside in ministry. Paul had watched Timothy develop. He could see the potential and the gifts flowing in Timothy’s life and ministry. Continue reading “Spiritual Leadership — Imparting gifts”
I’m not so much into the “prophetic” in our American charismatic model. That has soured me to the point where I haven’t really put much stock in trying to figure out “what’s ahead.” It’s a fear of “looking wacky.” Continue reading “Spiritual Leadership — Discerning the Times”
There are some who seem to revel in the ability to rebuke. They attack like a machine gun. No prisoners taken.
Spiritual leadership has a necessity to be strong, but there is a level of gentleness that is applied as well.
Continue reading “Spiritual Leadership — Correction and Rebuke”
Some thoughts on spiritual leadership from 2 Timothy. Before, I looked at the prayer life of a spiritual leader, and the encouragement of a spiritual leader.
Spiritual leaders should also live as “Exhibit A.” Spiritual leaders don’t “teach” the way. They show the way. Continue reading “Spiritual Leadership — Show the Way”
I am reflecting on some key principles of spiritual leadership as I reflected on 2 Timothy last week in a personal retreat. The first key was prayer.
The second principle is encouragement. Paul was one to call out spiritual gifts and help develop those gifts in others. Continue reading “Spiritual Leadership — Encouragement”
Our reading for this Sunday is Philippians, 1-2 Timothy, and Titus. As I read through 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5, I am once again convicted by these words. These verses are probably core to why the Spirit has led us on this journey as a church to read the entire New Testament this summer.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 is central. We need the power of the Word in our lives. We need the conviction of the Scripture to become so central.
Our problem over the last several decades has been we proclaim to be “people of the Book,” but we haven’t even read the Book, let alone allow the Book to be used of the Spirit to mold us into the image of Christ.
As an offshoot of that problem has been the warped way we have done Bible study. We either get into this mode of asking, “What does this mean to me” without regard to what the text may actually say, or… We have become so lost in “examining the text” we have hopped up on “exegetical methods” and “higher critical methods” that we have forgotten a fundamental issue of the Word of God: While we are called to examine the Word, what is more important is that the Word examine us.
We have become arrogant. We have come to a place where we think we know better and we can actually explain away so much of the text so that just about nothing applies to our lives and we live pretty much unchanged.
There was a word I grew up with that doesn’t exist in Christianity any more. We’ve relegated it to a court term. Conviction.
We’ve lost our ability to sit and soak up the Word and let it examine us.
And we are not more enlightened. We are more in the dark than ever before.
As a church this summer, I invite every one of us again to “eat this book.” Be devoured by what the Word just may speak to you.