To be an example of godliness to the flock. As I continue to break down the message that Paul gave to Timothy about leading God’s people, things really start to hit home. The first two parts of this philosophy of ministry land on knowing and preaching the truth of Scripture and dealing with doctrinal error possibly being taught in the church. Now it is all on my heart, emotions, reactions and general disposition!
Paul calls Timothy to be praying, godly, virtuous, nourished by the Word, Christ like, caring, gracious, gentle, faithful, loving, steadfast, Spirit filled, strong in character, focused, honourable, pure, righteous, peaceful, calm, kind, teachable, patient, and sober. Now if this list is good for Timothy, might it be that this list is good for us all? I think so, and that really makes me uncomfortable! On any given day I can have problems with many if not all of these things, I mean I am capable of some really bad days!
I think what Paul is calling and challenging Timothy to is to be aware of his inner desires and reactions, and to take them captive. We, in order to lead, must strive to carry our crosses well, not only as a sign of love and devotion to Christ, but as a sign of love and devotion to others. It is only when we deny ourselves, through the work of the Holy Spirit, the easy reaction in anger, the easy verbal jab, that we begin to be transformed into Christ likeness. Paul lays it all on the table, and challenges Timothy on his character and the example that him is to the church. At times I wonder, how many of these did Paul know that Timothy would have a hard time with, I mean after all, they travelled and worked together, Paul would have seen Timothy at his best and his worst!
Take a look at eighteen statements that Paul gave Timothy on being an example to the flock.
- Pray for the lost and lead the men of the church to do the same – 1 Tim. 2:1-8
- Carefully select spiritual leaders for the church on the basis of their giftedness, godliness and virtue – 1 Tim. 3:1-13
- Constantly be nourished on the words of Scripture, and its sound teaching, avoiding all myths and false doctrine – 1 Tim. 4:6
- Be a model of spiritual virtue that all can follow – 1 Tim. 4:12
- Be progressing toward Christ likeness in his own life – 1 Tim. 4:15-16
- Give special consideration and care to those who are widows – 1 Tim. 5:3-16
- Choose church leaders with great care, seeing to it that they are both mature and proven – 1 Tim. 5:22
- Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness – 1Tim. 6:11
- Keep all the Lord’s commandments – 1 Tim. 6:13-16
- Guard the Word of God as a sacred trust and a treasure – 1 Tim. 6:20-21
- Keep the gift of God in him fresh and useful – 2 Tim. 1:6
- Be strong in character – 2 Tim. 2:1
- Keep his eyes on Christ at all times – 2 Tim. 2:8-13
- Avoid useless conversation that leads only to ungodliness – 2 Tim. 2:16
- Be an instrument of honour, set apart from sin and useful to the Lord – 2 Tim. 2:20-21
- Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace – 2 TIm. 2:22
- Not be an arguer but kind, teachable, gentle, and patient even when he is wronged – 2 Tim. 2:24-26
- Be sober in all things – 2 Tim. 4:5