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MEN'S LEADERSHIP SUPPORT GROUP
Part XI: Functioning Effectively As A Leader Under Pressure - 2 Timothy
E. Staying Productive As A Leader Under Fire
1. Staying Productive In Our Calling From God
(2 Timothy 4:1-8)
Lesson: When under fire from apostates, Timothy was to view his job to preach Scripture as a task for which he would give an account to God so that he not fail to fulfill it, but in it counter apostasy.
- One of the chief challenges of being "under fire" in leadership is the challenge of focusing on completing one's leadership objective without being distracted by trials or temptations so as to become unproductive.
- In 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Paul addressed Timothy about his need to focus on his calling from God in the face of errant apostate influences around him to the contrary. We view the passage for our edification:
- Staying Productive In Our Calling >From God, 2 Timothy 4:1-8.
- In view of the coming apostasy, Paul charged Timothy to stay committed to his divine assignment of discipling men through proclaiming the Word of God unto them, 2 Timothy 4:1-2a with 3:12-13; 4:3-4:
- Paul's charge in 2 Timothy 4:1-2 was given against the backdrop of the apostasy foretold in 2 Timothy 3:13, cf. William Hendriksen, I-II Timothy-Titus (NTC), 1974, p. 307.
- That apostasy was predicted to be both toxic and contagious to men (as follows):
- Paul had predicted that the coming apostasy would be toxic as men would go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived in a downward spiral of error and its harmful effects, 2 Timothy 3:13.
- Paul also revealed this apostasy would be contagious: (1) folk would cease to accept healthy Bible teaching due to their sinful lusts, so they would exchange it for what enticing teachers said, 2 Tim. 4:3. (2) That would lead these hearers to exchange Scripture (3) for "fables" (KJV) or "myths" (NIV) that appeared to be harmless extrabiblical stories about people in the Bible rather than Scripture itself, Ibid., p. 312, 58-59. (4) In having thus turned from the sure guide of Bible truth, men would be left vulnerable to go from bad to worse, to deceiving and be deceived, 2 Tim. 3:13.
- Thus, Paul gave Timothy a strong a charge on his role in countering such apostasy, 2 Timothy 4:1-2a:
- Paul's charge to Timothy was stated as being given in full view and knowledge of God and the Lord Jesus Christ Who would judge the living and dead at His appearing and kingdom, 2 Timothy 4:1.
- Thus, since Timothy was to be sure that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ Who would judge all those Timothy would address, living or dead, let alone Timothy himself, and that this charge was given in God's full view, Timothy was to view his assignment seriously and heed God's will in it!
- That charge would counter the toxic, contagious apostasy that would subtly infect and tragically woo men away from the constructive truth of God, cf. 2 Timothy 4:2a!
- Timothy's task was identified as the work of discipling men by proclaiming Scripture truth, 2 Tim. 4:2, 5:
- Timothy was to proclaim the Word of God, to preach it as we do from the pulpit today, 2 Timothy 4:2a; Ibid., p. 309-310. The forceful, open, authoritative declaration of truth would counter the subtle, infectious growth of an apostate departure from the Bible's truths into destructive error!
- Timothy was thus to be CONSTANTLY ready and prepared to counter the sudden or subtle encroachment of error into the Christian community that came his way, 2 Timothy 4:2b.
- Timothy was to apply Scripture in his ministry to the issues of sin and righteousness, reproving sin, rebuking the sinner, and admonishing his hearers regarding the correct path, 2 Timothy 4:2c.
- Timothy was to use "complete patience and teaching" (4:2d ESV), or "utmost longsuffering and . . . painstaking teaching-activity'" to counter the infectious and toxic influences of apostasy, Ibid., p. 311.
- Timothy was to keep vigilant for apostate error, enduring its afflictions, ministering the Gospel and completing his assignment in his role as a pastor as unto the Lord, 2 Timothy 4:5.
- Were Timothy to stay productive like this in the face of temptations and pressures from apostates or those swayed by them, he would receive an eternal reward from God like Paul had earned in his ministry, 4:6-8.
Application: May we who are led by God to lead in our marriage, home, job, community or church be aware that we will answer to God for our job performance that we not veer from it in countering evil.