March 25, 2009

Transformation Through Expectation

2 Timothy 2:20-26

In a large house there are articles … of gold and silver … for noble purposes.
2 Timothy 2:20


People usually respond in relation to expectations. If my family knows that I expect them to sit down together for dinner, we will do that, at least most of the time.

At a San Francisco school the principal selected the top three teachers and gave them the best students to teach. After a year those students learned 30 percent more material than the others. Then the principal confessed, “I told you these were the best students in the school, but in reality, they were all picked randomly.”

The teachers began to applaud themselves. “I guess we really are the best three instructors in the school, aren’t we?” The principal then made a second confession: “We didn’t pick you because you were the best three teachers; we picked your names out of a hat.”

Both the students and faculty performed well because it was expected they would do the best.

In speaking of the church, Paul explained that some people are like vessels of gold and silver while others are like vessels of wood or clay. I’m convinced that he firmly believed Timothy was like a golden vessel. In turn, Paul trusted Timothy to flee from the passions of youth. And when Paul said, “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel,” he knew that Timothy would not be quarrelsome. If we tend to live up to people’s expectations, how much more will we live up to God’s expectations!

Lord, we are your children, new creations in Christ, your friends, citizens of heaven. May the way you picture us inspire us to live up to your expectations. Amen!

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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