Strive to be a Servant of the Lord 爭做合神心意的僕人
23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2Timothy 2:23-26 NKJV)
The theme of our church this year is “Every Member is a Minister”, which means everyone is a servant of the Lord. How do we serve the Lord and strive to be a servant in accordance to God’s will? According to this passage, the Lord’s servant has four qualities:
1. The servant of the Lord avoids ignorant disputes that generate strife.
The servant of the Lord has a precise sense of discernment, knowing what to avoid and what to keep; and this precise discernment comes from repeatedly reading the Bible. He knows to refuse foolish, ignorant debates which lead to quarrels. Although debate is sometimes a way of learning, foolish and ignorant debates will not lead to spiritual growth. Foolish debates have no teaching value, because they don’t know nor consider God's will. They can only trigger human competition. They should to be avoided.
2. The servant of the Lord treats everyone with gentleness and patience
The servants of the Lord are the children of God, who have the Lord's DNA—the characteristics of gentleness and patience. Before entering a contentious situation, they are prepared to not fuss. They need to practice the spiritual characteristics of gentleness and patience in their daily attitude and in conflicts with others. Love is patient. Facing the differences in others, the servants of the Lord often reflect where they could show more patience and kindness. They will change gradually in their habits, from quick to speak to slow to speak, rejoice in adversity, endure and hope, and always renew their hearts and transform according to God’s Word and will. In this way their character can mature.
3. The servant of the Lord makes good use of the gift to teach those who resist
The servants of the Lord each have their own strengths. They must use their strengths given by God to serve. Those who are good at teaching not only teach others, but also teach themselves. When encountering those who are keen on ignorant debates and resisting the truth, they must admonish gently, so that the opponents may have a chance to repent and be saved. Don't give up.
4. The servant of the Lord is kind-hearted and does his best to restore the lost
In the face of opponents and debaters, the Lord's servants must humbly focus on God's will. God may grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and they may come to their senses and be saved. Don't give up any opportunity. Just try your best to do what you should do. Don't be discouraged. Don't give up. Don't get angry. Do your best to restore the lost.
～ Rev. Benguang Du 都本光牧師～