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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 06/23/21

Discipleship Wisdom: A Devotional Study on Truth

When I pour out to others in the way God wants me to, it also replenishes my own reserve. -Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY: Barnabas, Paul, and Timothy

I love thinking about mentoring and discipleship. Just as Barnabas encouraged and educated Paul, Paul turned around and had a similar mentoring relationship with Timothy. I don’t want to stop learning, so I always need a Barnabas. I will never have “arrived” until I arrive in heaven! I also need to seek out opportunities to have a Timothy. Someone whose life I pour into. One thing I’ve noticed is that when I pour out in the way God wants me to, it also replenishes my own reserve.

My family can always tell when I’ve had a meaningful coaching session with one of my Timothys. They know my mentees by name. I share about their lives at mealtime, pray for them, and love sharing their growth moments. Life would be dull without the opportunity to help others grow.

Let’s keep one thing in mind though. It isn’t growth unless it’s founded on truth. Paul made sure to emphasize truth in his letters to Timothy.

STUDY: Truth for Timothy

I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14–15 NLT)
  • Paul had a sense of urgency in giving Timothy godly advice. He didn’t allow delays to interfere with mentoring him. Have you given a mentoring relationship that much priority in your life?
  • Paul wrote the first epistle to Timothy (as recorded in the Bible) to help him know what?
  • Why is personal conduct important in God’s church?
  • Why is it significant that Christian congregations know they are the church of the living God (emphasis on living)?
  • What is the pillar and foundation of truth—the church or the living God? Or perhaps this could be both rather than either/or?
Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you (2 Timothy 1:14).
  • Part of discipleship is entrusting nuggets of wisdom and experience with our mentees. They receive the precious treasure of truth. Paul instructed Timothy to guard it. Only valuables are guarded. How would he (or we) guard truth?
  • How does the Holy Spirit living in us empower the act of guarding truth?
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT)
  • What does it take to be a good worker?
  • What does it mean to present yourself to God and receive his approval?
  • It can be scary to know for sure how to explain God’s Word to others. The good news is that the Bible is truth—how does that help you not be ashamed?
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. (2 Timothy 2:24–26 NLT)
  • One of the hardest duties of being a servant of the Lord is to gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Are you comfortable doing this?
  • Has anyone ever confronted you regarding a time you lived contrary to God’s Word? How did you receive their words? Is there a way they could have delivered truth in a way that would have helped you want to follow God’s ways?
  • What does it take for us to come to our senses regarding the devil’s influence in our lives?
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT)
  • What is Scripture useful for?
  • When we are searching for truth, the Bible is a good place to go as a resource. It provides truth regarding right and wrong. Morality is debatable when God’s Word is not the foundation. How do you make it the final word in your life?
  • How does God use his Word to prepare and equip you to do good work?

STEPS: Building a Foundation of Truth

  1. Read truth. All other truth is based on God’s truth in the Bible. Read it so you can use it for the standard in which all other principles match up.
  2. Receive truth. So often we resist words of wisdom from others because we don’t like feeling like we’re wrong. But they can teach us so much if we’re willing to receive it.
  3. Relish truth. Learn to love it. It is the best steak dinner (spiritual meat)!
  4. Review truth. When seeking direction, evaluate what you know to be true. This will help you build next steps.
  5. Regift truth. This is one gift that keeps on giving. Find a Timothy to pass along truth lessons you’ve learned.

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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