You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:1-2, ESV
Last night we began a new men’s fellowship group that meets twice a month. As we began the group I began running through all of the new things that are starting here at Victory right now. It’s exciting to be able to see the faithfulness of current leaders, and it’s even more exciting to see those leaders raise up new leaders!
Timothy faced several challenges. Initially, I’m sure Timothy had to overcome not having a godly male role model in his life. His spiritual heritage came from his grandmother and mother, and was significant enough that Paul was well aware of this heritage and encouraged Timothy to consider it and fan into flame the deposit of God in his life. Eventually, Paul became Timothy’s mentor and taught him how to be a godly man. Timothy was also faced with the challenges of pastoring a church that had considerable influence and history, and even members that surpassed Timothy’s age and spiritual heritage. Paul had been their pastor.
Whatever our challenge may be, God’s emphasis is never placed on our great skill to solve the problem, but rather our dependence on Him for grace to be ever faithful to Him. How great an opportunity as believers we have when we can truly cast all of our cares on Him and become all the more faithful through storms to Him as He proves over and over His faithfulness to us.
These are the men and women Paul challenges Timothy to consider spiritual leaders. These are men and women of stature that have endured the testing of their faith and have remained faithful. Only testing gives opportunity for one to prove God’s faithful grace in their lives.
In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-10, Paul creates an assessment that we can use to judge our lives by to consider areas that we might need to become more dependent upon the grace of God to transform. Spiritual maturity and growth is never instantaneous. True growth happens over a lifetime. No matter your background or spiritual heritage, and no matter your current struggle, the grace of God is sufficient to develop faithfulness and steadfastness to Christ through the journey.
Here’s a sampling of the inventory that Paul gave Timothy that we can use in our personal lives:
- Above Reproach (holiness & reputation)
- Husband of one wife (moral purity)
- Temperate (balanced life)
- Prudent (wisdom & humility)
- Respectable (good role model)
- Hospitable (unselfish and generous)
- Able to teach (communicates truth with love)
- Not given to wine (not controlled by addictions)
- Not self-willed (not self-centered and controlling)
- Not quick-tempered (slow to anger)
- Not pugnacious (not abusive in any regard)
- Uncontentious (nonargumentative, peacemaker)
- Gentle (loving and kind, non-threatening)
- Free from the love of money (nonmaterialistic)
- One who manages his own household well (a good husband/father)
- A good reputation with those outside the church (an honorable testimony)
- Love what is good (pursuit of godly activities)
- Just (wise, discerning, non prejudiced)
- Devout (committed)
- Not a new convert (not a new Christian)