Saturday, July 18, 2015

On My Own - Part 3 (Revisit)

The Dark Traveler
1Timothy 4:16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 

In the previous segment, we talked about false teachers.  False by choice.  False because their focus was on themselves and their own gain.  Instead of on God. But that kind of teacher or leader is rare. Though, by their own need for wealth, power and attention, more in the spotlight than others.  So, what are we likely to see in most leaders?

The verse we began with came from the first of two letters Paul wrote to Timothy.  The letters were written because God had promoted Timothy into pastoring his own flock.  Timothy was now a pastor, teacher, spiritual leader.  And, along with that, young and inexperienced.  Paul was making sure that Timothy not only had the proper focus, but the right understanding.  Let's take a look.

Our verse is the last one in this chapter.  The beginning verses talk about the kind of focus we discussed last time.  And the false doctrines that can come out of that.  Including the kind of familiarity that would have his flock disdaining his youthfulness and not taking his leadership seriously because of it.  And then Paul gives some direction.

Paul tells Timothy to pay attention to himself, repeating his thought from verse 12.  Don't ignore what you're doing and saying, Timothy. Do it correctly.  Make sure it's in line.  But with what?  Paul spends the next three and a half verses making sure that Timothy understands that he needs to read, meditate on, learn from, absorb the Word of God.  Then he needs to share that with those around him.

The exhortation to take in doctrine, absorb it and then teach it, is strewn throughout the Bible.  If we look at the book of Ezekiel, chapter 3, it starts out right in verse 1 with God telling Ezekiel to "eat this roll".  The roll was the rolled scroll of parchment that the then existing part of the Word of God was written on.  So, here's the pastoral, leadership prescription, direct from God, via Paul and others, that will guarantee success:
  1. Find and read the Word,
  2. Study it and meditate on it,
  3. Share what God has shown you.
The end result is that it saves and delivers the preacher/teacher. And then it becomes the salvation and deliverance of those preached to and taught by it.  The formula for the rest of us is very similar. But there are some things we need to highlight.  So, we'll take a look at that, through the picture we've been using for illustration, next time.

Just a reminder.  Our illustration is "The Dark Traveler" by Mary  Kay.  She holds all rights to it.  And we're grateful she allowed us to use it for this series.

How to you see this leadership formula in your life?

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