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The second session was Dr. John Piper and his job was to start the book of 2 Timothy. His section was chapter 1 verses 1-12. Piper is a unique preacher – he drips with passion! He is easy to listen to and sometimes hard to listen to. I have always appreciated his ministry and this session fit well for him.

2 Timothy 1:1-12, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”

The main point of the paragraph – “Timothy, keep feeding the white hot flame of God’s gift in you, the gift of speaking for Christ and suffering for the gospel.” Piper drilled this into our heads with a utter desire that we would live this out in our ministries. The desire that we all won’t grow cold in our ministry, but fan the “white hot” flame! He also talked extensively about the fact that we will suffer, if we are faithful to God in ministry. “If you are in the ministry for a safe and easy time – GET OUT!” Ministry is hard, ministry is painful, ministry is tiring, ministry is long… ministry is not for ourselves but for God.

You could definitely see the passion for training young pastors in his voice as he spoke and talking about the relationship between the mentor Paul and his student Timothy. I appreciated this message very much and it brought much conviction as to where I rely upon God for the power to do the work of the ministry.

For me the overarching thing I came away from this session was in verses 9-10; “9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” God saved us! Not because we were worth saving, not because we have something to bring to the table. But grace. He abolished death and brought life – oh what a incredible Savior we serve!

-jeff

PS – Here is the link for the audio! Enjoy!

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