If you’re following along in the Devotion and Prayer Guide in the bulletins each week, the bible readings suggested will get you through the bible in a year. And if you’re doing them each day, you will have read 2 Timothy 2 yesterday.
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, bearing this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his,[a] and let everyone who calls on the name of[b] the Lord turn away from wickedness.
2 Timothy 2:19 CSB
First, looking at the context, we’re told that there is a foundation, God’s solid foundation, that stands firm, that can never be shaken, and that there are words inscribed on the foundation. The first, is that the Lord knows who are his. The Lord knows. Those names are written in the book of life. God knows. We don’t really know. We can try to judge, we guess by their involvement in church, their service to others, the things they do, but we can never know who belongs to the Lord. But rest assured. The Lord knows.
The NIV treats the second part of that verse, “Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness, as a second quote, but there’s no reference for it. CSB doesn’t treat it as a quote, but has the same words. Regardless of whether it’s a quote from the OT or not, it is a command as far as Paul is concerned, and that’s what he’s telling Timothy here.
So we can’t know those who belong to the Lord, but we can guess because those who belong to the Lord turn away from wickedness. This is a reminder for you tonight that you need to turn away from wickedness. I don’t know if there’s something you’re struggling with that’s holding you back from really experiencing God, or not. I don’t know if there is sin, or some kind of wicked, that is keeping God from really working in your life or not. But the command from Paul to Timothy is that the Lord knows who are his, so we better turn away from wickedness.
On the other hand, this command also helps us guess who might belong to the Lord. If we are serious about growing in our faith, and getting closer to God, to really having the relationship we hear about, then we should be looking for Godly people that we can spend time with, that we can learn from, just glean a little about how to live life from. And when we’re looking for a Godly mentor, we can look to someone who has turned away from wickedness. If you see any wicked in them, then don’t follow them.
Paul makes it a little easier for us turn away from wickedness and find others who have also turned away, by giving us a little more in verses 22-24, to help show us what this type of wickedness looks like, “Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, because you know that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach,[a] and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness.”
He tells us that youthful passions are evil, righteousness, faith, love, peach and purity are not.
Getting involved in foolish and ignorant disputes and quarrels is wicked, gentleness, patience, and a teaching spirit are not.
So be careful who you learn from. Flea from those who argue, gossip, and cause disputes. Flea from those who give in to youthful passions. And make sure you yourself are lining up okay here. Reflect on this and look for areas you might need God’s Spirit to correct. Spend time on developing righteousness, be people of faith, love and purity. Because we know that those who belong to the Lord do these things.
And most of all make sure you’re pursuing a relationship with Jesus. Make sure you belong to him. Believing in him doesn’t mean you believe that he existed, but that you believe he is your savior, your only hope in a world gone mad. Cling to him, because if you want the Lord to know you are his, you must truly live as one of his.