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Good Leaders Teach the Way

(1 Timothy 4)

Lesson 8 -- first quarter 2006
January 22, 2006

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2006

Teaching God's Ways

Christians should teach God's ways by reflecting the true nature of God as we live in this world. Unless I have been missing the point, this is the third lesson that is "hung up" on this business of living in accordance with what we know of God! But the issue has yet to be belabored. We need to hear constant reminders of this. The professing church of our society has failed badly to measure up to God's standards of living and behavior. The world may soon tire of looking to the Church to see God unless we deliberately set ourselves to the task of modeling Christ.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us" (1 John 4:11-12). That middle sentence seems glaringly out of place, does it not? Well, it is not. No man has seen God, but men have seen God's people! If God dwells in us, then they can see the image and likeness of Him whom no one has seen. "...The church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23). "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

Consider, then, just three lessons about God that others should learn from us.

PURITY. "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16). Holiness and purity are Siamese twins. My reading, talking, thinking and acting must be totally pure. Whether with the fellows or whether in a mixed group, whether alone or whether at the mall, whether with Christians or whether with unbelievers, whether things go well or whether things go haywire, I have an obligation to God, the Church and even the world to be "an example of the believers ...in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).

TRUTH. God is true (2 Corinthians 1:18; Revelation 19:11). Therefore, anyone should be able to expect the unqualified truth from me. No changing of stories, no playing with the facts, no "adjustments" depending on the audience -- God's people should always produce truth. They have no need to cross their heart, put their hands on a Bible or swear to God. Our communication is straight-forward and truthful (Matthew 5:37; James 5:12).

MEEKNESS. Jesus avoided the exaltation that men would have given Him. He did not come to earth to pursue His own temporal greatness. The measure of our own meekness is revealed by our inner and outer response to success and praise. May no one see in us an appetite for recognition. Our eagerness to serve others for no other purpose than to bless them shows we are maturing in meekness. "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved...meekness..." (Colossians 3:12).

Be not weary in well doing!! Remember Moses on Mount Sinai. He spent lots of time in the presence of God. When he met people afterward, did they know with Whom he had been? Yes! The glory of God still shone from Moses' face! Meet God daily and it will be so with you also.

Otherwise, my bad choices will bring me a bad harvest. Alas, my choices at times influence the choices of other people, causing them to err and bringing on them a bad harvest as well. I want to avoid this kind of effect from my life. If you do also, join me in taking up the Titus Challenge: "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works" (Titus 2:7). The Timothy Challenge has a similar ring to it: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers" (1 Timothy 4:12).

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