November 30, 2013

Today you should read: 2 Timothy 2:1-14

Paul’s words and heart toward Timothy, a young man that he mentors and disciples, is a perfect example in the way us older men should disciple young men. He shows proper affection and encouragement toward him as he refers to him as one of his children and tells him that he will be strengthened by grace in Jesus. He then reminds him of the commissioning service he had for Timothy in front of others so that they can continue to do the same with other men.  (v. 1-2)

However the apostle Paul gets serious in the next several passages telling him that he not only look at him as an entrusted son who should be encouraged by God’s grace but that he will suffer for the very thing that is entrusted to him (the Gospel) and will have to work hard in the work of the ministry. (v. 3-6, 8-10)

As one who feels called to disciple, mold, train and send out young men who be missionaries to the world around them and good husbands and fathers to their future families I find this example to be helpful. At heart, men want to be challenged to do hard things and see fruit from their tough labor. We are created to work and cultivate and the ones who are lazy and apathetic are that way because of the fall when God told Adam that he will now receive thistles and weeds when he does what he was created to do in Genesis 3 (work and provide). This is why Paul shoots straight with Timothy telling him you will suffer, you will need to discipline yourself, don’t forget about the Savior in whom you are serving that had to work and suffer as well (v. 8-11).

At the same time we can’t underestimate the yearning our young men feel for grace in their many mistakes and to have a father who will love and discipline. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America – one out of three – live in biological father-absent homes. The Bible says the church is to be a father to the fatherless and just like Timothy, someone has to fill that void with that type of protection, guidance, love and affection.

So CPC family, what are you doing to help train and send out young men. I may be biased as the student pastor but if we truly believe what teach then we know that it’s the men who ultimately leads the home and the church in a day and age when they are absent of those leaders in the home and more then half of evangelical churches allow women as pastors. This could mean that as a dad you start fulfilling your roles and responsibilities in the home or as a church member you want to help out with our teens or our children pastor’s tutoring program. Whatever it is, we need to be committed to keep on raising up men to lead in such ways and it starts by guys taking initiative and women not allowing our men to continue to go the ways of the world where they are ditching their responsibilities and not leading out.

Posted by:Erik Koliser

November 29, 2013

Today you should read: 2 Timothy 1:13-18

“Follow the pattern of sound words that you have heard from me” (v.13) these words resonate with me and I am sure with many of you as well. I had a dad who was a provider and a hard worker but he was not a believer and pretty absent when it came to teaching me anything about manhood. When I think about the relationship that Paul and Timothy had I think about the godly men in my life who invested in me and helped me to learn what true manhood looks like. The first guy that I think of is Josh Duncan. He is on staff with Campus Outreach and was on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus when I was there as a student in 2007. Josh met me when I was still a lost frat boy doing what you imagine a frat boy might do. He befriended me and shared the gospel for months while I still lived a life a part from God. That summer I realized that I was a sinner in need of a savior and ask Christ into my life as Lord. Josh was there to disciple me for the next two years. Josh was the first person to help me realize that true manhood was built around faith in Jesus Christ.

The next guy I think about is Tim Parsons, who as most of you know is our pastor here at Center Point Church. I came to Center Point when it was just two years old and started to understand the need for the local church. I was growing in my faith but I was still green when it came to maturity in leadership. Tim invested in me and taught me that Leaders lead with integrity from their faith and walk with God.

Paul is giving Timothy similar instruction:

1. Paul encourages Timothy to follow his example.

Who in your life can you look to and say they have “influenced me to grow in my faith?” Who do you have that is investing in you?

Who are you investing in? Are you at a place in your faith that you can look at someone and encourage them to follow your example? You do not need to be perfect to do this you just need to be faithful.

2. Paul wants Timothy to remember the gospel.

This is a great lesson for us all. If you want to be a leader and you want to be influential you can never forget or go past the gospel. It is the life blood of our faith and maturity comes when we grow deeper in our understanding of it.

