Tag Archives: 2 Timothy

Fanning the Flame #10 — Creating a Culture For Change

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“And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel;  instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24

This past Saturday, the Fanning the Flame team gathered to listen to a talk on a CD, given by Pastor Harry Reeder, author of From Embers to a Flame.  The title was “Creating a Culture For Change” and it dealt with leaders and how they are to deal with the difficulty of leading a congregation through transitional times.

HUMILITY is the watchword.  People are not won over by force and impatience.  They will be won over by leaders who exhibit the teaching methods of Jesus, leaders who see themselves as servants.  Leaders must earn the right to lead by their own behavior.

Here were some of his suggestions for the Pastor:

  • Believe the gospel
  • Exemplify in his own life a dedication to the disciplines of prayer, study, worship and the means of grace
  • Pay close attention to himself and his teaching — be stable, share what is going on in bite-size nuggets
  • Keep watch on his words and attitude
  • Let people know that he is committed to them and to his call
  • Be appropriately committed to his spouse and children
  • Do not make excuses or become defensive.

Suggestions to the leadership team included:

  • Pray for the team
  • Be ready for the team to change
  • Develop a meaningful relationship with the Pastor
  • Spend time together in fellowship and prayer
  • Find ways to encourage and empower each other

To be continued …..

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Loving Motivation

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“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  II Timothy 3:14-15

This was the epistle reading in church last Sunday, and the words I highlighted jumped out for me.  It made me think about all the people who’ve taught me about the faith.  What was their motivation to do so?

For many people, learning starts at home at a young age.  Maybe your mother sings hymns, you sit beside your father in the pew, your grandparents give you a Bible or read the Bible to you.  Studies have revealed that when someone is asked this question: “who had the greatest influence on my faith?”, the most frequent answer is “my mother.”  Surely this teaching is motivated by the love called “storge,”  family love, duty, affection.  This love may have its’ ups and downs, but it never stops caring.  Many parents want their children to know about God because they love them in this way. Paul’s acolyte, Timothy, learned in this way because Paul says to him:

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”  II Timothy 1:5

Growing in faith can be part of married life also.  “Eros” is a love which desires closeness and union.  How can we be fully one, if we are not both one in Christ?  This kind of love will create a natural desire to share in everything, to teach the other to love Christ as they do.  Peter says:

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives…”  1 Peter 3:1

Then there are our friends.  With them we share “philea” or brotherly love.  In Via de Cristo there is a saying, “make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ.”  Most people who are unchurched, come to worship for the first time because a friend invited them.  Because we love our friends, we want them to share in the joy of fellowship with Christ.  We invite them to do the things that have been most meaningful in our own faith walk.

Finally, there are loads of people who share Christ simply because they love everyone as He did.  Dedicated Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, pastors, choir directors and others.  This is agape love, with no motive except to serve and edify others.

So it seems to me that some sort of love is the motive behind all Christian teaching.  No wonder the Bible says “God is love.  How would we learn about His love, how would we begin to experience it, without the love of others who spread it?  Think about the many people from whom you have learned.  Give thanks for their love.

 

 

Pursue Peace

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Everybody longs for peace.  We tend to think of peace as something internal and passive:  a gift that God imparts to us simply because we are His people. Then we wonder why we don’t have it in our lives. However, the Bible tells us over and over again that peace is something we must actively seek. It doesn’t come naturally, even to Christians. Consider the following verses:

“Turn away from evil and do good;  seek peace and pursue it.”  Psalm 34:14

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.  So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”  Romans 14:17-19

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.  Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies;  you know they breed quarrels.”  2 Timothy 2:22-23

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God;  that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled …”Hebrews 12:14-15

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