Paul is still on the grace train here in 2 Timothy… but it doesn’t come without a warning. Yes, we have this wonderful gift from God, but in order to live in it, we must receive it.
Phillip Yancey says: ‘Grace is a free gift from God, but to receive a gift you must have open hands.’
In this chapter Paul is warning against the temptation to clench those hands into fists either to fight or to hoard. When we live life like this… choosing conflict or selfishness… it basically says we have not understood grace!
Paul calls for us to ‘flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…’ (v.22). This might seem like a chores list, until you realise that this is simply the overflow of living under grace (as described in chapter 1).
When we realise we are children of God, not by anything we have done, but because of God’s infinite love, kindness and mercy towards us… how can we possibly respond with arrogance, selfishness or pride? Surely it will produce in us a family resemblance (righteousness), a trust in our Father (faith), a desire to share that grace with others (love), and a heart for mending wounds in our world (peace)?
Let grace change you from the inside out, you might be surprised what God is able to produce!
How does grace motivate you towards a better way of living?
What other motivations do we have to do good? Why might some of them be unhelpful?
Father, help me to be a person motivated by your grace. May I see everything in my life as a gift from you, and help me to live out of that gratitude. Amen.