Scripture: Read Colossians 1:1-7 and 4:7-18
We do Paul and ourselves a disservice when we elevate Paul too highly. What do I mean by that? Well, Paul wants us to imitate him (1 Cor. 11:1), which we won’t do if we can’t read see ourselves in how he prays, how he loves, how he lives for the gospel, how he sacrifices for the church.
At our core, we all have the same calling: to follow Christ, to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8), and to make disciples (Mt. 28:18-20). I work with a number of businessmen who are using every opportunity in their work environment to express God’s love, to influence people, and eventually to make disciples. These guys aren’t apostles. Some are introverts. What they share with Paul is his heart.
Notice the men around Paul. One young man Timothy was already a believer but needed a spiritual father. Trust me, Timothy’s life was powerfully changed when Paul reached out to him and communicated the amazing sense, “I need you” (Acts 16:3). To convey to someone, I see great value in you, and to take an interest is to become a friend or maybe a spiritual father or mother. Luke’s terse comment about Timothy’s birth dad, “but his father was a Greek,” leaves a lot unsaid but suggested. Ours is a generation of “Timothys.”
Notice Paul’s friends: Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Epaphras, and Archippus. Were they at one time all young men who needed to be needed? Now they are a team. I see students and business people catching Paul’s heart to reach this generation.
1. Finish this sentence, “When I live for the success of others, I ______________________________
2. If you could have a spiritual father or mother, would you be interested? ____________________
3. Do you know anyone who might be a candidate? _______________________________________
4. Would you be interested in becoming a spiritual father or mother to someone? ______________
5. Who might you befriend to in your church, in your gym, in your work place? Make a list of people who come to mind. _________________________________________________________
- Invite the Holy Spirit to lead you in your prayer time today.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you become an imitator of Paul by having his heart.
- Ask God to give you a spiritual mentor and to use you in helping someone yourself.
- Pray for your church to become infected with a passion to reach this generation.