2 Timothy 2: There Is Work to Do

Soldier.  Athlete.  Farmer.  Workman.  Servant.

These are the five sorts of people Paul calls Timothy to become like (2:3, 5, 6, 15, 24).  Why?  What do these roles have in common? What is Paul trying to say?

Paul tells us some of his point.  Soldiers are called to suffer for a higher calling (2:3).  Athletes have a strict code of conduct by which they must compete (2:5).  At harvest time, farmers get paid back for their hard work (2:6).  Workmen “carve out” straight paths from the wilderness (2:15).  Servants do the will of their master and do not compromise his interests (2:23-24).  But even more basic than that is this: all of these five have work to do.  They are fundamentally laborers, and can’t get off track lest they shirk their responsibilities.

In particular there are a handful of things Paul tells his “worker” Timothy to avoid:

  • Stir away from “civilian activities,” that is purely frivolous pursuits that do not advance the kingdom (2:4)
  • Avoid quarrels and disputes that don’t accomplish anything (2:14, 23)
  • Flee from anything that would leave one ashamed and dishonored (2:15, 21)
  • Resist the urge to run one’s mouth in pointless gossip (2:16)
  • Run away from the wicked gratification of youthful passions (2:19, 22)

There is simply too much to do.  There is no time to get off track.  Get back to work.

What did you notice in this chapter?  

Categories: 2 Timothy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “2 Timothy 2: There Is Work to Do

  1. I have this title

    “Get up you Lazy one! Get Up and Rest”

    – grace and peace

  2. Melanie

    I noticed this part (from The Message)–

    If we die with him, we’ll live with him;
    If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;
    If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us;
    If we give up on him, he does not give up—
        for there’s no way he can be false to himself.

    I wanted it to say, “If we turn our backs on him, he’ll pursue us.” Turning his back on us seems like a human response, and it seems not to match his not giving up even when we give up on him.

    • I noticed the same thing and wondered if the answer might be in the difference between God’s daily care and provision versus his covenant faithfulness in the long run. If we decide to live day-by-day as if God is a non-entity he will pull his daily blessings away. But even if we totally walk away from him and forsake our faithfulness to him completely, he will not and maybe cannot do the same thing to us. At that point the issue is not about giving or not giving a person what they deserve. The issue at this point is whether God is true to His word, true to His identity, true to His promises. At that point something fundamental changes within GOD if he gives up on us. God goes back on his word.

      Of course, this leads down some theological roads some of us did not travel down growing up.

    • Hi Melanie, I hope you don’t mind me chiming a bit 🙂

      “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself”
      – 2 Timothy 2:13

      this verse means

      – God is faithful to himself. He will not deny himself
      – in its context it is not saying that God is faithful to

      “God does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind”
      – 1 Samuel 15:29

      so in essence,

      when God says

      “For I will forgive YOUR wickedness and WILL REMEMBER YOUR SINS NO MORE”
      – Hebrews 8:12

      – Deuteronomy 31:6

      we can count on Him! because God is faithful to himself!

      therefore we can assume, Even when we turn our back on Him, even if we are not faithful, God will continue to be faithful to himself and to us!

      – grace and peace

  3. “Concentrate on doing your best work for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul.”

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