Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 2:22-26
“The servant of the Lord must not participate in quarrels, but must be kind to everyone [even-tempered, preserving peace, and he must be], skilled in teaching, patient and tolerant when wronged” [2 Timothy 2:24 Amp. Bible]
Over the past few days we have seen that a Christian is likened to a steward, a soldier, an athlete, a farmer, a workman, and a vessel. A vessel of honour, purged of sin, and therefore sanctified, usable by the Master and ready for whatever works the Master wants him or her to do. All of these pictures point to the final picture of a servant.
In today’s thinking a servant is the lowest of the low, but Jesus said that anyone who wants to be great must become a servant [Mark 10:44]. The One above all who might have been served said that He did not come to be served but to serve. Paul, Timothy’s spiritual father and mentor, delighted to call himself a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Does this mean that he should be at everyone’s beck and call? Absolutely not, but ready to do whatever Jesus wants him to do.
The servant of the Lord had no will of his own, but was totally under the control of his Master. Before we became the Lord’s we were slaves of sin, but now we are the slaves of God [Romans 6:16ff]. Like the servants in the Old Testament days, we say, “I love my master… I will not go out free” [Ex. 21:15]
The characteristics of a servant as described by Paul to Timothy, are gentleness, patience, and humility. The Amplified Bible uses the words “even-tempered,” and, “preserving peace.” He should be patient, not quarrelsome, and avoid arguments. He should be able to teach, and show humility when correcting others. Sometimes it is difficult to impart spiritual truth because people enjoy “foolish and stupid arguments” [2:23 NIV]. He must instruct those who oppose him in order to rescue them from the lies of Satan. His purpose is not to win arguments but win souls! Is there any greater joy for God’s servant than to see someone escape from the clutches of Satan, come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil [2:25-26]?
Serving God is not easy. These pictures in 2 Timothy 2 show the need of total commitment, focus, hard work, purity of life, gentleness, patience and humility. In any way that he can do so, Satan will sow lies to oppose God’s servant, distract God’s servant and discourage him.
Do you think that some of the difficulties of serving Jesus are reason that people might choose to live a comfortable Christian life? What about yourself, how are you serving the Lord?
What do you find the greatest challenge as a Christian in serving Jesus?
How do you handle people who disagree with you and laugh at what you say? How do you maintain gentleness, patience and humility? How do you answer them?