Paul's Challenge to the "Patty-Cake" Church
14Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.—2 Timothy 2:14-18
From this verse, the ministry name (acronym) was formed:
Each week 1.5million children in 25,000 churches around the world set aside time to teach and hide God's Word into the hearts of kids in a fun learning environment. While we understand that rote memory isn't the guaranteed recipe for raising super-saints, it establishes and frames a world-view based upon God's Word. When gads of college-age kids are walking away from church, over 92 percent of kids that have consistently participated in the AWANA program continued to attend church into adulthood.
And I want my kids and your kids a part of that 92 percent number.
Now lest you think I'm selling AWANA memberships, getting some kick-back, or touting a program as a means of rescuing our kids from the sewer of a corrupt culture and a biblically illiterate and anemic church, hear this; our hope is always and ultimately is in Jesus Christ. He is our Savior.
But discipleship doesn't happen by clicking our heels and thinking happy thoughts. Instead, it takes thoughtful and diligent intentionality. And this ministry, along with other efforts, are tactics employed as a part of our comprehensive "anti-shame-initiative." It's about making disciples who both know what the Truth is and are able to handle it accurately.
Get a church full of people pursuing that with passion, and you will see a community changed!
And while it is not perhaps the Bible's blue-ribbon winner for motivating God-pleasing ministry, Paul outs, in this short and final letter of his life, the names of six men now shamed for eternity: Phygelus, Hermogenes, Hymenaeus, Philetus, Jannes and Jambres (2 Timothy 1:15, 2 Timothy 2:17, 2 Timothy 3:8).
These men walked away from the sound teaching of God's Word and the pure Gospel. They wrangled about with minor matters. They quarreled about foolish topics and concerns. They led others astray.
Paul's warning and wisdom for Timothy and us?
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth."
Again, we're not trying to run a Pharisee factory where we've got answers stuffed into Bible-fat-heads. But we believe that the truth of God's Word changes lives. And as we get God's truth into our hearts and minds, it will cause and serve as a catalyst for lasting life-change.
· What are the things/ways in which we might respond to Paul's message?
· What does God want to multiply in our lives?
Prayer – Father, You Word does change lives. It surely has changed mine. Help me be intentional in hiding Your Word in my heart and encouraging those I love to do the same. In Jesus’name, Amen.