* Your present situation is training for future service to God
Joseph rose quickly to the top, from prison walls to Pharaoh’s palace. His training for this important position involved being first a slave and then a prisoner. In each situation he learned the importance of serving God and others. Whatever your situation, no matter how undesirable, consider it part of your training program for serving God. (NLT)
Genesis 41:39-40 – Turning to Joseph, Pharaoh said, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land! I hereby appoint you to direct this project. You will manage my household and organize all my people. Only I will have a rank higher than yours.”
* Although David had been on the throne when this psalm was written, he is called a shepherd and not a king. Shepherding a common profession in biblical times, was a highly responsible job. The flocks were completely dependent upon shepherds for guidance, provision, and protection. David had spent his early years as a shepherd. This was training ground for the future responsibilities God had in store for him. When he was ready God took him from caring for sheep to caring for Israel, God’s people. Don’t treat your present situation lightly or irresponsibly; it may be God’s training ground for your future. (NLT)
Psalm 78:71-72 – He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—God’s own people, Israel. He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.
* Training new leaders for times of transition
Moses asked God to appoint a leader who was capable of directing both external and internal affairs—one who could lead them in battle but who would also care for their needs. The Lord responded by appointing Joshua. Many people want to be known as leaders. Some are very capable of reaching their goals, while others care deeply for the people in their charge. The best leaders are both goal-oriented and people-oriented. (NLT)
Numbers 27:15-17 – Then Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, the God of the spirits of all living things, please appoint a new leader for the community. Give them someone who will lead them into battle, so the people of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
* Because Joshua had assisted Moses for many years, he was well prepared to take over the leadership of the nation. Changes in leadership are common in many organizations. At such times, a smooth transition is essential for the establishment of the new administration. This doesn’t happen unless new leaders are trained. If you are currently in a leadership position, begin preparing someone to take your place. Then, when you leave or are promoted, operations can continue to run efficiently. If you want to be a leader, learn from others so that you will be prepared when the opportunity comes. (NLT)
Joshua 1:2 – “Now that my servant Moses is dead, you must lead my people across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.”
* Lack of training shouldn’t keep you from serving
What a contrast between the workmen, who needed no accounting of their use of the money, and the priests, who couldn’t be trusted to handle their funds well enough to set some aside for the Temple. As trained men of God, the Levites should have been responsible and concerned. After all, the Temple was their life’s work. Though the priests were not dishonest, they did not have the commitment or energy needed to finish the work. Sometimes God’s work is better accomplished by devoted laypeople. Don’t let your lack of training or position stop you from contributing to God’s Kingdom. Everyone’s energy is needed to carry out God’s work. (NLT)
2 Kings 12:15 – No accounting was required from the construction supervisors, because they were honest and faithful workers.
* How Jesus trained his disciples
Jesus did not leave his disciples unprepared for the difficult years ahead. He warned them about false messiahs, natural disasters, and persecutions; but he assured them that he would be with them to protect them and make his Kingdom known through them. In the end, Jesus promised that he would return in power and glory to save them. Jesus’ warnings and promises to his disciples also apply to us as we look forward to his return. (NLT)
Luke 21:5-7 – Some of his disciples began talking about the beautiful stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, “The time is coming when all these things will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another.”
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time?”
* Spiritual fitness training
Are you in shape both physically and spiritually? In our society, much emphasis is placed on physical fitness, but spiritual health is even more important. Our physical health is susceptible to disease and injury, but faith can sustain us through these tragedies. To train ourselves to be godly, we must develop our faith by using our God-given abilities in the service of the church. Are you developing your spiritual muscles? (NLT)
1 Timothy 4:7-10 – Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true, and everyone should accept it. We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe.
* Whom are you training to carry on your faith?
As Pau reached the end of his life, he could look back and know he had been faithful to God’s call. Now it was time to pass the torch to the next generation, preparing leaders to take his place so that the world would continue to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Timothy was Paul’s living legacy, a product of Paul’s faithful teaching, discipleship, and example. Because of Paul’s work with any believers, including Timothy, the world is full of believers today who are also carrying on the work. What legacy will you leave behind? Whom are you training to carry on your work? It is our responsibility to do all we can to keep the Good News message alive for the next generation. (NLT)
2 Timothy 4:22 – May the Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.
* Promote right training
The older people should train the younger by words and by example. Women who were new Christians were to learn how to have harmony in the home by watching older women who had been Christians for some time. We have the same need today. Young wives and mothers should learn to live in a Christian manner—loving their husbands and caring for their children-through observing exemplary women of God. If you are of an age or in a position where people look up to you, make sure that your example is motivating younger believers to live in a way that honors God. (NLT)
Titus 2:1-5 – But as for you promote the kind of living that reflects right teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have strong faith and be filled with love and patience.
Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord. They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
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