2 Timothy 2:20-22
First Corinthians 6:18-20, 10:14, and 1 Timothy 6:11-12 all feature ‘flee’ commands from Paul. Note what we’re to run from.
What “youthful lusts” are you battling even now? How will you resist them? What “good work” can you do for the Master this week?
Have you ever been dining at a restaurant—sitting before a plate of appetizing, mouth watering food, when suddenly you discovered (to your horror) that your utensils were encrusted with food from a previous customer? Yuck! That plate of food suddenly didn’t appear to be so delicious after all. Upset, perhaps even angry, you probably expected a set of clean utensils, the meal to be replaced, an apology or even a full refund.
Just as we won’t use dirty utensils, God won’t use us if we’re not ‘clean.’ Timothy was told by Paul that usefulness is contingent upon cleanliness. “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). Our cleansing must precede our service for God (Numbers 8:21-22; Isaiah 6:5-8; Jeremiah 15:19). Purity precedes utility.
We must do two things to become cleansed, sanctified and useful utensils: Firstly we should “run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). These are passions or desires that begin in youth, but don’t end when we move into adulthood. We don’t outgrow them. Instead they may continue to plague us as adults—often with greater regularity and intensity. John wrote that we’re to run from all wrong desires—the lure of pleasures, power, position, possessions and pride (1 John 2:15-16). Second, we’re to run after “righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace” and “the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22). Cleansed and useful Christians are persistent runners, continually fleeing evil and pursuing a godly life (1 Timothy 6:11).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 11:1-30
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