It’s been a wonderful journey these past months preaching through 2 Timothy and I hope you were also encouraged, spoken to, and strengthened from the 4 packed chapters of this New Testament book. Last week was interesting for me as I was scheduled out of town on a work function in Slovakia. Knowing that Ken was to share the wrap up message, I reflected on how this journey and the Word of God in 2 Timothy has spoken to me rather than preparing my own sermon.
Overall, I appreciated the passion of Paul, knowing that most likely his life on earth was nearing its end, and he was clearly pouring out his heart to Timothy as his long time fellow servant. Paul was Timothy’s mentor and this letter was instructive, full of encouragement and yet very much challenging Timothy to boldly continue the work in serving the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of circumstances. As I reflect on my life, I have been so blessed with many mentors, starting with my father and brothers, but this week, the Lord has put a spiritual mentor on my heart that I am so thankful to have had 10 years of mentorship and teaching from. His name is Bruce and he is my former pastor from Colorado. As Tanya and I began attending the Rocky Mountain Bible Church shortly after getting married in 1994, many major faith turning points awaited us during that time and this wonderful teaching pastor and shepherd helped shape our faith in ways that truly impacted us and prepared us as life servants for the Lord. Not to compare myself to Timothy writing a “response” back to Paul, but I think you can understand my heart in thanking this mentor of mine with the following:
Although we haven’t had much communication over the past 4 years since we relocated to Switzerland, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recalled your Godly wisdom, strong teaching and mentorship from my 10 years at RMBC. You were my first pastor as an “adult”, meaning aside of churches that I attended with my parents. You were the first pastor for Tanya and me to grow in faith under as a couple. You were one who called me out of those under 30 and took a chance on me to step up and serve as an elder. A couple years later, you again entrusted faith in me to serve the Lord by bringing me into full time ministry, although I didn’t have the credentials of Bible schooling or Seminary before that point. Although I did get some piece of paper saying I have credentials, I am still a work in progress, as I will be until the day the Lord takes me to Himself, but a lot of what I am today, as a servant of the Lord, is from your mentorship, equipping and challenging me to minister and serve others. Thank you for modeling that with your life as well. Thank you for the uncountable times you let me come into your office and interrupt your sermon preparations with my deep (or often not so deep) questions about life, faith, the Bible and ministry! LIFT, The International Church of Zug is continuing to grow and more importantly, impacting lives for the Lord. Of course for God’s glory, but at the same time be encouraged that your hard work in sowing God’s Word into me (and surely numerous others) along your long time ministry is being reaped here in Switzerland and many, many other parts of the Lord’s Kingdom. I look forward to the day the Lord crosses our paths again, whether this side of heaven or in His presence! In the meantime be blessed in all that you are doing for the Lord and know that your ministry is making and has made a difference!
In His grip and grace,
Perhaps you have a letter of your own to write to the “Paul” in your life that has blessed you along the way as a friend and mentor? May we all continue to be like Timothy in going forward with the Gospel message to those around us that need hope in Jesus! By the way, God didn’t just call “pastors” to share the Gospel, He called ALL of the followers in Jesus to GO unto the nations!
Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday at our special bi-lingual service across town with STAMI (Evangelische Stadtmission Zug) at 9:45 am at Chollerstrasse 35. (A map will be sent in a separate e-mail).
In His grip and grace,