2 Timothy 2:22-3:17 Yesterday we prayed for those who receive the torch of God’s truth from our hand to run the race of life in such a way that they glorify God. In this chapter of 2 Timothy, Paul gives Timothy specific instructions about how to run the race of life well. He says, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God preadventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Tim. 2:22-26, KJV).
What a great exhortation to Timothy and to us all. It is interesting how many aspects of the fruit of the Spirit that is love is included in this exhortation. Paul mentions faith (v. 22), love (v. 22), peace (v. 22), gentleness (v. 24), patience (longsuffering) (v. 24), meekness (v. 25), temperance (purity because we have fled our own lusts) (v. 22).
To run the race of life well we must walk not only in God’s truths, but we must also walk in God’s love. If a runner in competition in a field and track event bumps another runner in order to reach the finish line first, he may win the race, but he has lost in God’s sight. When we walk in love, we must avoid strife and debate (foolish questions) because strife always opens the door to Satan and all of his demons. The root of strife is either pride or jealousy, and the fruit of pride is confusion and every evil work.
Lord, I want to win the race of life, and I now know the only way to do this is to walk in love. Help me to love today as You love.
READ: Jeremiah 44:24-47:7; 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17; Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 26:6-8