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? 

2 Timothy 1.1-5 – Encouragement

2 Timothy is generally held to be Paul’s last letter, written from Roman imprisonment and full of urgency and passion, which you might expect given his incarceration and impending execution. 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

He begins by stating that he is an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. This was the role Paul was given in the Lord’s master plan, and Paul often began letters by stating this (1 Timothy 1.1, Galatians 1.1…). Unique to 2 Timothy however is him saying according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus. Again, given his impending execution at the hands of the Romans, the promise of life in Christ Jesus must have seemed especially important.

Paul then offers grace, mercy, and peace to Timothy, and interestingly he only offers mercy when writing to Timothy and Titus (1 Timothy 1.2, Titus 1.4), the two pastors/ministers to receive letters from Paul. In his general letters to Christian congregations, Paul usually offers grace and peace, but reserves the mercy for the ministers. 

We see that Paul is praying for Timothy night and day, and that he longs to see him, that he may be filled with joy. He thinks of Timothy’s faith, Timothy’s family, and is encouraged.

Paul is such a staunch supporter of Timothy, and we all need someone like this in our lives, don’t we.

Who is that person for you? Who is that person who is praying for you night and day? Who is that person who thanks God for you? Who is that person who takes great joy from being with you? We all need someone like this in our lives, don’t we. 

But think about this – who can you be that person for

Who can you pray for, night and day?

Who can you thank God for?

Who can you bless by simply being around?

We all need to be that someone for another, don’t we. 

Today then, no matter whether you are being blessed by that someone, or whether you are filling the role of that someone, let us rest easy in the role that God has given us according to His will, let us do our best to manifest to others the life that is in Christ Jesus

What Is Coming?

10 days and Christmas is here. If you are a believer in Jesus, you should be able to pull back the heavy curtain of the secular Christmas and see what it is really about, and maybe (hopefully) you have even heard your Pastor talk about the fact that Jesus is the greater and greatest gift ever given. But…have you ever stopped to think why? What is really coming at Christmas? What do we celebrate and commemorate?

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called 
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9.2-7

We read that He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This child, the son, took on humanity to become our kinsman redeemer (Ruth 3.9) and our perfect High Priest. 

This greater and greatest gift is the gift of counsel, the only person fit to guide and direct our lives. 

This greater and greatest gift is the gift of God, the only person to have seen and to be able to show us the Father.

This greater and greatest gift is the gift of life everlasting, the only person to have walked the earth that is truly eternal, having no beginning nor end of days, and the only person able to restore us to right relationship with God.

This greater and greatest gift is the gift of peace, not as the world thinks of peace, but true, lasting, inner peace with God. 

Jesus brings a great light (v.2), complete and total victory over the power of sin and its consequences in our lives (v.4), and a great peace (v.5). The best thing is, He invites us to be a part of all of this! He is the gift of a fresh start, a chance to live the life you were made to live, a chance to have sins past, present, and future forgiven. 

That is what is coming, and that is why He is the greatest gift.

Have you taken it, will you take it?

1 Timothy 1.1-2 – Grace, mercy, and peace


In 1 Timothy, Paul is writing to Timothy as a new church leader. Even if the letter is specifically addressed to Timothy, there is still much attention needed by those under his charge.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy, my true child in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

1.1-2

Paul sets out his credentials and his authority (an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Saviour…). Even if the letter is specifically addressed to Timothy, there is still much attention needed by those under his charge.

Timothy and the church are addressed with grace, with mercy, and with peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord

Churches need grace, mercy, and peace, for sure. Individuals need grace, mercy, and peace too. I read something interesting that mercy is added to Paul’s address only to Timothy and in Titus, the other letter written to a church-leading Pastor. Does that mean only church leaders need mercy? Absolutely not, we all do.

For you and me now, today, the church body we are a part of, both global and local expression is a place to find grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a place where we take our failures, shortcomings, anxieties, doubts, and questions and find them answered in Christ Jesus our Lord through His people. 

The church is also a place that needs your grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. It is full of broken people who need you to come alongside them and show them in the grace, mercy, and peace He offers. 

Why not take a moment and pray and see to whom you can minister today?

3 John 1.13-15 – Truth in Talking

Today 3 John finishes remarkably similarly to 2 John.

13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink.

14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.

Now here’s 2 John,

12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

Both speak of John having much to write, both tell us of his desire to not write with pen and ink

3 John 1.14 is the perfect ending to this letter about living out the truth of Jesus personally, because personal truth always wants to connect with other personal truth.

