Who You Follow Determines A Lot
2 Timothy 3:10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. [NLT]
What I Teach
You spend a lifetime learning your own life experiences, but some of life’s best experiences can also be learned from others. An old ancient proverb states that “Experience is the best teacher.” While I truly believe that personal experiences are a must in our own personal development, I also believe that other people’s experiences can be just as valuable, if not more, than our own. Just as parents do not want their child to make the same mistakes they did, we can surround ourselves with people after whom we can model our lives. Whether a mentor or a coach, whose life experiences beyond your own are you modeling after?
As a mentor, Paul taught Timothy many life lessons through his words and actions. Beyond your words, know that your life speaks to those around you. Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others are watching to see if your actions line up with your words. Realize that you are setting an example, whether good or bad, to people. What are you teaching others intentionally and unintentionally?
How I Live
Recently, I’ve heard people say “YOLO”, meaning you only live once, as a way to excuse their behavior and life choices. However, the reality is that the life you live on earth will also determine where you will spend eternity. As Christians, we are commissioned in Matthew 28:19 to go make disciples. While Jesus taught the multitudes in parables, he was intentional about how he lived and spent time with those he was closest to. Just as the disciples modeled their life after Jesus, Timothy too modeled his life after Paul. Once again, who are you modeling your life after?
While Jesus is the greatest example to strive after, he has placed us in a church body so that the ministry can “equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:12).” He gives us leaders like apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers; other leaders who without a title serve, give, and sacrifice simply out of their love for Jesus. Leaders who are willing to walk alongside you speaking the truth in love for the sake of your spiritual development. I ask you today to identify who you are following. To learn more about the value and power of discipleship, read Revival Magazine’s article, “Who Are You Following?” by Sarah Burnham http://revivalmag.com/article/who-are-you-following
What My Purpose Is
Proverbs 19:21 states that “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” How many times have you worked aimlessly and tirelessly making your own plans for them to only fall through? I know I have! Therefore, by knowing God’s purpose for your life, you can better align your plans to fit into the greater goal. What has God called you to do? Better yet, who has God called you to become? For what purpose do you wake up everyday and do what you do? From the stay at home parent whose ministry is to their family to the top executive whose ministry is to lead as a Christian leader with character and integrity, I challenge you to discover and lead a purpose driven life.
In the book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren explains the five basic purposes of every Christian. First, we were planned for God’s pleasure. Therefore, our primary purpose is to offer Christ real and authentic worship. Worship beyond a song. Worship demonstrated through your life and example. Secondly, we were formed for God’s family so that we can enjoy real fellowship; fellowship with Christ as well as fellowship with believers. Third, we were created to become like Christ. One of the ways in which we become like Christ is to learn and practice real discipleship. As mentioned in the previous section, being discipled and discipling others is a command from God. Fourth, we were shaped for serving God by discovering and participating in real ministry. According to Webster’s dictionary, one of the definitions of ministry is “a person or thing through which something is accomplished.” What are you accomplishing for Christ? Finally, we were made for a mission so that we learn how to live out real evangelism. In Matthew 28:19-20 we are commanded to GO! Beyond going to church, how are you living out these 5 purposes?
For more information on the Purpose Driven Life, go to http://purposedriven.com/books/pdlbook/#purpose
Take some time to reflect and answer the following three questions:
- What do I teach with my words and actions?
- How do I live my life as a reflection of what I preach and teach?
- What is my purpose? How am I daily living a purpose driven life?
Write your answers down in a journal. Now, find three people closest to you and ask them to honestly answer these three questions about you. Both self-evaluation and seeking feedback from others are important as sometimes what we think of ourselves and what those closest to us think of us may not always line up. Choose to be a Paul showing faith, patience, love, and endurance to others. Choose to be Timothy where you find a Paul in your life to model your life after them as they follow Christ.