December 31 - A Missions Commission from the Pastoral Epistles
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday Bryan Launer will continue the class on Understanding the Heart in the youth room at 10:00am. This class explores what Scripture says about the heart, why it's so important, and how you can better understand your own heart and help others. Ray Rutledge and Bo Pritchard will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the New Testament).
2 Timothy 1:8-14
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
Lord willing, this Sunday will be the last that DLS are with us and we look forward to commissioning them for the work that God has called them to. As we do so, we'll consider Paul's charges in the Pastoral Epistles. These letters were written to Timothy and Titus, the men who were carrying out phase two of Paul's missionary strategy in Ephesus and Crete. Paul had begun the work, and now they needed to bring it to completion. Paul tells Titus, "Put what remained into order and appoint elders." Paul tells Timothy, "Charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine." And he reminds them both of the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ. "For to this end we toil and strive, because we have set our hope on the living God," and "Therefore, do not be ashamed about the testimony about Jesus our Lord...but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God who saved us." Paul's strategy remains essential for ministry today: organize the church, establish healthy teaching, and focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ. May the Lord strengthen and equip DLS to do these things in the context He is calling them to.
Review and Apply
1. What do you think will be some of the greatest challenges for DLS over the next couple of years?
2. How is the context they are hoping to serve in different from the situation Timothy and Titus were in? How is it the same?
3. In 3 John, we are told, "We ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth" and we would "do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God." How could you do to be a good sender and supporter of DLS and the other missions parters of Christ Covenant?