2 Timothy 2.22-26 – A Must For A Minister

Do you ever read something in the Bible and think, well, that is just not me?

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

The instruction to the relatively young pastor continues in this passage, and if we’re honest, we all routinely fall short of this, don’t we?

Paul starts with the exhortation to flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Simply Timothy needed to, and we need to, just put as much distance between youthful passions and ourselves as possible. Youthful passions carries the idea of those things which interest us as younger people; sexual desire, fleshly lusts, earthly reward, you get the picture. We flee these things, in part, by being with those [people] who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Spending time with God’s people is a surefire way to grow in your walk with Him. Spending time with those who have more life experience than you is a way to flee youthful passions. Who can you spend time with then?

In terms of Timothy as a minister, this whole passage is a must. He must have fled from youthful passions and pursued righteousness, and in vv.24-26 we see another list of ministerial-must-haves;

  • Not quarrelsome,
  • Kind to everyone,
  • Able to teach,
  • Patiently enduring evil,
  • Correcting opponents with gentleness.

Quite a list, isn’t it, and when we read things like this we realise how far we are from the way we ought to be living. Whether we minister publicly in the church of whether we minister privately in our own homes and lives, these are qualities that we must all strive to possess. The consistent witness borne by your pastor probably comes harder than he makes it look, in the same way that your witness to your family in your private life is difficult and frought with daily battles.

In addition to the major empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit, one way we can encourage each other in our ministries is to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord form a pure heart. Spending time together, understanding each other, and ministering the grace of God to each other is probably the single biggest must-have for the minister, whether public or private.

Who can you minister this grace to today? 

1 Timothy 5.3-16 – Widows

Having instructed Timothy on how to interact with the different members of the church family, Paul continues and talks about one group in particular, widows

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

The main point seems to be that the family takes care of the family. If the family of a widow can care for them, they should (v.4). This is backed up when Paul writes in v.8

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The church is to step in, then, when there is no immediate family to provide care (v.9-10). Rather than take this as meaning that the church cares for no ladies under sixty, the idea is that the family takes care of the family first, the church should always be ready to help (Philippians 2.3-4, 1 Corinthians 12.26), but the full-time care of widows is to be taken on by the church only when no family remain (Let a widow be enrolled)

This may sound harsh, but Paul finishes with a reason, 

16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them.

Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

The church, and all of us, should be seeking to help those who truly need it. It can be hard to discern who really needs help and who is looking for a handout, so we must rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 6.13) and godly counsel from those around us.

The main point here though for us today has to be that we need to be ready to help whoever, whenever, however they need it.

God’s church is always there to help the needy and help the helpers but as people, are we?

1 Timothy 5.1-2 – In The Family

Here Paul continues writing to Timothy on the church and how it should be structured and run. Again, given that we are all called to be the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12.27), the exhortation and instruction is valid for us all in application.

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Timothy is told, in the original language, not to strike at an older man…so if he needed to challenge the behaviour or conduct of an older man, to do it with respect, as you would a father. It is an unavoidable part of the work of the pastor, to encouragingly rebuke and realign conduct that has strayed from the Word of God.

The same instruction goes for rebuking anyone in the church for Timothy, and it also goes for us now. Older men, younger men, older women, younger women, no matter, we are to treat everyone with respect, as fathers, as brothers, as mothers, as sisters, and to interact with them in all purity

Rather than cut people down with words, the instruction is to encourage those around us as if we are one family. 

Functional and fruitful families build each other up, they don’t tear each other down with words.

Today then, rather than seeking to rebuke in the harshest way possible, let us seek to interact with our church families in a spirit of mutual encouragement, encouraging one another in all purity.

Jude 1.1-2 – Faith and Family

The letter of Jude is, like other short books in the Bible, sadly often overlooked. The best evidence for authorship leads us to the Jude of Matthew 13.55 and Mark 6.3, and puts this as being written by the half-brother of Jesus. He starts today with a wonderful introduction.

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Jude is a shortened form of the name Judas, which for obvious reasons was not commonly used after the events of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion. Most English translations of the Bible will use Jude, however the Greek New Testament still uses Judas (Ιούδας).

So Jude grew up in the same house as Jesus, in the same family as Jesus, had the same earthly parents as Jesus, but introduces himself as Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. He could claim to be Jude, brother of Jesus, but instead thinks of himself as a servant of Jesus.

We know that Jude didn’t believe in who Jesus was until after His resurrection (John 7.5, Acts 1.14), and we see the integrity of Jude to not claim to be more than a servant of Jesus Christ. Why would he do this? Well, 

To Jude, the blood of the cross that saved him was more important than the family blood in his veins that related him to Jesus. – David Guzik

Jude is more concerned with his faith relationship to Jesus as Saviour than he is concerned with his familial relationship to the Jesus he grew up with but never acknowledged. What a great point that is for us – 

What is more important is our faith relationship to Jesus now than any previous ways we may or may not have related to Him.

Maybe you grew up in church knowing who Jesus was, but there was no relationship based on faith.