So, simply, when we profess and possess the truth of Jesus, this will ALWAYS result in the desire to spend time with others who have professed and possessed.

Preaching through Hebrews we phrased it like this – 

There is no true heart change and decision for Jesus that results in the desire to NOT be with other believers.
Simply, followers desire fellowship.

John then finishes with a familiar blessing in Scripture, for which we have the resources in Jesus. He writes, peace be to you, and again, the truth of Jesus lived out in our lives brings true and lasting peace (John 16.33, John 14.27, Galatians 5.22). 

3 John shows us how the truth of Jesus looks in our individual lives, and this ending shows us how we are to interact and talk to others; face to face, with peace, and as friends.


Point to ponder – Do my interactions look like this?


Prayer – Father, we thank you that despite this letter being short it speaks to us in powerful ways. Help us to live the truth of Jesus both collectively as believers, and individually too. Amen. 

It Is Well With My Soul

Scripture references – Psalm 42.1–11, 103.1–22, Romans 8.31–39


Horatio Spafford was born in New York in 1828, and God blessed him and his wife with five children and considerable wealth. Horatio was a lawyer and owned property. 

In 1870 his then four year old son died of scarlet fever, and a year later much of his property was lost to fire. Two years after that in 1873, tragedy struck again. Whilst crossing the Atlantic on their way to England, their ship was struck by another vessel and sank. Horatio was delayed due to business, but his wife and four daughters were aboard. His wife, Anna, survived and cabled her husband which included the phrase “saved alone”. All four of his daughters died. 

Horatio dropped everything and set off for England to be with his wife, and whilst on the journey the captain told him they were passing over the very spot where that fateful ship had sunk. Horatio returned to his cabin and wrote ‘It Is Well With My Soul’. 

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Though Satan should buffet,
though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

His life had further ups and downs, and Horatio died in 1888 of malaria. He entered into the rest of his Saviour and was laid to rest in Jerusalem, where he had been caring for the sick, poor, and orphaned with Anna.

If Horatio Spafford can experience such peace and comfort in a time of such horrible, gut-wrenching loss, then so can we. It was well with his soul, as he wrote, because he knew that in his own words,

“We passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep.

But I do not think out dear ones there…

they were safe…dear lambs…”

This wonderful hymn encourages us to praise our gracious God no matter what the circumstances, for, as Paul writes to the Romans, I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Revelation 17.15-18 – Be careful what you wish for – pt. 2

Today the angel continues and completes his explanation of what John is seeing with the beast, the horns, the prostitute, and the water. Lots of symbols and lots of imagery…

15 And the angel said to me,

“The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. 16 And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”

First he explains that the waters…are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. The Antichrist will come and join them all in a one-world religion, he demands and accepts worship and will seek to unify people under one global, all-encompassing world religion.

Then, in a turn of events, the ten horns…and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire…So, here is a tyrant using religion to get what he wants, then throwing it away when he has no need for it. The worldly, worldwide, weak willed false religious system that the Antichrist has unified and glorified is then tossed aside when it is no longer required for his purposes, and, in 2 Thessalonians 2.3-4 we read

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

So, from joining everyone together, this man of lawlessness now exalts himself against everything that could be considered religious or of faith and actually takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Just think on that for a moment…the Antichrist will stop all worship of anything else in the whole entire world and have it all directed to himself as he sits on God’s throne in the temple.

Think about this; for this to happen, people have got to be SO enthralled with who he is, what he is doing, we read of no violent takeover, which means that people are on board with what he is doing. How great a deception is this!

For us, then, do we want to push towards a global, one-world religion?

Do we want to strive to overlook basic, fundamental, contradictory differences in the name of peace, when, in actual fact, what we are hastening is not peace, but this?

Love people, yes.

Spend time outside of your Christian bubble, yes.

Respect other people’s freedom to choose a religion (a forced freedom is not freedom, is it), yes.

But, paper over the cavernous differences in how we see the world, no.

Pretend that my truth is my truth and your truth is your truth but we all have truth, no.

Consider the possibility that there may be another way to eternal life other than Jesus, no.

As the world becomes more and more interconnected, modernised, and global, we need to hold to the timeless truths of the Word of God, including the clear and cogent warnings about what is around the corner, what it will look like, and ultimately, how it will end.