‘AWord From the Pastor’ By Clayton Adams
Recently, I was leading a Bible study and taught on “Our Spiritual Walk of Faith” using 1 Timothy 4:14-16 which reads; “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery (leaders).
Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
I have often wondered what difference my life makes or has made in the lives of others. Perhaps you have thought about the answer to this question in your life too. We each want to make a difference, and I am sure we desire to leave some encouragement, positive, and eternal influence on others when our lives are completed on this earth.
As a follower of Christ, I live to the best of my ability to the level of my understanding of God's Holy Scripture. I have my opinions but find increasingly that I want those opinions and thought processes to more closely follow after Jesus' teachings.
To many, I am sure that I fall terribly short of this goal but I trudge on in the forward direction. It does me good to remember Romans 5:20 which states, “…where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.” Meaning, God has more grace than I have sin! He also has more grace for you than you have sin to give Him!
As I was reading 1 Timothy 4:14-16, it struck me that this was basically an inventory of how I was doing spiritually. The questions I shared in the Bible study included; What is/are my spiritual gifts? (verse 14) How do I know I am making progress and can others tell I am making progress too? (verse 15) Verse 16 requires more of an honest and thorough introspective; “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching…” Am I paying attention? What am I paying attention too?
What am I teaching? How am I teaching this? Whom am I teaching? Is what I am teaching relevant to the lives of others? Honest answers to these questions can lead one to spiritual and personal growth.
The perception others have of me does impact my effectiveness as a pastor, teacher and person. My personal progress can be aided or hindered by others. However, more powerful and helpful to my personal progress are the answers to the questions imbedded in the letter to Timothy.
What would be your answers to those questions?
Clayton Adams is pastor at Earle First Assembly of God. You can e- mail him at cpalaa@ yahoo. com, or find Earle First Assembly on Facebook.