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As I read through I Timothy 1 today, I was drawn to the fifth verse - "but the goal of our instruction is love". I tend to be a goal-oriented person, especially when it come to disciple-making, so any time I'm reading Scripture, I notice phrases like "our goal is" or "in order to" or "so that". These phrases encourage me to understand not only why I'm doing what Scripture says, but also what I'm trying to accomplish. What handy reminders! 


God clearly defines the goal of our instruction in this verse,  and that goal is LOVE! Maybe this isn't surprising, but it helps to know that Timothy was dealing with some pretty difficult people amidst pretty difficult circumstances when Paul wrote these instructions to him. Timothy wasn't merely trying to share the Good News for the first time with some listening friends. He was attempting to correct those in opposition to the ministry whom Paul describes as "blasphemers" (vs 20) and those who "have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith" (vs 19).  Making disciples can be tough, especially in the face of opposition. However, in these circumstances, it helps to remember what the goal of our instruction is.

Not being right.

Not proving the point.

Not having the last word.



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I Corinthians 9 - After reading this chapter, one thing is clear: Paul is passionate about the mission of making disciples. It seems he will stop at nothing in order to accomplish that mission! He makes no demands based on his apostolic authority and claims no freedoms, but instead trains and disciplines himself so that he may “win” (vss 19,20,21,22,24) more for Jesus.  What an incredible model – much like Jesus in the days of His flesh “who although existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking on the form of a bond-servant”(Phil 2:6-7). What would it look like if those who claimed to know Christ also walked like Him (1 John 2:6) in areas of entitlement? It seems that instead of adopting a me-first philosophy of ministry, Paul imitates Jesus’ others-first philosophy for the sake of "the gospel"(mentioned 8 times in this chapter). What an inspiration to live for the gospel instead of myself!


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