Don’t let God’s plan be hijacked.

The Bible and the example of outstanding Christ-followers is a standard or blueprint of sound teaching.

The best choice we can make is to “hold to” and “guard” what has been entrusted to us.

Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Guard the good deposit entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us (2 Timothy 1.13-14).

The Bible gives humans a blueprint for the best life possible. Two men in my Sunday School class quoted from 1 Corinthians 13 and the Book of James last week.

They are active in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I told them that the early leaders of AA focused their attention on the two passages they noted. They also added the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to their reading list.

The founders of AA knew that these passages from the Bible were an excellent blueprint for sobriety and living the best life possible.

A Living Blueprint

We can’t overestimate the value of a living blueprint. When someone shows us the qualities of love, faith, and generosity, we are drawn to imitate their behavior.

The Christian faith is designed to be lived in community. Lone Ranger Christianity is not part of God’s plan.

There is a give-and-take with each other. We work together to give each other the best blueprint of love and faith.

Why must we “hold to” and “guard” the blueprint?

God has given the church the blueprint for the best life possible. It is a sad commentary on the church that good examples are at times lacking.

Paul knew the pain of being deserted by fellow believers, who were either ashamed of him or afraid of being identified with him.

You are aware that all who are in Asia have turned away from me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain;

When he arrived in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me — may the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! And you know very well how much service he rendered in Ephesus (2 Timothy 1.15-18).

We don’t have to look too far to see examples we don’t want to follow as blueprints for our lives.

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul warned about the kind of leaders we should avoid.

False teachers have abandoned “the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness”

They are “conceited, understanding nothing, and have a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words.

“From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth” (1 Timothy 6.3-5).

It is important to guard against corrupt blueprints of the faith. A good question to help our discernment is to ask whether they draw us closer to Jesus and his way of life.

If not, we need to beware of their example and teaching.

The good example of Onesiphorus

Onesiphorus gave the church a laudable example to follow. He traveled from Ephesus to Rome to provide for Paul’s needs in prison.

In this trip of over 800 miles he brought food and companionship to Paul. He risked being identified with a criminal, who was charged with an offense worthy of death.

Extraordinary faith and love was on display with Onesiphorus. That is the kind of blueprint the world needs today, just as it did in Paul’s day.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I have produced a video on this passage. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayers to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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