Journal 2 Tim 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: (Paul to Timothy) “…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also…
…the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.
God MAY perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth and they MAY come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” Excerpts from 2 Tim 2:2 and 24-26
Observation: Paul, giving Timothy directions; and communicating God’s Sovereignty concerning the hearers. Yes, Tim: You are guided by the Holy Spirit, you are not the Holy Spirit. Don’t keep score…
Analysis: As a youngster, I was “on fire for the Lord.” My imagination ran wild about what God was going to do with me.
People were going to be “slain in the Spirit” and a huge and mighty revival was going to take place. All because of me…
My first “real” bible was selected based upon how much “flop” it had so I could wave it in front of folks like it was a badge of authority. I was so stupid and foolish then, and not much better now. There was a reason I was not “selected” to be entrusted with the Word of Truth and teach others back then. There was this little thing called “faithfulness.”
Decades later, I sort of see.
Faithfulness is something to be consciously developed; it doesn’t just “happen.” Faithfulness is observed in two spheres: one is on the spiritual realm where the Holy Spirit sees; and the other is on the physical realm where everyone else can see. Is “being found faithful” a one and done description? No, it isn’t—faithfulness can wax and wane—especially if trying to practice in isolation.
Discovered faithful men, men to be entrusted with the health of the local church, have a few things in common—devotion to prayer, not public prayer although this should not be shied away from, but private, secret prayer; study and adherence to sound doctrine and observed practice of that sound doctrine in life, testified of and by others. (Husbands, your wife should be able to testify of your Practice without fear or exaggeration.); gentleness and forbearance with others; actively pursuing spiritual giftings (1 Cor 14:1); and more…
Gentleness and patience are of note for me. I have had issues with other folks not falling in line to what I have thought was the plain truth of the Bible, and I have reacted badly; “chosen poorly.” Seeing this in myself, I have (and am) repenting from this self-involved practice of argumentative behavior and am devoting myself to “correcting with gentleness”, Biblical reasoning, and forthrightness. Where do I get to practice this most? With my wife in our devotional time.
Does that mean that I need to “cool my jets”, my ardor, my fierce pursuit of God? No. It means that as Jesus is (and has been) gentle with me, so I must be with others.
Prayer: Lord, I think about my wife a lot and how I treat her. She is a fellow believer, a growing disciple in You. I am also aware of how I can be a destroyer of her faith by the way I act—even if my actions are citing Your Word. Scripture bullets and bible bombs galore.
I also think about not involving myself because of this tendency to be overload to my wife. Both ways I must repudiate and repent from. If there is one person I will be called upon to answer about, it is my wife. Even if I don’t succeed with anyone else in discipleship, You call me to answer for my actions with her.
Help me to be faithful, O Lord, pleasing You in every respect.
Cause revival, AMEN.