Ministry, leadership, discipleship, the local church and the deep riches of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
In 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul exhorted Timothy, his spiritual child, “to fulfill” the ministry God had given him. What can parents learn from this exhortation about how to help their teens be faithful to the mission of Jesus? First, Paul established the serious basis of the exhortation by reminding Timothy that to ignore it would incur God’s judgment and trivialize the second coming and rule of Christ. Parents have no excuse for trivializing their teens’ ministries in the kingdom. Of all the ways parents expect teens to excel, excellence in following God’s will in ministry ought to be the top concern. Second, Paul described the nature of Timothy’s ministry. Timothy was to share the truth of God’s Word patiently, when easy and when difficult, allowing the Word to point out sin, direct in righteousness, and encourage its hearers unto holiness. Sharing is certainly something parents teach their children, but how have you helped your teen share the truth of God’s Word with their friends this week? Third, Paul identified the reason why Timothy needed to focus intently on sharing the Truth of God’s Word. There were many who wanted novelty rather than the true teachings of the Bible. These people gathered teachers who contradicted what Timothy taught. Paul exhorted Timothy to share the Word in order to combat these lies. Teens must understand that their ministries will be a fight for the Truth. They will be opposed and it will not be the easy path. Does your teen observe you sharing the truth in love? Equip your teen to wield the sword of the Spirit with skill to combat the lies that deceive so many. Finally, Paul told Timothy how to succeed. Timothy needed to be clear-headed, having his mind untainted by the world’s lies. He needed to be willing: 1) to suffer for the Truth, 2) to tell the good news, and 3) to endure until he was able to say that he had completed the work God had given him to do (see also John 17:4). Are you helping your teen: prioritize God’s mission most, understand what that work should look like, prepare for the battle it entails, and endure until they complete it? If not, are you really parenting like the heavenly Father parents?