Read 2 Timothy 2:14-26
14Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (NIV)
Paul begins by reminding Timothy to remember and remind people of our connection to Christ. We live with him in death and we are separated from Christ when we disown Christ. Paul then brings us the problem of simply sitting around and discussing things. Too often, we get into argument over words, what do words really mean, and such. We can solve all the worlds problems with words, but nothing changes. For Paul, he is not downplaying listening. But one must eventually do. In Verse 15, he says to present ourselves as a workman. We are God’s instruments in the world and God wants to use us. He has prepared a work for us to do and gifted each person with the necessary means to do the work. It is a reminder that we are love and love is an action more than it is a word. We love by doing.
Paul reminds us that it is easy to get caught up in mindless chatter and even gossip. The more we talk without doing, the more our message is diminished. Our words must be balanced with our actions.
But Paul also knows that words directed at us can have an impact our ability to go and serve. So in verse 19, Paul reiterates the great truth that God knows who we are and is calling those to himself and away from the wickedness of the world. I think we often get caught up that God is so big and we are so small, that he really doesn’t know us or have time for us. But God is so big and powerful that he does have time for us. He can run the universe and still listen to our prayers. He knows everything about us and weeps with us and rejoices with us. God knows us and we need to hold to that thought as we live this life.
Paul gives an illustration to show how God knows us. He talks about in the home there are fine things and there are ordinary things. Those whom God knows, who have turned toward God and accepted his love are made into the fine things in life and are people who great purpose.
Paul ends this section with the admonition to pursue righteousness – faith, love and peace as well as having a pure heart. When we do this, we can speak to those who oppose the faith with gentleness, but firmness. We can approach those who mean us harm with patience and understanding because we are known by God, protected by God and that God desires those who oppose us to come to God also. So we speak with gentleness and not anger or shouts.
What does it men to be know by God? Do you contemplate on that often? Do you know your purpose God has for your life? Each of us has a calling, a work, an action to do. Finding this calling, this work is part of the process of living an abundant life with the greatest joy. I pray that you find your calling.
Blessings and Peace