Shepherds & Servants Part 14: Disciple Relationally (1 Timothy 5:1-2, 6:1-2)

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Sermon Notes

When I think of pressing onward towards the prize of Christ I think of mountain climbing. There is nothing that gives me a clearer picture of what it means to keep struggling towards a goal than those who, through every adversity, keep inching their way towards the peak. I think of the men who have trained harder than most and honed their skills so that they could conquer Lhotse, K2, and the grand daddy of them all, Everest. Very few people have every reached the summit of Everest. Even fewer have done it without the help of supplemental oxygen. When you climb higher than 6000 meters, your body starts to shut down on a fundamental level. Every step takes you closer to death. Your brain could swell and you would die. Your lungs could fill with liquid and you would die. You could get hypothermia and you would die. We weren’t made to go that high. Even moving a couple of feet takes every ounce of strength one has. To reach that peak you must truly press on.

In 1996 12 people died on Everest in a matter of days. The events are captured in the book “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer who was one of the people on that exhibition. There are a lot of reasons for that catastrophe but I would think the biggest one is that instead of cutting off the climb at the predetermined turn around time the leaders kept the group going two to three hours after. By then it was too late to get down and they got caught in a storm.

But this tragedy illustrates today’s message. We all, leaders and laypeople alike, need to push each other on toward righteousness and spiritual maturity. But we must do so in a way that doesn’t push people to hard to the point where they break and get overwhelmed. Yes we press on, but we press on through partnerships of grace and understanding. We aren’t tyrants who make demands of one another. Rather we are brothers and sisters who gently, but firmly, lead one another to a greater walk with Christ! In other words, we are called to disciple relationally! Look with me at our passages for this morning in 1 Timothy 5:1-2 and 6:1-2. This morning I want us to see that … Meaningful Discipleship Takes A Relational Approach!