Revival Generation

“Revival Generation”
--from February  25th  --

Day 1

Read 2 Timothy 2:1-13

The way we understand it, Paul was Timothy’s mentor and he was preparing him for ministry in the pastorate.  It seems that Paul knew his family and that there was an age gap between Timothy and Paul.  Being a family friend, it made sense that Paul would also use family language and generational talk to compel Timothy to step up to the responsibility.  In this language, there is a lot all of us can learn as well.  The examples of the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer are examples we can all learn from.  The soldier is not entangled in the distractions that others are, but rather are sure that their allegiance lies in one place.  The athlete trains and is disciplined into the abilities and effort needed to compete at the level they need to.  The farmer knows that the efforts of today will be the fruit for tomorrow.  So they do not get discouraged or downtrodden by the stretching of time.  They do all of this so that they can bring as many people to Jesus as possible.  That is the number goal and the reward that makes it all worth it.  For the soldier, the goal is victory.  For the athlete, the goal is the finish line.  For the farmer, the goal is the harvest.  In Jesus, receive our victory, finish line, and a harvest beyond what we could imagine!

What can you learn for your life personally about the example of the soldier?

What can you learn personally for your life by the example of the athlete?

What can you learn personally for your life by the example of the farmer?

How does this become your prayer?

Day 2

Read Acts 16:1-10

This is a bit of the backstory, as told in Acts, of Paul and this guy named Timothy. You see here that Paul wanted this young man to accompany him and God blessed that by showing them increase in all the churches, as they also carried around the message from the Jerusalem leaders.  I wonder what kind of teaching and adventures they had in those short statements in Acts of where they went?  It had to be quite the experience for the young man as he was trained by the great Paul to follow God’s voice.  When they went some places, God overwhelmed them with results for their efforts.  When they went some places, they were discouraged at the spiritual block that shut doors and caused frustrations.  All of this was vital in Timothy’s “schooling”.  

The key is that Paul took Timothy under his wing and poured into him, while working beside him.  It would have been one thing for him to just sit in a class and take notes, but it was in real life side by side adventures and work that the real development of Timothy happened.  Paul made disciples, that then made disciples.  That was what Jesus told us to do.  

Who are you pouring into currently as you help them develop in being a disciple? 

How is this changing your life?

How is it changing their life?

If you do not have someone, how do you go about asking God to open your eyes to this idea?

How does this become your prayer today?

Day 3

Read Ephesians 6:10-20

In our main text for the week, 2 Timothy 2:1-13, we saw Paul give three examples of what he intended for his disciple, Timothy.  They were his way of calling him up to responsibility.  It is kind of like our idea of becoming a man and growing up, but with a way better understanding of what a man is supposed to be and since not only men are reading these devotions, what maturity is supposed to be.  

The first example that he used was that of the soldier.  He talked about how the soldier is dedicated to the job.  So dedicated to the idea that the call to go could happen at any time, that the soldier didn’t bother getting entangled in the things of this life like everyone else.  His allegiance was sure and direct.  This made me think about the passage here in Ephesians where Paul uses that illustration again to talk about the armor of serving God. You have read it before, probably, but it serves as a great reminder in this thought process.  

What do you think Paul means by explaining that what we are fighting against is not flesh and blood, but something much more important to notice? 

Why is that understanding important for you to get in what you are facing right now?

What piece of armor should you pay the most attention to for this week and why?

How does this become part of your prayer today?

Day 4

Read 2 Timothy 4:1-8

Paul is using the language of the athlete in this part of 2 Timothy.  Obviously, they did not have the example of the athletes on as big a stage as we do and with as much flash and pomp as we get.  Their athletic heroes would have been those that compete in races and the such.  There was clearly the idea of training and practice and all that we see, but the venue was a bit different.  The prize was different too.  Rather than a Lombardi trophy or a Stanley’s Cup, they would win a crown.  You see their idea of winning and getting to the top was the idea of authority.  

Paul is at the end of his life when he is writing this in prison.  I think he knows that he is on borrowed time and after a few stints in prison, that his life is in danger more than just his rap sheet getting longer.  So he is speaking from that perspective.  The race he is running is life and the finish line is death, and he is running in a way that he is aiming for the prize, the crown of life fulfilled.  For him the “rules” and “training” were simple, keep the faith.  Run in one direction and run until the end.  Run through the finish line, not just to it.  

Do you desire to have a testimony like Paul’s for your life? 

What does that look like for you?

What is it that is going to keep you from being able to declare that in the final stretch?

How does this become part of your prayer today?

Day 5

Read 1 Corinthians 3

Yesterday we talked about the race that Paul felt he was winning.  Now we get to see a bit of what is was that Paul saw as his race.  He was a church planter that traveled the world starting these churches in different cities.  He wouldn’t do it all himself, but rather found people that he could raise up and be in charge of what needed done.  Apollos was one of these people.  But it appears that Apollos was also an incredible speaker and that Paul was not known by that gift as much.  The trouble came when everyone started to think that the person was what you were supposed to be following and not that the work of being the church was the end goal.  So Paul is calling that out.  

Paul was clear on who he was and what it was he was doing, but the struggle came when others held him to a different or even a lesser standard.  Paul was certain he was only a part of what God was doing, not the sum total of it. That is why he used the language of the farmer to illustrate that.  Paul was a planter.  Apollos was a waterer.  Both were farmers that relied on the harvest from Jesus.  Sometimes we try to be too much, allow too much to be expected of us, and assume that we are the ones doing it all.  The farmer analogy flies in the face of this. 

How does this thought process of serving different types of roles fit into the roles that you have been given in your life? (husband, father, mother, wife, student, employee, etc.)

What else in this passage sticks out to you that should be paid attention to this week?

What is God calling you specifically to do after seeing this passage?

How does this fit into your prayers today?

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