Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
“Don’t load yourselves up with equipment. Keep it simple; you are the equipment. And no luxury inns—get a modest place and be content there until you leave. If you’re not welcomed, leave town. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and move on.”
“We are the equipment”, says Jesus to those He passed on the work of our Heavenly Father to point people to salvation in Him. Mm, I wonder how much more peace and joy we would have in this life if we took that message to heart. We carry baggage we don’t need. We hold on to stuff that is not relevant to The Message. We worry ourselves over things that do not matter. We think we have to have certain things in life and all problems and situations settled before telling the Good News. But Jesus, and now Paul says, “Keep it simple.” HE is The Message and we are the equipment that proclaims The Message.
2 Timothy 4, The Message
1-2 I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
3-5 You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
6-8 You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.
9-13 Get here as fast as you can. Demas, chasing fads, went off to Thessalonica and left me here. Crescens is in Galatia province, Titus in Dalmatia. Luke is the only one here with me. Bring Mark with you; he’ll be my right-hand man since I’m sending Tychicus to Ephesus. Bring the winter coat I left in Troas with Carpus; also the books and parchment notebooks.
14-15 Watch out for Alexander the coppersmith. Fiercely opposed to our Message, he caused no end of trouble. God will give him what he’s got coming.
16-18 At my preliminary hearing no one stood by me. They all ran like scared rabbits. But it doesn’t matter—the Master stood by me and helped me spread the Message loud and clear to those who had never heard it. I was snatched from the jaws of the lion! God’s looking after me, keeping me safe in the kingdom of heaven. All praise to him, praise forever! Oh, yes!
19-20 Say hello to Priscilla and Aquila; also, the family of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed behind in Corinth. I had to leave Trophimus sick in Miletus.
21 Try hard to get here before winter.
Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all your friends here send greetings.
22 God be with you. Grace be with you.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #14: KEEP IT SIMPLE!
–Loves God. Loves People.
–Keeps telling The Message no matter what.
–Keeps The Message of Truth all about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.
–When called to tell, we tell. We don’t wait until all conditions in life are stable. We just tell The Message.
–Knows that God will always be with us.
–Proclaims the Message with intensity, never giving up, never quitting.
–Always encourages and challenges everyone around them to seek God first in all of life.
–Keeps it simple so it is easy to tell at a moment’s notice.
–Takes advantage of every opportunity.
–Ready at all times to proclaim. Because The Message is simple. Jesus saves us from death to eternal life.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Your Message is simple. We complicate it. We overthink it. You loved us first. We love you back. We are saved from all sin because of Jesus’ work on The Cross, His mission to bring us back to You. We love others because of the unconditional love you have for us. If we don’t love, we don’t know You. Yes, it is simple. Help us to keep The Message simple and uncomplicated so that others may know you, too. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world through Your repenting, transforming church.
In Jesus Name, Amen