For the Sake of Others

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The apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy to be an example to those within his influence as a leader. Leaders are to be an example in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. These are all issues of character not some intellectual ability or learned skill. All believers are to be the substance of God’s word, an example of His conduct, an expression of His love, an inspiration of spirit, a testimony of a lifestyle of faith, and pure in their hearts. Leaders set an example that inspires and encourages others to live in the same way.

Paul also gave some instructions concerning actions that Timothy was to be faithful in as a leader. Those actions defined his purpose for the sake of others.

1 Timothy 4:14 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

Paul, the apostle, charged Timothy give attention to the act of reading, or reading again and again to know what has been given to us by God. This is an act of reading to own what one reads. Timothy was to study for himself, but also to help those within his sphere of influence to do the same. He was to help them to know God’s word. He was to help them know the word in a way that they too would own it. It would become a revelation within their hearts and minds to inspire their personal relationship with God.

Timothy was to give attention to exhorting those within his sphere of influence. This was to give an effort in inspiring them in their faith and relationship with God. It was to see them strengthened in God in every way.

Timothy was to give attention to doctrine – to teaching. He was to be taught by God and to help others be taught by God. This is the teaching that comes from the inside out that changes our character, nature, and way. It is not merely an informational teaching regarding Scripture. It is the teaching that inspires us to walk in the power and authority of Christ. Timothy was to live this way and to lead in this purpose.

Leaders pay attention to these things. They invest their focus, their time, and their purpose in knowing God’s word, strengthening others in their relationship with God, and living their lives as those whose lives are change by the teachings of God.

Timothy was not a leader by training alone. He was a leader by gift. God appoints leaders and He gives them a gift to lead. Like Timothy, God makes declarations that deposit the substance of leadership in those He appoints to lead. That substance is not for the sake of the leader, but for the sake of those He entrusts them to lead. Like Timothy, as leaders we must know that these things are also true for us.

1 Timothy 4:15 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

Paul’s charge to Timothy included the substance of his character for others, the actions he was to take for the sake of others, and the ability that he was to depend upon in this responsibility given. As leaders we should give our focus, our thoughts, and our prayers to being an example in the character of a son of God. We must be diligent in living lives that make every action to help those we lead to embrace a life of being sons and daughters of God. We must depend upon the gift that God gives and the words that God speaks. By depending upon these things, we will be an example to believers to depend upon who God has gifted them to be and to believe the words that God speaks to them.

Timothy was to take heed to himself and to the way of life that Paul was declaring to him. He was to continue in these things. This was not merely to hold on to these things as something learned, but to grow in them as attributes to mature in. His way of life as a leader was not merely for his sake, but for those that God had given to hear him.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

As leaders, let us continue in these things for the sake of our appointment in these things. We are not leaders for our own sake, but for the sake of those we have been given to lead.

Food For Thought,

Ted J. Hanson

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About ted4leaders

Ted J. Hanson is the leader of House of Bread Ministry and Christ Life Training Ministry Academy. He has dedicated his life to raising up the generations of God with a 100-year plan to become the testimony and power of God's life and grace in the earth.
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