Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Worker Approved by God

This evening, I sat down to read the Portals of Prayer, my daily devotion of choice. The text for the devotion was from 2 Timothy 2:14-19. The following selection includes the full portion regarding workers approved by God from the second book of Timothy.

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

As I was reading, there are some key points that Timothy is making regarding our work for the Lord. Take a moment to consider the following dos and don'ts:

1. Don't quarrel about words.
2. Don't babble irreverantly.
3. Don't pursue youthful passions.
4. Don't be involved in ignorant controversies.

1. Do your best to present yourself to God.
2. Do cleanse yourself from what is dishonorable.
3. Do pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
4. Do be kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.

How often do we, as sinners, quarrel over simple things? We disagree over words, gossip, act immature, and dispute matters of little importance. How frequently do we miss moments for ministry with these things? God calls us to present our best to Him. He reminds us to repents of our sins and honor Him. We are to pursue matters that are righteous, demonstrate faithfulness to Him, proclaim His love, and work in peace with others. He calls us to be kind to everyone, teaching and correcting with gentleness, even enduring evil.

God's word certainly does not say that His world will be perfect. Gossip, disagreements, and immaturity are not worthy of praise. As church workers, we are called to live to a higher standard in righteousness, faith, love, peace, kindness, and gentleness with the knowledge of forgiveness we have been given so freely through Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God that He has already approved of our work!

God's blessings on your week in ministry!

2 Timothy 2:14-25. (2001) Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy%202&version=ESV