What does it mean to stay on mission in light of endangering distractions intended to take you off course? For those who desire to follow Jesus for the long haul, you must be intentional about what you start doing and stop doing.
It was such an honor to pour into South Carolina college students at the Palmetto Collective Retreat. I preached through 2 Timothy 2 for our time together.
What is the Palmetto Collective? Palmetto Collective students discover God’s mission in the world and in their lives through studying God’s word together, sharing with ministry mentors, participating in leadership retreats, and serving in mission opportunities around the world during school breaks, summers, and even two years after college. You can learn more about them here.
Personalized Discipleship Plan
Distinctive Discipleship. Prepare a Distinctive Discipleship plan. This is a simple process to identify 6 key areas to work on in your life for the next few months.
Bible Reading Plans
Here are some of my favorite Bible reading plans:
- Word. Read through the 100-Day Bible Reading Plan. This plan provides 50 key OT passages and 50 key NT passages.
- M’Cheyne Plan – This plan takes you through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year, and through the rest of the Bible once each year. There are approximately 4 chapters per day.
- Chronological Plan – This takes you completely through the Bible chronologically. You skip around through books, but it is a great way to read it.
- 5-Day Reading Plan – This plan gets you through the Bible in a year with two days a week as a margin to catch up if needed.
Session 1 – Avoiding Entanglements
2 Timothy 2:1-4
- The grace of Jesus empowers us for the mission of God (2:1).
- Discipleship is taking everything you know about Jesus and passing it on to another (2:2).
- If there is a true profession of faith, there must be a true progression of faith (2:2).
- Like a soldier, we are called to make sacrifices for the benefit of others (2:3).
- The disciples most susceptible to defeat are the ones who forget they’re at war (2:4).
- Make sure whatever you are living for is worth the one life you have to offer (2:4).
- If you don’t know what entanglement will likely take you off mission, you better believe that your enemy does.
- Colossians 4:14 – Luke, the beloved physician, greets you, as does Demas.
- Philemon 1:23-24 – Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
- 2 Timothy 4:9-10 – Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.
- You cannot delightfully prioritize Jesus when you are determinedly pleasuring yourself with the things of this world.
Session 2 – Handling Scripture
2 Timothy 2:14-19
- Are you basing your entire life on a book you haven’t read?
- One of the most dangerous distractions from God’s essential truths is our unnecessary debates (2:14).
- When handling the Scriptures, God has asked you to do your best – not someone else’s (2:15).
How to tell if I know the Word well:
- “Do your best” – Am I giving it my personal best effort?
- “To present yourself to God as one approved” – Is God my goal?
- “A worker” – Is it pushing me toward development in any way?
- “No need to be ashamed” – Do I know enough that I no longer have to be embarrassed?
- “Rightly handling” – Am I interpreting Scripture based on how God inspired it or how Satan distorts it?
- “The word of truth” – Do I believe this ancient book is the most reliable source of truth in this world?
- Without consistency in the Word, your ungodliness will increase (2:16), and your connection to God will suffer (2:17).
- If you swerve from the truth, it will affect more lives than just your own (2:18).
- The distinguishing marks of people obsessed with the Bible are correct beliefs and godly behaviors (2:19).
- Studying the Scriptures is not meant to make you more liked by Jesus but to make you more like Jesus.
- No discipline is more critical than regular Bible study because it will encourage every other worthwhile habit.
- Most people fail at knowing the Scriptures because they lack progress, plans, partners, or perseverance.
Session 3 – Pursuing Righteousness
2 Timothy 2:22-26
- To flee something does not mean to see how close you can get to it without actually touching it.
- Get as far away as you can from sinful passions and pursuits.
- How could I live for what Christ died for?
- Fleeing lusts and pursuing righteousness is one motion.
- Replace your unrighteous distractions with righteous desires.
- You can be successful in fighting temptation once you believe that Christ’s way is better than the culture’s way.
- In order to flee youthful lusts, you have to run somewhere with somebody.
- If pursuing Jesus, you must align yourself with people going in the same direction.
- Are the people closest in your life taking you closer to Jesus or further from Jesus?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.