(This is a continuation from the previous post, “The Portrait of a Son” based on Chris Hodges’ message at ARC’s All-Access 2013 Conference)
5. BE A LABORER LIVING A SKILLED LIFE.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15
Do all you can do be your best. Do all you can to get better. Grow. Be aggressive to see how you can improve.
And one of the single-most valuable ways to do this is to learn from proven models. At Church of the Highlands, any staff that is in leadership is required to know at least three people somewhere in the country who do what they do, but better, and it is that staff member’s responsibility to learn from them.
I have decided that I want Church of the Highlands to get better. And we’re going to get better if we decide we haven’t already arrived and that we need to keep learning from others.
Leaders are learners. If you’re not learning, you’re not leading well.
What are you doing to develop yourself? I want to encourage you to get connected with Pastor Matt Keller and Next Level Coaching, and Pastor Randy Bezet and Relate Coaching, and our GROW conference, and John Siebeling and Matt Fry and others who create opportunities to learn and develop yourself.
6. BE A VESSEL LIVING A CLEAN LIFE.
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some of ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
II Timothy 2:20-21
It’s pretty straightforward: Live a clean, and pure, and holy life before God.
There are two kinds of dishes. The kind in the cabinet – the clean ones. And there’s the ones in the sink that are dirty. Think about it: You’re going to have a meal. You go into that kitchen. There’s food set out. Are you going to go get the one that’s already dirty with crusty pieces of food stuck on it, or are you going to get fresh plate?
It’s the same for God when He’s looking for someone to use. He wants to use clean vessels. What Paul is saying here is not a question of whether you’ll go to heaven or not. But it is about your usefulness to the mission. The devil will do anything he can to pollute you. What steps are you going to take to ensure that you stay pure?
What decisions do you need to make right now? Do you need to put a filter on the internet? Do you need to have some more accountability?
7. BE A SERVANT LIVING A HUMBLE LIFE.
Don’t have anything to do with foulest and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel, instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct in the hope that God will grant them the repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
II Timothy 2:23-26
A man on his face can’t fall from that position. So stay low. Stay low and there’s no other place to go but up.
~Pastor Roy Stockstill
What could you do to reflect Jesus better? Chances are, it’ll have something to do with how you interact with other people. What do you need to do to be more like Jesus to others? Do you need to spend less time in the green room and more time with the people after church? Do you need to guard your temper in traffic? Do you need to be more patient with your waiter or waitress at dinner?
Be a servant living a humble life.
All of these metaphors are given to break the spirit of rejection off your life. Paul gave them to Timothy to fill him with courage and confidence in his calling. To those who have felt they’d never be able to fully accomplish what God has for them to do, I pray you’ll let these seven pictures break that mindset off your life.
For every leader, every son, every daughter hearing this message, I pray encouragement and affirmation on their lives. In the mighty name of Jesus, put Your nature, Your ability, and Your likeness in their lives. We aren’t there yet, but we’re being developed. We stand against the powers of darkness that wage war against them. And in Jesus’ name we break the powers of darkness off them. Turn them to you and make them all You’ve given them to be.
Now by the grace of God, BE STRONG IN THE GRACE THAT IS ALREADY IN YOUR LIFE AND GO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.