Training Camp 5

By Pastor Joe


"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” 1 Timothy 4:8-10. NLT I'm going to leave this verse at the top of the article. This has always been one of my favorite verses even before thinking about this new set of articles relating to training camp. I've had a number of great counselors and teachers, individuals who have helped me to grow in my spiritual life, and all of them have said just about same thing about a very critical part of training: keep the Word of God before you on a regular basis. With repetition over the next number of weeks, all of us should begin to embrace this passage into our long-term thinking. One of the most important parts of training, especially spiritual training, is to have a Paul, James and Timothy in your life. What do I mean by having one of these people in your life? Well, everyone needs to have a “Paul” who speaks into your life, a “Timothy” into whose life you speak, and a “James” who will be an accountability partner in your life.

A “Timothy” is someone you are mentoring; a young person, a person who has just become a follower of Jesus, a person who has been a Christian yet is lacking in knowledge of the Word of God or living the biblical lifestyle. Timothy was the spiritual son of Paul, and Paul made a major investment in his life. I am challenging each of us to do same at Hawthorne Assembly. Seek out, by prayer, a “Timothy” that should be part of your life, part of your circle of influence and love. Now, Timothy is just a man's name. For you ladies, you need to find a young woman who is new in her walk with the Lord.

A “James” is someone who is an accountability partner. An accountability partner is a person with whom you can confidentially share your heart, the Bible speaks to this dynamic. If you are battling sin, temptation, general struggles in life, marital issues, finances, or any area the Bible speaks about, you are in need of a “James”. “James” is the brother or sister who is on the same level of spiritual maturity as you are in the understanding of Scriptures. In the New Testament Paul and James, who were both Apostles, would have been similar in their spiritual development, spiritual growth, spiritual maturity. Each of us at Hawthorne Assembly need to make sure we have a James in our life.

And last, but not least, we need to have a “Paul" in our life. What is a “Paul”? “Paul” is the one who speaks into your life, who brings instruction, correction, encouragement and much more, as led by the Spirit. “Paul” is the person you trust with a theological question or even just a worldview question; when you need greater insight, direction, or clarity as to a decision. I have been a “Paul” or “James” to many people. Lastly, I am a “Timothy” to others. One such person, Roger Albaneze, will be with us next week. Roger, at times, has been a “Paul” in my life, he has also been a “James” and I have benefited from both of these relationships. Roger’s input has made me a more effective “Paul” and “James” to others. Wherever the need is in your life, open your circle of influence to receive as a “Timothy” or “James”, or for others you need to be a “Paul”. Listen to Paul’s words to his spiritual son in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

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