Journal 1 Tim 1 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “To Timothy: My true child in the faith…
This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you; that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this some have made shipwreck of their faith…” 1 Tim 1:2, 18-19
Observation: Discipleship is an investment that goes way beyond the mere function of discipling. It is investing and being an investor in a man’s soul…
I can live to see wonderful returns…I can also live to see the investment plummet.
Analysis: The subject of discipleship in the Church (especially the American Church) is a tricky thing in this and the last few generations.
Fear and independence coupled with commitment and priority issues has hampered (if not crippled) growth in the local church. That is the 50,000-foot look. What about the ground floor where I live?
I know my struggles: Laziness. Apathy. Filling my time with busyness. If I am forced to work at being a disciple independently, I will find a pace that I am comfortable with…
And won’t press into the Kingdom. I will stroll…
I have been told I have made some impact in a life or two, but have I graduated to the point of having a “true child in the faith?” Is that even an aspiration? To both questions, one of fact, the other rhetorical, the answer is no. But that isn’t the point, I think.
I have neither been a good disciple nor a good discipler. The fact that I recognize this changes my perspective to one of desperation to be both. One is a choice, the other is not except to be prepared for the Holy Spirit to open a door.
It is the desperation to walk in holiness that drives a man to be a disciple. To walk in holiness, it is apparent that a person needs to have someone to walk with.
Paul reminds Timothy about previous prophetic action concerning him and firmly reminds him to be earnest, sincere, and focused about his faith—while in parallel reminding Tim about two guys who didn’t pay attention and shipwrecked their faith.
What does to be “shipwrecked” mean? Engaging the ol’ imagination thesaurus, ‘getting off course, being caught by a tide, getting into a situation where the rudder isn’t catching the water to steer out of trouble, not doing the proper things in the proper order with the proper effort and finally—smashing into rocks.
I remind myself to engage the “instruments of Grace” that God gives us such as: His Word; friendship and fellowship; the local church; the function and discipline of prayer; Doctrine; reading strong books; and so much more. There is one more I am reminded of: our Spouses (if married).
But there is one that takes the forefront and is not called out enough: Determination. If I am not determined to walk worthy of the Gospel, then is being shipwrecked in my future?
Personal determination is the beginning point of discipleship.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, fear and impending apathy is creeping. Shake the cobwebs from my eyes and mind, O Lord. Enliven my heart. Remind me to pray for Kel and the elders more. Remind me to pray for the folks You bring to my mind and, if no one comes to mind from this local church, present them to me and/or help me seek them out. I want to excel in You.
Cause revival. AMEN