“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me His prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the Gospel, by the power of God.” — 2 Timothy 1:6-8
A great man becomes a great man because of great men in his life. When the apostle Paul found himself awaiting his inevitable execution, he wrote one last letter to a young man named Timothy, whom Paul addressed as his own beloved child. Paul had been a father figure in Timothy’s life, but even more than that, Paul was a mighty man of God who modeled what Christ-centered manhood and mission was all about. In his final letter to his young prodigy, Paul encourages Timothy to “man-up” and fulfill his God-given purpose.
Who are the mighty men in your own life who model true manhood and mentor you in the new way of living under the authority of Jesus?
Perhaps one of the reasons our modern American Christianity might be lacking the transformative power we ought to possess is the utter absence of authentic discipleship relationships. Many of us read books on discipleship, join discipleship groups, and attend conferences that preach discipleship, but don’t have an authentic apostle Paul or Timothy in our lives.
If we were seriously devoting our lives to authentic Christian discipleship we would naturally find ourselves with someone who pours their life into ours and someone we pour our lives into. According to Scripture, if we are lacking either of these types of relationships, we are starving ourselves spiritually. When you take the time to encourage, exhort and equip others around you, you will find yourself richly rewarded with new levels of spiritual growth in your life.
— Terry Evans, Atlanta Braves chaplain