In II Timothy 2:2, the Apostle Paul passed the baton of faith to Timothy. He writes, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Every parent, every teacher, and every pastor should be involved in passing the faith to the next generation. Just as other men and women of God have passed on their faith to us, we have the responsibility to do the same. The very essence of ministry is to pass on three things to the next generation.
Number 1. Pass on the baton of FAITH: What has been transferred is not merely a program or philosophy; it is the eternal, unchanging, life-changing truth of the Word of God. It is a baton of faith, and I challenge you to hold on to what you have heard. In I Timothy 4:13 Paul said, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
Hold on to the doctrine of the deity of Christ. We must go out into this world and proclaim that indeed God had a Son and His name is Jesus Christ. Do not drop the baton. Christianity is but one generation away from extinction; one generation of preachers who simply preach psychology, simply have dramas, and simply find themselves involved in hobbies to the exclusion of the preaching of the Word of God. The Bible is very clear that God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to confound the wise.
Number 2. Pass on the baton of FAITHFULNESS: In I Corinthians 4:2; we read, "Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful." God wants you to be faithful to His Word. He wants you to cut it straight. He wants you to tell the truth. He wants you to be faithful. There will be times when you think certain dreams should have been accomplished by now, but may I remind you that God is looking for a man that will not quit, a man who will be faithful to Him.
Number 3. Pass on the baton of FERVENCY: The faith that is passed to you has been given to us because of men and women who have lived and died for this faith. Martyrs have been burned at the stake for this faith. We do not have the faith because of lukewarm Christians who came to church when they wanted to, or who read the Bible when they wanted to. We have the faith because of the fervency of men and women of God. I challenge you to be fervent in three areas.
First, have fervency in your walk with God. Keep it real. In Timothy 4:16; we read, "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." Do not be a lazy Christian. Your first responsibility is your own walk with God. Find yourself faithful to the Word of God. Satan desires to sift you like wheat. Live a life that is reflective of your passion for God and for His holiness.
Second, have fervency in your passion for souls. Paul simply said it this way in Romans 10:1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved." There is no greater joy, after fifty- four years in the ministry, than when I get to open the Word of God and lead a sinner to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Never lose your fervency for souls.
Third, have fervency in your preaching. Paul said to Timothy in II Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Martin Lloyd Jones once wrote, "To me the work of preaching is the highest and most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called. The most urgent need in the Christian church today is preaching. There is nothing like it.”
I leave you with this challenge to meditate upon this week, “You have the greatest task before you, but also the greatest privilege. Is the baton of faith in your hand ready to be passed on?
In His Amazing Grace,
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