April 7, Friday

The AMI QT Devotionals from April 3-9 are provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).  He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason. 

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

“Emotionally Healthy Follower”

1 Cor. 16:10-11

 When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.

I think almost everyone would agree that the role of a spiritual leader (e.g., pastor, small group leader, or ministry leader) is critical to God’s family. With this understanding, the topic of leadership has been studied in seminaries, churches, conferences, etc. We hold the view that the heathier the leader, the healthier the church or the small group. It is most likely with this assumption that the book Emotionally Healthy Leader has been read by hundreds and thousands of spiritual leaders.

But could this inadvertently place too much pressure or perhaps all the pressure solely upon the leadership?

I agree that it is absolutely important for the spiritual leader to grow in character, self-awareness, wisdom, and emotional and spiritual health in order to lead effectively. However, there is more. I’ve come to understand that good “followership” is just as crucial for a healthy body of Christ or a small group or a ministry.

I believe Paul is encouraging the Corinthian church to display this character. He reminds the Corinthian believers to receive Timothy (a young, growing pastor) with the kind of reception so that he has nothing to fear. Timothy is not to be treated contemptuously, and when he departs, he is to leave in peace. Could you imagine what Timothy would have reported to Paul upon his return had this been carried through?   Could you imagine the effect you might have upon your leaders should he/she experience your support and encouragement rather than contempt?

I remember two of our church members asking one day if they could meet with me. When that happens, for some reason I expect something negative. Typically, I assume that there is a problem in the church that needs my attention. As I sat down with them, they asked, “Can we just spend some time praying for you?” So we spent some time as they ministered to me. Afterwards, I asked, “Is there anything else?” I assumed that since they opened up the meeting by first praying for me, whatever would come up next was going to be really bad. But that was it. There was no other agenda than to simply pray for me, their pastor. I was moved.

Paul understood that it could have gone horribly for young Timothy. He asked for good followership. Timothy must have been moved by their reception and love.

Prayer: Dear Lord, this morning I pray for my __________ (pastor, small group leader, ministry leader) and ask that you bless them with your love and your strength. If there is any contempt in my heart towards them, please forgive me and cleanse me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Timothy 1


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read 2 Tim 1:15-18: You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

Questions to Consider

  1. Having been deserted by “everyone” in the province of Asia, what do you suppose is going on in Paul’s mind?
  2. What qualities does Onesiphorus show in these few verses?
  3. What is the reward of Onesiphorus’ ministry to Paul?

Notes

  1. Paul must have felt like a colossal failure. He had spent a lot of time in the province of Asia, particularly in Ephesus. He had preached the gospel to them, taught them, lived alongside them, wept and laughed and prayed with them. They had been dear to him and he to them. And now he says they’ve turned away from him.
  2. Onesiphorus was “not ashamed” of Paul’s chains, something he urged Timothy to do earlier in 2 Tim 1. Onesiphorus doesn’t just stumble upon Paul in Rome. Rather he takes initiative to search for him and does not give up until he finds Paul. Finally, Onesiphorus brings Paul true refreshment.
  3. Paul prays for Onesiphorus to receive mercy from the Lord.

EVENING REFLECTION

Spend some time thinking about the spiritual leaders you have or have had. Pray for them and their families and bless them for their work in the Lord.

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