Sermon Recap from 7/19/2020:
Series: Persisting in Passing the Baton of Faith—A Study of 2nd Timothy
Week 2 Title: CONNECTING TO THE CAUSE
Passage: 2 Timothy 1:8-18
- Do not be ashamed
- Share in suffering
- Follow the pattern of sound words
- Guard the good entrusted deposit
Guard your deposit of gospel ministry by:
- Walking by the Spirit
- Keeping your eye on the prize
- Following good models
- Participating in your ministry calling
I don’t think Mike mentioned it from the pulpit, but we had company last weekend. David and Carol Sue Merkh of the Word of Life Seminary in Brazil stayed with us for a couple of nights on their way to visit their son and his family at Lackland AFB. Those names may not sound familiar, but Carol Sue is the sister of MBC missionary, David Cox, and she is also former MBC pastor Dave Wyrtzen’s niece! Our connection to Carol Sue is really what brought our family down to try Midlothian Bible Church!
I write all this because David and Carol Sue could not have picked a better weekend to visit since one of the themes of Sunday’s message was to find and follow good models. Early on in our marriage, David and Carol Sue served as models to us of godly faith, service, and family in—of all places—Mount Laurel, New Jersey! Mike met with David weekly for Bible study and mentoring. Together, Mike and I enjoyed participating in a Bible study for young couples which usually included games and food—both of which were Carol Sue’s forte. In addition, they provided a tangible example of what parenting and home-schooling looked like at a time when we were far from our families. Here’s another interesting detail—during the year they poured into Mike and me, they were on furlough!!! Let that sink in for a minute. They found time to pour into us during a year they were supposed to be getting refreshed from their lives in the mission field of Brazil.
Mike’s message from 2 Timothy had, as one of its themes, the importance of good models. At its core, 2 Timothy is a letter from an older man to his son in the faith to encourage him to “follow the pattern” of Paul and his “sound words” (2 Tim 1:13). But make no mistake, the call for mentors to model godly living rings for both men and women. Here are some more examples of good and bad models from my life:
- The wife of one of Mike’s mentors at the Air Force Academy showed me how to doctor 8 boxes of Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes and make them appear home-made so she could serve 25 or so cadets who just “happened” to show up at their house one Sunday afternoon after attending services at the Cadet Chapel. She modeled how to adapt and be flexible while remaining gracious and patient.
- Another pastor and his wife took Mike and me out to lunch every Sunday after church–never asking or expecting us to pay. Every. Sunday. They modeled true generosity. In addition, the wife would meet me at least once-a-week at a local ceramics studio to paint knick-knacks–not because she needed more junk to set out at Christmas–but because she knew as an 18 year-old newlywed, I needed a safe place to talk and work through important issues like how to love my husband well and what godly submission looks like. As you can probably imagine, we spent a lot of time on that.
- Some of our dearest friends and models are a couple now living in Oklahoma. The gentleman was a teacher at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, and he started mentoring Mike and teaching him Greek in 2000. They are in their eighties now and are still fervently serving the Lord. They somehow find time to call and visit us regularly and are pseudo-grandparents to all four of our children.
Bad examples of modeling, but examples nonetheless—
Once, a woman told me she could “mentor me,” after I asked, but she would not be able to acknowledge me in public—even to say, “Hello.” She worried it might compromise her husband’s reputation if people on our Air Force base knew they had friends who were lower-ranking. I quickly re-evaluated my request and assured her I really didn’t need a mentor after all. She modeled how people could hurt others by placing too much value on worldly honors and positions.
A pastor we had in Virginia told Mike and me after the service one morning when we asked if he and his wife wanted to go out to lunch with us, “Just so you know up front, I don’t have any extra time to invest in anyone right now. And my wife is very private.” About 10 years later, Mike heard him give a message about how at “his church” they made sure mentoring was a priority. Ironically, he was a model to us that pastors should be very careful what they preach.
So there you have it. Examples of both. Here are a couple of thoughts. For starters, none of them were perfect. But they were available. They did life with us. They were generous with what they had. Sometimes that showed itself as financial generosity. Sometimes, they were generous with their time. They never made us feel like an imposition. And here’s one more thing– even though they were clearly our “mentors,” they never made the relationship feel one-sided. Whether they faked it or not, the models I loved the most somehow still made me feel like I was contributing something to the relationship. Lesson? Nobody wants to be someone else’s charity project.
I think this passage from 2 Timothy fits in perfectly with MBC’s vision for 2020. (And believe it or not, we’re already over halfway through 2020!) It’s really not much of a stretch to see that a good “discipleship” relationship will also include some good modeling. So be in prayer this week–set your alarm for 1:11pm, like many of us who are on staff do– that in 2020, God will give you:
- One person to share the gospel with
- One person that would believe the gospel
- One person to disciple/model in 2021
- The elders have decided that we will continue live-streaming only until the end of July. Mike Hogue will be bringing the message the next two weeks, and we hope you will join us—either live on YouTube or by watching some other time during the week. To view this week’s message, click here or copy and paste the following address into your browser window anytime after 10:30am this Sunday morning! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G675AeX7nw4
- Be sure to send us your prayer requests by clicking here so we can lift you up as a staff. We want to be the prayer warriors supporting you like the ones Paul mentions in 2 Timothy 1:3-5!
Fitness & Fellowship:
- Ladies! If you’re interested in some exercise and encouragement, join us Monday afternoons at 4:30pm or Tuesday/Thursday mornings at 9am. All women ages 14 and up are invited. Monday and Thursday have a cardio emphasis, and on Tuesdays, we focus on strength and stretching. No experience or $$$ required. Just bring yourselves and be ready to work!
Christmas in July:
- There is only one full week left in July, so let’s see if we can help Bill Curry reach his goal of $3500 to provide Christmas gift bags to every inmate at the Sanders Estes Correctional Unit in Venus. So far, over $1500 has been donated, which means they have about $2000 left to go. Remember Jesus’ words about the final judgment from Matthew 25:36, “I was in prison and you came to me.” Most people can’t enter a prison to do the work of the gospel, but thanks to his connections, Bill Curry can. Please consider giving to this effort to bring the real message of Christmas to these inmates by selecting “Christmas in July” from the online giving drop-down menu. Or you can just send in a check to the church with “Christmas in July” in the subject line. I first got involved in this ministry myself three years ago. It’s good work, and I can honestly say I’m different now for it.
Blankets for BESTWA:
- This has been an extremely encouraging week as several people have stepped up to donate the remaining items on our wish-list! We will be assembling the “Clean Birth Kit” bags sometime next week. If you’re interested in helping with this project (you will need to wear a mask) please email the church office (click here). Technically, our initiative doesn’t need to end just because we met our goal! If you still feel led to donate, please keep bringing new/gently-used receiving blankets or twin sheets to the church. We will be sending them with Andy on his next trip to Liberia. However, if enough are donated, BESTWA will rent a shipping container to get them over the ocean! Let’s see if we can make them do it
- Join Pastor Mike Hogue on Zoom this week at 6pm for a study of the book of Habakkuk. Mike has a special affinity for this prophet. Join the study Sunday evening to find out why!
I told you that God was going to do something with this study of 2 Timothy!!! While we miss worshiping with you in person, we hope you will stay connected to us by participating in the live-stream or by remaining involved in your LIFE group. As always, if you have any prayer requests, or if you need anything at all, please feel free to contact the church office. Call 972-723-0002 or click here to send me an email. I’d love to hear from you!
In service to Him and to you!