Passage: 2 Timothy 2:22-26
Speaker: Stephen Hong
Series: Forming Love In A Culture Of Fear
Vessels Of Love
Only Jesus Christ can cleanse us from all unrighteousness with His precious blood (1 John 1:9). And He makes us into a holy and an honorable vessel, ready for every good work (2 Tim 2:21). However, with the increase of hate crimes, blatant racisms, and “foolish, ignorant controversies” that breed quarrels, it has been increasingly challenging. How can we continue to be a vessel of God’s love in a culture full of hate and toxicity, ready for every good work? And why should we continue to endure?
We disengage to engage every good work (v22-25a). Paul instructs Timothy to flee, have nothing to do with the characteristics of youth so that he can pursue godly characteristics (v22). Just as youth can be distracted by many things, Paul tells Timothy to resist “foolish, ignorant controversies” (v23a). No matter how thrilling and attractive something might seem, Paul urges Timothy to decline so that he can engage with things that actually matter. See how the command “to flee” is paired with pursuing. What are you walking away from so that you can hastily walk towards in a Christlike manner? What are things that you know you need to disengage for the sake of engaging well? The dishonorable false teachers produced arguments and quarrels (v23b). In contrast, the honorable Lord’s servants produce kindness, gentleness and patiently endures evil to have fruitful conversations with others (v25a). Ultimately, as God’s honorable vessels, we channel God’s kindness to the broken realities of the world. But why should we continue to endure evil when it seems like there is no change or hope?
We endure because our faithful work may lead people to repentance (v25b-26). Do you believe that God can change people’s hearts and mind? No matter how impossible a situation or someone might be, God’s kindness working in and through us is meant to lead us to repentance (Rom 2:4). God can lead them to a knowledge of the truth, and they can come to their senses (v25b-26a). They can be set free from the will of the devil to live according to God’s will (26b). Do you genuinely believe that God can do this? We patiently endure and be a vessel of God’s kindness because God can and will restore and redeem all things.
Jesus says, “you are already clean because of the word that I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). So as an honorable vessel, a conduit of God’s love, what are you saying NO today to say YES tomorrow? Or what are you saying YES to say NO today? There are too many distractions today. And we simply cannot engage with everything. Nor we are called to merely disengage from everything. How is God inviting you today to be His Holy vessel to pursue and endure to see God at work in and through you?