2 Timothy 2Part 4
Paul’s letter to his “son” Timothy is literally bursting with lessons and challenges for all of us, especially those of us who are in ministry. In 2 Timothy 2, he covers a plethora of areas and I have simplified them into five themes. The themes overlap each other throughout and are general to the entire chapter rather than being based on verse sections. Here are the five themes:
Work to do
Word to give
Warning to follow
Ways to live
War to wage
Let’s examine the fourth one
Paul challenges Timothy about the way he should strive to live.
Verse 1: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Verse 3: Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Verse 22: Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Verse 24: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
Paul challenges Timothy to live a life of power. The word “strong” is almost literally to be “invested with power.” “Grace” is where we get the strength that we need and it is only available through our Savior. It is not our ability or our upbringing or our positions that give us power. It is our reliance on God’s grace and it is readily available when we depend on and look to Jesus for the strength that we need.
Paul challenges Timothy to live a life of perseverance. In our ministry we will undoubtedly face difficulties. Paul certainly did. He faced challenges from the weather and from persecutions and from shipwrecks and from religious people. He was well acquainted with delays and weariness and hard work. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-29! Paul was well acquainted with “hardness.” Because we are serving Jesus Christ and because the work we are doing is needful and because we are making an eternal difference, we must never quit!
Paul challenges Timothy to live a life of purity. This verse is too important to treat lightly. We must, as one Covenant Eye blogger wrote, run from those things that are wrong. We must run to those things that are right. We must run with those who can help us attain the purity we need so desperately. To flee is to escape! It is imperative that we plan our escape from the prison of lust. It is imperative that we pursue those things that will keep us on the right track. It is imperative that we pray with others about it.
Paul challenges Timothy to live a life of patience. In the ministry, as well as in life, we will have ample opportunity for people to become frustrating hindrances both on a ministry level and also on a personal level. Some people can be annoying because of their personality. Some because of the position they take. Some because they prevent us from “making full proof of our ministry.” No matter what, we are to stay sweet and stay our course. We are not to fuss and fight. We are to always respond with gentleness. We are to keep on teaching! We are to simply be patient with people!
This is a great way to live! May God help us to do it.