As a pastor it’s been both a privilege and a responsibility to lead a church and see people come to faith in Christ, and then to teach, disciple and train them. So it’s always a cause for thanksgiving and praise to God when I hear that they’re going on with the Lord, living for Him, and serving Him effectively.
But on the other hand it’s a cause of considerable distress when I learn that those we’ve nurtured and encouraged in their development have become deceived and moved away from the principles of sound teaching. It grieves me to find out they’ve been swept along by some new kind of heretical teaching which has developed in recent years.
Paul obviously took the trouble to spend time with Timothy, teaching and training him, so he could carry on teaching and training others after Paul had gone. It’s clear that this young man, Timothy, was accepted and appreciated as he served the Lord during his lifetime. Paul clearly believed in the authenticity and authority of Scripture; that it was ‘inspired by God’ ( 2 Timothy 3:15-17 ), as many Christians do today.
So when I hear of people casting doubt upon the Bible I feel alarmed. It’s been a great privilege and a solemn responsibility for me to be brought up in a Christian home and come to trust in Christ in my early years. It’s been a tremendous blessing to hear the teachings of the Old and New Testament, and recognise the power in the Word of God, and then to take the principles of the teaching and ministry of Jesus to others. When I saw this produce the desired effect I was able to praise and give glory to Him. For I know it’s God alone who uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things, by His Holy Spirit.
When Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father’ ( John 14:12 ), He was speaking of the Holy Spirit working through those who would follow Him.
We serve an amazingly powerful and loving God, and He has entrusted those who believe in Him and follow His Son with the continuation of the work of the early Church. So it shouldn’t be any surprise when we see God doing those wonderful things Jesus did, as we go In His name and teach the things Jesus taught, always praising Him for the results.
Prayer: O Lord God, thank You for the words and works of Jesus, and for His instruction to His followers to ‘go with His authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness’. Thank You for the encouragement You give when we see You at work in the lives of broken and needy people. Lord, increase my faith, I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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