HELD TO HIGH STANDARDS
Lord God, it amazes and humbles me that you have redeemed me and called me to serve you. Help me to stand firm in my faith and to give myself completely to you.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 2:20-26
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWho was your favorite teacher at school? What qualities made them stand out? Who helps you now to learn and grow in your faith as a Christian?
If you’ve had a good teacher, you’ll know that they encouraged you to want to learn; to do better; to get things right. Learning—in my experience at least—is never achieved by being cross with students for not understanding, or for taking too long, for finding it hard or for… anything else. Maybe that’s true for the Christian life too.
Paul reminds Timothy that kindness and gentleness are better ways to accomplish someone’s discovery of their need to repent and believe in the truth (vs 24,25). These are also better ways of confronting opposition to the gospel. To prepare for being that kind of teacher, Paul advises him that endless arguments or quarrels about pointless and trivial matters achieve nothing (v 23). His initial instructions to be cleansed from those things which defile and to seek spiritual fruit among the company of those who do the same (vs 21,22) will set Timothy on the right path as a teacher of the truth. While Paul is writing to him as a church leader, we’re all teachers of faith in some way, so this applies to each of us.
Sadly, there are Christian leaders whose private lives do not match their public personas. Pray for all who teach God’s Word to be willing to cleanse themselves first, so they may be as verse 21 describes.
Mighty God, it is my heart’s desire to serve you. If there are things in my life that dishonor you, show me and convict me of my need for repentance. Let nothing stand in the way of my being a vessel worthy for honorable use.
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