3. Paul wants Timothy to remember that the power comes from the Holy Spirit.

You will not be able to make yourself into a godly person. That only happens through yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. In what ways do you need to let go and obey the word of God through faith?

Posted by:Chad Wiles

November 28, 2013

Today you should read: 2 Timothy 1:7-12

2 Timothy 2:7 has been speaking to me a lot lately.  Leading church “stuff” has been a whole new experience for me.  It’s been almost two years since I started at our Richmond campus, but it still feels very new in many ways.  On top of all that, we are currently trying something totally new, exciting, and even risky.  In case you haven’t heard, we are moving out of our current location and will begin having Sunday morning services at Clark-Moores Middle School on January 5th.  We believe this will platform us to have a greater impact in Madison County.

I’ll be straight with you.  I have my fair share of insecurities.  I’m not always confident.  In fact, I frequently wonder why people listen to what I have to say when I teach.  I fear at times that I’m incapable of leading a church because, let me be honest, I don’t always know what I am doing. I hope I am doing and saying what is right.  I get timid when I have to lead strongly.  I get nervous.  I think people don’t like me or want to be around me.  That’s the world I live in often times.

This was not intentional, but I just re-read that last paragraph.  Look at how many sentences begin with “I”.  It’s no wonder I have some of these insecurities.  My confidence is often in me instead of the power that is within me.  God has not given me a spirit of timidity for which to serve Him.  Quite the contrary, He has given me a spirit of power and love and self-discipline with which to lead.  That power comes from the God who has saved me and called me to Himself because He wants to use me for His purposes.

There’s freedom and power that comes from recognizing the power that Christ gives me.  Paul would agree.  Look at all of the “I’s” in verse 12.  Paul recognized his Power Source and his purpose.  When I do the same, “I” can also suffer, “I” don’t have to be ashamed, “I” know in Whom I believe, “I” am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him.

I pray for strong confidence to lead well today.  What about you?  Do you need to lay down a spirit of timidity when it comes to leading, or sharing the gospel, or saying something that needs to be said?  Where do you need to experience the power of love and discipline today so that you can serve and lead with great confidence and purpose for His glory?

Posted by:Rich Duffield

November 27, 2013

Today you should read: 2 Timothy 1:1-6

Today we begin in 2 Timothy, Paul’s final book. This is Paul’s last shot to instruct his protégé and he starts by telling him three things:

1. He encourages him with thankful prayers to God.

He tells Timothy how thankful he is for him and his “genuine faith” (Paul loves Timothy like a son and he knows he is about to leave this world). Encouragement is so important to those we invest in. Sometimes those we disciple or mentor need us to give them a push, or even a good kick, but don’t underestimate the power of encouragement to those who we hold influence over.

2. He mentions the lineage of his faith.

Paul brings up a brief synopsis of how Timothy came to faith. Now, we know that faith is a personal, individual thing that is not inherited or done as a family. However, there is something very special and strong when faith is “passed” on from one generation of a family to the next. When a mother can lead her daughter to Jesus and then the daughter does the same for her child it creates a very strong heritage. This is a great challenge and encouragement for all parents. As a new dad, and basically a first generation Christian, I desperately long to see this kind of legacy start with me and go to my daughter and then hopefully on down to her children. What a wonderful goal for us as parents to shoot for.

3. Encouragement to practice and sharpen spiritual gifts

Paul then encourages Timothy that, for those reasons, he should work to strengthen his spiritual gifts. This is a great encouragement for us as well. Many times we think because we are gifted in a particular area that we don’t need to work on it or give it much thought. I took a spiritual gifts test many years ago and it revealed to me that I was strong in area of mercy and giving. I thought that meant these things were natural for me and that I didn’t need to work on them. That is totally wrong. These things do come EASIER for me but they are still not natural. If I don’t work on them then I can quickly find myself being selfish, stingy, and short with people. The same is true for everyone. So make sure you work on and practice your spiritual gifts. Read up on them, study them in Scripture, and find ways to use them. Any tool that sits around long enough without being used and cared for will eventually rust and become useless. Don’t let that happen to you.

Posted by:Robbie Byrd