Leadership Spirit


We approach God’s Word and pray that the Holy Spirit, will open our lives to encounter the Living Christ. Join me in a moment of prayer.

Holy God, You knew our hearts even before the cross. Let us listen with spiritual ears to hear the wonderful news proclaimed. Guide us with  your words of truth, mercy, and peace. As Christ the Lord lives today in the hearts and lives of this church, send us out as capable Christian leaders beyond these walls and into the world. In Christ, we are called to go into all the world without fear! We wait for the Holy Spirit to inspire our service in Christ’s name. Amen.

THE FIRST SCRIPTURE                    2 Timothy 2:14-21                    A Worker Approved by God

Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.”

In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work.

TIME WITH GOD’S CHILDREN#653   “Father, I Adore Thee”

THE SERMON           “Leadership Spirit” Hymenaeus and Philetus

We would all agree that God would approve of the instinctive reaction of Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos who stopped an armed gunman aboard a high-speed train destined for Paris this week. Aided by Chris Norman and an unnamed French national, they disarmed, subdued, and tied up the terrorist who intended to disrupt the tranquil vacation on the speeding train. They took action and saved the lives of many passengers. They decided, “Do something or die.”

The Apostle Paul provides leadership instruction for Timothy to do something to encourage church leaders in the various locations. Timothy accompanied Paul on his missionary journey and now with Paul in prison in Rome, God’s work must continue. Paul instructs Timothy to remind the Christians to of their purpose to work for the kingdom of God. The Lord approves of workers who diligently serves with a faithful spirit. One who knows the truth of faith and shares it with others.

Unfortunately, throughout the history of Christendom, there have been preachers, teachers, and leaders who mishandle the Scripture twisting theology for their own purpose. They engage in quarreling to disrupt God’s spiritual work. When the Christian church accommodates culture instead of speaking God’s truth, a gangrenous disease takes hold. A slow moving, potentially life-threatening condition as blood flow ceases to remove the toxins from cells until they die.

Hymenaeus and Philetus introduced and promoted a false theology, that Christ was the only resurrection. They wandered away from the truth. They claimed the rest of us would just die and never meet our Lord face to face for all eternity. They would question the historic teachings of the Christian leaders. And with Paul in prison, their opportunities to spread Gnosticism increased.

They had quite a following and still do within the current culture. Their teaching still destroys the faith as people walk away from the Christian church to be spiritual but not religious. The people who find faith archaic and irrelevant walk in the shadows of Hymenaeus and Philetus. They continue to kill cells of faith with a destructive, ungodly and unapproved spirit.

Jesus trained workers to spread the Gospel to the corners of the world. He took twelve ordinary men and developed their leadership spirit, so that they responded to situations with grace. These workers in turn proclaimed God’s Good News and trained workers. The Church of Jesus Christ exists today, because Christians continue to train leaders in God’s work. Paul sent Timothy and Titus to stand firm in their faith on Christ’s solid foundation and work to correct the lies of others.  

Fortunately, God knows who is faithful and who is not. Even as we wonder what God is doing in our world, the Lord raises up a new generation of believers who will be faithful. The Christian church survived the attacks of the Gnostics in the early church. The church of Jesus Christ will survive our present unhealthy condition. When leaders live by the spirit of Christ and stay open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will survive and thrive. We may be changed and transformed, but God is faithful still. We are ordinary vessels of God’s workmanship. We will work to serve the Lord with a spirit of truth and grace. TGBTG. Amen.

  January 2018  
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