2 Timothy 2 [Clear Word]
19. PROFESSIONAL PRIORITY
1 My son, be strong in the enabling grace of God which we have through Jesus Christ. 2 The things that I've taught you, which you've heard me proclaim publicly in the presence of many witnesses, I want you to entrust to reliable men so they, in turn, can teach them to others. 3 Endure hardships like a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 A good soldier is totally loyal to the commander he serves. He doesn't get involved in civilian affairs, but his one aim is to please the commander who has chosen him. 5 An athlete doesn't qualify for the games, nor can he be declared a winner, unless he competes according to the rules. 6 A farmer who has worked hard preparing the soil and planting the seed is the first to benefit from the harvest. 7 Think about these analogies, and the Lord will help you understand the principles involved and how to apply them to your ministry. 8 Don't forget that Jesus Christ as a human being was a descendant of David, but He was raised from the dead and is now in the presence of God. This is what I've preached and will continue to preach. 9 It was over this that I have suffered so much, even being lowered into a dungeon like a dangerous criminal. But the word of God can never be locked up. 10 I'm willing to suffer anything for the sake of God's chosen people that they may accept Christ and be saved. I pray that through my suffering the Gentiles who have accepted Christ will also accept the fact that they are God's elect because of their faith. 11If we die to sin as He died for us, then we, too, will be raised from the dead as He was raised from the dead. 12 If we suffer and sacrifice for Him, even as He did for us, then we'll share in His glory as He said we would. On the other hand, if we deny knowing Him, He'll have no choice but to deny knowing us. 13 If we turn against Him, He'll still love us because that's the kind of Person He is. His attitude toward us is not dependent on our attitude toward Him. He will always love us because we're part of His body, and He can't disown Himself. 14 Keep reminding our people of this and tell them to stop arguing over meanings of words which only unsettles those who listen. 15 Study every day to show God that you're a workman who has no cause for shame because you've handled His word correctly and presented the message of truth with tact and conviction. 16 Stay away from profane and senseless discussions which never help anyone but only make people irritable and more ungodly. 17 Such discussions are like a cancer that eats away at people's spiritual lives. Hymenaeus and Philetus are the kind who love to get people all worked up and involved in just such discussions.18 Where are they now? They've left the truth and are teaching that the resurrection Jesus promised has already taken place, which has upset people's faith and taken away their hope for heaven. 19 But the solid foundation that God has laid can't be changed, and His promise is sealed with these inscriptions: "The Lord knows those who belong to Him," and, "Let all who call themselves Christians renounce their ungodliness." 20 In large expensive houses you'll find two kinds of dishes and flatware. Some are made of gold and silver and others of wood and clay. The gold and silver ones are honored by being used for special occasions, while the others are used every day and are eventually discarded. So it is in the church. 21 Whoever keeps himself pure by staying away from evil is like a gold and silver vessel useful to the Master, ready to do any good work. Those who pervert the truth are like vessels of wood and clay which eventually must be discarded. 22 Run from youthful passions; look for what's right and focus on faith, love and peace. Help those who are doing the same, serving the Lord with pure hearts. 23 Avoid answering foolish and ignorant questions because they only breed argument. 24 A servant of the Lord ought not to get involved in such arguments but give his energies to being a good pastor and teacher, being patient and gentle with everyone. 25 He should teach those who oppose him in such a way as to gently lead them to a greater knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ, 26 so they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has captivated them to do his will.