II Timothy 2
1-7 | Be strong
8-13 | Remember Jesus
14-19 | Be a diligent workman, studying the Scriptures well
20-26 | Pursue righteousness with like-minded people
There are a number of things in this short chapter that I could focus on but I’m going to limit myself to vs. 22-26.
II Timothy 2:22-26 NASB Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
The underlying message I think Paul is trying to get across to Timothy is to stay focused—preach the gospel and the word of truth. It is easy, if you let yourself, to get involved in things that can become a distraction and not really accomplish anything for the gospel. It seems like that is especially true when we are young and eager to learn new things. However, not everything is worth pursuing. There is one thing that is always worth fighting for, the truth of the gospel message.
Paul concludes this chapter by listing a few qualities that should be present in a pastor.
- be kind to all
- able to teach
- patient when wronged
- correcting the opposition with gentleness
These are not unlike those of an elder or deacon. While not in this list directly but implied in “able to teach,” another quality is found in v15.
II Timothy 2:15 NASB Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
A pastor will not be able to teach if they haven’t done the work of studying God’s word. Along with that, it will be difficult to provide correction without being able to identify error or knowing the truth in the first place. That can only come from studying God’s word and making application to life.
In an article from GotQuestions.org, What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?, they offer these guidelines for applying God’s word to our lives.
|Romans 10:17 NASB So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.||Revelation 1:3 NASB Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.||Acts 17:11 NASB Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.||Psalms 119:9-11 NASB How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.||Psalms 1:2-3 NASB But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.|
By focusing on these essentials, a pastor, or any leader, can do well in leading the people that God has blessed him with.
Lord God, Help us to focus our attention on the things that matter most to You and not get sidetracked with issues that could be cancerous or like gangrene which spreads quickly and causes nothing but death. We pray that Your Spirit will help us understand when we study so that we will be able to teach, be kind to all, give correction with the truth of Your Word, and be patient. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
A devotional for 2 Timothy 2.
|Date:||July 18, 2015|