2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy 2 begins with Paul reminding Timothy how to make disciples and take the world for Jesus.  The formula is exactly the same as it was some 2000 years ago – “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also”.  Making disciples is not magic.  It is about learning what it means to be a Christ Follower, and then finding someone else you can build into that can take it forward and build it into another person.  It may seem slow and inefficient – this idea of raising up disciples one by one – but it actually is built upon the concept of multiplication where one becomes two who become four who become 8 who become 16.  In 40 years, if each person in the chain just found and discipled one person for a year who went and did the same, the entire globe would be Christ Followers.

We can never get there through adding people one at a time, which is unfortunately how the church attempts to reach the planet for Christ today.  Paul’s formula started with himself -> Timothy -> faithful men -> others.  That’s how God designed the plan to reach the world.  So what is the problem?  “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops”.  We get distracted.  We don’t follow the plan and soon we’re back to adding people one at a time rather than multiplying disciples one by one.

If we truly are Christ Followers, Paul tells us we need to live that way.  “If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself”. We need to focus on how we live our days in this earth as they matter.  God cares about how we live.  “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth”.  We need to know the Word and live the Word with those in our patch.

But things get in the way.  “So flee  youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord  from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant  controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will”.  We have to stay away from the things that derail us on our walk with Jesus.  The enemy is after us and is focused on helping us into the ditch so we fail in our mission to live a life pleasing to God that brings others to Him as disciples.  We have to make right choices and hang around right people if we want any hope of reaching God’s plan for our life!

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