From Lynda Lindsey
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. II Timothy 2:24-25
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be...swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. II Timothy 3:1-2(a); 3(b)-5
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings...But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have fully believed... II Timothy 3:10-11(a); 14(a)
Servanthood is usually decried as an unjust practice; without doubt abuse did occur. However, servants were often trusted household employees who benefitted from the master’s protection and generosity. In England wealthy landowner’s estates were run by countless servants, who, unlike slaves, were free to seek other employment at will. However, no servant was hired until references had been checked to attest to the person’s character. Were they loyal and trustworthy? Responsible and discrete? Would their presence among the established household be positive or disruptive?
Despite the controversy about servanthood throughout history, it is a privilege to be a servant in the Lord’s kingdom. God entrusts and charges His servants to guard, protect, and keep the gospel true to the original pattern and then to share it with others. Useful kingdom servants, by both their speech and their actions, show they are loyal and trustworthy workers in the Master’s service. Useful servants, trained by the Holy Spirit and by the written Word of God, along with the example of other godly servants, strive to be a positive influence in the Master’s realm.
Submissive to the Lord, willing to suffer as He suffered, useful servants have discernment about the times: knowing that untruth, rebellion, and lawlessness will increase and spread, we prepare to stand firm, unmoved, trusting in the beneficence and goodness of our beloved Lord Jesus. Paul calls us to follow his example: Paul’s body was bound and fettered, yet he was never more free. Useful servants steadfastly continue to serve, firmly persuaded, in what we have seen, heard, learned and fully believed. We, Christ’s servants, may fall on hard times, but never our Master!