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Be Kind To All, Able To Teach, Patient When Wronged
2 Timothy 2:24-26 Paul’s last letter is solid advice to all in service to Christ
“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB1995
God seems to be pointing me toward the virtue of patience these days when I am selecting topics for my daily devotionals, and He always knows exactly what He wants me to write about! I know I have a long way to go on my journey to being a very patient person, and perhaps He also knows that a reader or two of Heaven On Wheels is in need of hearing His word on the topic.
This long verse comes from one of Paul’s epistles sent to Timothy from prison in Rome, and it is thought by Biblical scholars to be the last letter Paul wrote prior to his execution at the command of Emperor Nero. Timothy was an early Christian minister, to whom Paul extends a special greeting of “grace, mercy, and peace” rather than just the “grace and peace”used in other less personal letters. Paul is subtly reminding Timothy that those who are tending the flock need to show mercy to those sheep who are straying…
Most of this epistle is written in the tone of a dying father giving his last and best advice to his son — in fact, Paul considered Timothy “a beloved son” although he was not Timothy’s father. Paul is reminding Timothy of the many virtues that a child of God should possess, and at this point he’s pointing out that God can use a gentle servant in many ways.
That servant should not quarrel, but instead be kind to everyone, be able to explain Scripture and teach others to live a godly life, and be patient (especially when wronged). God’s work can take a lot of time (He’s still working on me at age 65!) and He wants us to learn how to trust that that work will be completed if we can wait patiently.
Paul also tells Timothy to correct those who oppose the teachings of Christ, doing so with gentleness and humility instead of lashing out at them. God may see fit to grant repentance to those in opposition that will lead them to the truth of His Word, and then they’ll “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil”.
Paul’s last letter is full of sound advice, not only for those in ministry but for all followers of Christ.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, forgive me for the times when I’ve been slow to share the Good News with those who scorn Your Word. I especially ask forgiveness for quarreling with others who seem to flourish on arguing with me. Prepare me to give answers to the truth of the Gospel with gentleness, humility, and most of all, patience. Guide me with Your Holy Spirit and turn me away from my own emotional reactions. I pray this in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, AMEN.