“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” 2 Timothy 2.22, New Living Translation
It’s not a secret that God’s Kingdom does things differently than the way the world does things. Jesus made this known throughout the Gospel. It takes courage to be a Christian, let alone any type of person with moral convictions in our world. Standing up for what you believe can seem daunting, but it’s the fearless thing to do. The verse above points out how to not only pursue the things of God but how to stay in them. We’re going to break down this verse into 3 segments:
When the villain in any movie comes to attack, what do the people who are getting attacked do? They run!! They run to protect their lives from not only the main attack from the source of the villain, but also from the destruction that is happening around them from the attacks. They look for anywhere that is safe, running faster than they ever have in their lives!
This, this is how we should run from sin. I know, when you’re in it, it’s a mirage of lies, it’s deceitful, enticing, but then you wake and it eats away at you. It turns into guilt, shame and regret. Sin has a snowball effect. It starts out small, but as it rolls down the hill, it gets bigger and bigger and out of control.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. (1 John 1.9, English Standard Version)
In The Message version of 2 Tim 2.22, it says this: “Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God”. I love the difference here because it’s saying that those sins, those lustful desires are an indulgence of childish ways, but running after righteousness is a pursuit of maturity. Which leads us to…
Faithfulness, love and peace is what we are called to pursue. Why? Because it not only builds us up as individuals but we build others with those qualities as well. They are qualities in us that give, not take. Faithfulness is a quality of a good steward, it is trust. Peace is given to us and it’s something we can give out. By the way we speak, through our actions, with our homes. And love, that’s everything. To pursue love is to pursue Christ. It is never ending, open handed and always giving. Pursuing righteousness puts our perspective back on the prize: Jesus and His people. It puts our hearts back in alignment and our minds on who He really is. It puts us back into truth. We live in and out of our redemption, our salvation, His forgiveness for and His abundant grace and mercy. Praise God!
“Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” (1 John 3.7, ESV)
3. Enjoy the friendship of those who are pursuing God’s heart too.
As you pursue God wholeheartedly it can be tough to do that alone, that’s why we need to be surrounded by other believers who are following Jesus wholeheartedly too. It keeps us accountable to our walk with Jesus, keep us in the right lane of life.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10.24-25, ESV)
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27.17, ESV)
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11.14)
The Bible speaks so much more about pursuing the things of God, this is just a taste. As you continue to pursue Jesus and the goodness of who He is you will build your faith. This is important because you are building your convictions, which will be tested and questioned in this life, but it’s nothing to fear. Stand up for your holiness, stand up for your righteousness through Jesus. You are a daughter of a king, of The King Jesus. You will lead others into Heavenly Kingdom living as you pursue righteousness. Remember, you don’t this alone, we are right here with you. Be brave daughter, be fearless.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.