Friday 16 February, 2018

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.

With the clever imagery of a large household Paul describes the many articles in use – ‘articles of gold and silver for noble purposes’ and ‘wood and clay for ignoble purposes’.

To be an ‘instrument for noble purposes’ we must ‘abstain from wickedness’ {v19} and pursue or strive for the fruit of the Spirit – righteousness, faith, love and peace – and join with other servants who without reservation call on the Lord for help.

Because of the situation Timothy faced in Ephesus Paul warns him not to get involved in arguments; in fact he makes it clear that God’s servant must be kind to everyone, able to teach and not be resentful.

So, with us! Over more than 30 years in ministry in Australia and overseas Joan and I have made the choice to be kind to everyone without exception.

I pray that the Spirit will continue to grow the fruit within my life and that He will help me to be kind to everyone and so avoid ‘arguments’. Help me too to recognise that divisions are a major weapon the devil uses to disrupt the work of the Kingdom within the local church.

Written by Keith Bennett

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