SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (ERV)
TEXT: 15 You have known the Holy Scriptures since you were a child. These Scriptures are able to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. 17 Using the Scriptures, those who serve God will be prepared and will have everything they need to do every good work.
OBSERVATION: Imagine your pastor pulling a young man, that shows a lot of promise, alongside of him and promises to work with him to become an effective minister of the Word of God. What are some things that you suppose your pastor, and your church might expect of this young man? Hours and hours of diligence in the Word; Seminary, or at least Bible School; etc, etc. Now, let me encourage you to look into the Word for instruction on what you should do. It seems to me, that this Scripture today is giving some direction regarding the dilemma, and possibly the answer to what your pastor is facing, so let’s look closely at this….
APPLICATION: Paul, having gone through a wide range of challenges in his ministry, had lots of advice and direction for Timothy who was setting out in ministry. I believe that if we looked at everything that Paul had to offer Timothy, some might say that he had enough challenges of his own, that he would probably do everything possible to discourage this young man from the ministry, although he didn’t! Looking at this from Timothy’s standpoint, we could see where Timothy could easily approach every situation with the same mindset that he saw his local church/church leaders handle situations. However, what adds so much to this story for us is that Paul took on young Timothy as his own son. It shows where Paul cared for Timothy’s well being and for his success in ministry – both for the benefit of the kingdom, and for himself personally. So I believe that the obvious thing that Paul might tell Timothy, is to study the Bible often, and study it very deeply – and I believe that any pastor about to mentor a young ‘Timothy’ would probably do the same. In fact, I believe that any good church leadership would probably tell a young, prospective minister who felt called to the ministry to do the same, and it would be advice patterned after Scripture – today’s Scripture! So why is this important? I believe that for one to teach or preach the Word of God, and tell others about the character and life of Jesus Christ, then it is critically important to get into the Word and saturate yourself with it. There are many other books that we could read where good, qualified teachers have written about the ‘Book’, but please don’t allow that to take the place of you digging into the Word of God often and very deeply. From personal experience, I can tell you that there are days that I might read the Word and I struggle to gain anything personally from it. However, there are days that I can read back over a passage that I previously got nothing from, and God has a special message for me at that time. As I read, I tend to use a few different highlighters: green for highlighting phrases through which I felt God speaking direct to me about something; yellow for highlighting various warnings that God used to get our attention; and red to highlight specific things that God told us not to do. Did I get these ideas from some big seminary and passing them on to you to use? No, but these are tools that I chose to use, so that when I study or refer to that Scripture again, those words will ‘pop’ and quickly draw my attention to them. The other tool I use, is multiple versions of the Bible. Each time I read through the Bible I use a different version. The different ways that some translators or commentators choose to word a passage, might serve to help me better understand what is being said, or what was intended by the sometimes challenging verbiage of some older translations. Other advice I would offer is that it is ‘God’s’ Word, so ask Him to open your mind and your understanding, so that you could grasp what He wants to say to you through the words you are about to read and understand. In training an up and coming ‘Timothy’ it is way more important for him to see and understand from you when he knows that you are in the Word personally, rather than detailing what the textbook says from your seminary. As you learn from, and draw closer to God, you are in much better shape to mentor someone wanting to walk the same path that you took!
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for touching the hearts, minds and souls of men and women around the world who have committed their lives to the full time ministry of Your Word. People still need the Lord, so it is still very important that new ‘Timothy’s’ arise every day and commit themselves to serving the King of all kings! Thank You Father for drawing men and women unto Yourself, and thank You for preparing them for Your ministry. Sometimes You do this through others that might encourage, teach and set a good example for the new minister. Please bless those who fill that role every day! Please continue to bless our churches with new volunteers who will take the ministry seriously and whose sole purpose is to see Your kingdom increase and be glorified. I stand in awe of Your mercy on us oh Lord! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!