Maybe you grew up and never heard the name of Jesus, and consequently there was no relationship based on faith.

Maybe you grew up in an environment that actively did not believe in Jesus, so you didn’t want a relationship based on faith. 

No matter which is true, all that matters is now. No matter how our past relationship with Jesus can be described, as with Jude, all that matters is how we relate to the resurrected Saviour now. 

Jude chose a faith relationship with Jesus over a familial relationship with Jesus. Today, now, which will we choose?


Point to ponder – How am I relating to Jesus today?


Prayer – Father, we thank you that no matter how we may have viewed our relationship with you in the past, no matter how we may have thought of Jesus before, that if we come to you know through faith in Him, there is forgiveness, there is acceptance, and there is salvation. Help us today to receive the mercy, the peace, and the love that Jude speaks of, and help us to multiply this to others. Amen. 

Amos 2.6-16 – The responsibility of privilege

Have you ever noticed that when a group of children is being a group of children, yours is the only one you can see or hear? There might be a big bunch of them running around and being loud, but yours appears to the loudest and the most involved. Maybe they actually are, maybe they actually aren’t, but we look at our own children with a stricter lens, so to speak, than others. Yesterday we said it’s easy to look at those who are not believers and judge what they are doing, but it’s even easier to look at our own and hold them to a higher standard.

We feel that they should know better, we feel that we have told them enough times not to do that/to do that, we feel that we have given them examples in our own behaviour and character that when they do not follow our example, this upsets us all the more than other kids tearing around wrecking the place…if ours says/does/thinks/even tries to do anything we feel like “How could you do this to me!”. Dramatic, maybe, but true to a degree, absolutely.

Here in Amos 2 we see God’s judgement on Israel, and it is around three times longer and more detailed than previous judgements. It actually carries on in to chapter three, but for now we see a couple of really important things that show us that the privilege we have as God’s people brings us a responsibility to live accordingly.  

In Exodus 22 we read

26 If ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.”

Here in Amos we see that the people lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge…a clear cut example of the fact that Israel should have known better.

Verses 10 and 11 are key, too,

10 Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazirites. Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?” declares the LORD.”

God brought them out of Egypt, they have this reminder of His wonderful power and how it worked in their favour. God took them from slavery (brought you up out of the land of Egypt), cared for them in the interim (led you forty years in the wilderness), gave them land in which to dwell (to possess the land of the Amorite), and provided for their spiritual needs too (I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazirites).


Their rejection of God’s ways and their lifestyle of habitual sin is all the worse, then, because they had first-hand eye-witness testimony of God miraculously working among them. Their privilege became a responsibility they could not carry.


We too have a huge responsibility as we bear the name of Jesus (Christian means, literally, little Christ), and we are called to display this clearly and for all to see (Matthew 5.14-16).

This is our privilege, and this is our responsibility.

Finding God’s Will; 5. Others

In the last twelve to eighteen months, my family and I have been through some major changes. We had a second baby, added two four-legged friends into our lives, and we’ve moved house a couple of times. The biggest change for me was going from working part-time at the church alongside a full-time job in a local high school to working full-time at the church, taking over as the senior/solo/lead pastor (however you like to use those terms) in the summer of 2018.

Throughout the transition process, there were multiple people who would consistently and constantly tell me, “You’re going to do a great job as pastor, whether here or somewhere else.”, and “I am sure God’s plan for your life is to pastor a church.”. Hearing things like that at a time of huge change was reassuring, energising, edifying, but most importantly it was confirming. It was confirming of the consistent message I had been taking from God’s Word. It was consistent of what I had been hearing from the Lord in prayer. It was consistent with the circumstances and how God was moving in our midst.

Other believers within the church, and the church itself, can be vehicles through which God’s will for us is made known.

God’s global Church, capital C, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, and all its local expressions, are God’s chosen vehicle to bless His people and to witness His Word, will, and ways to the nations in our time.

Considering this, it is only logical to think that God would speak through the church, through His church, to communicate His will.

When what God is saying to us through His Word, through prayer, through our circumstances, and through the Godly counsel of His church all line up, we can proceed with confidence that we are living within His will (Henry Blackaby).

Being members of a church family is so important, there is no independence when we consider our relation to other believers, only interdependence. All members of the body belong to each other, and all need each other.

Today, pray for your local church, the church family you are a part of. Pray for wise, Godly counsel to flow through it, pray the church is following God’s will, and pray for God to continue to speak through it.

When all four things we have talked about line up, it is hard to ignore the fact that God is speaking to you, He is revealing His will to you. When this happens, there is only one response…go for it! If you are not sure, reach out to someone who you trust for counsel. Counsel doesn’t have to be a scary word; lots and lots of great counsel is done coffee-cup counsel style, some is done face to face, some over the phone. But, if there is something you are not sure about, do reach out to someone to talk about it.

So, God reveals His will to us through;

His Word to us,

Prayer,

Circumstances, and,

Others.

Seek it, find it, and live in it!