By Katie Pearson
“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.” 1 Timothy 4:11-14
Two themes that come up again and again in 1 and 2 Timothy are leading by example and teaching others how to live in and for Christ. Regardless of your age, place, or position, this is your responsibility as a believer. Whether you have gone to seminary or graduated high school, you can inspire and educate others to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Pause for a moment and consider the men and women of faith who introduced you to Jesus. What about them caught your attention? What did they possess that captured your heart with hope? What conversations with them awakened something in your soul? I can think of several people whom God used to lead me to faith, some of whom I never met.
One was a Young Life leader, probably no older than Timothy, who was always filled with energy, joy, and love for wayward kids. His passion for having fun sparked something in my introverted, serious self that I didn’t know existed. Another was an assistant pastor at a church I attended in my twenties following a painful, disorienting divorce. She invited me to study a book with her over coffee every week. Because she called out something in me that I couldn’t see in myself, I began to believe that I, too, could become a ministry leader.
These two individuals were quite different, but both sparked something in me that pointed me to Jesus and my place in the kingdom. I also love books and have been deeply challenged and changed by numerous writers, to whom I am eternally grateful. What about you? Spend time contemplating your role models in the faith, then consider how your life and leadership might impact others. You may never know the difference your walk makes to others whose lives look vastly different from your own.
Reflection: Who are your role models? For whom are you a role model? Lord, I confess that sometimes I fall back in my faith because I don’t see the fruit of my labor. I pray that you would once again open my eyes to opportunities to teach your Word and wholeheartedly persevere on the only path worth following—life with you. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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