SAME OLD, SAME OLD…
Lord Jesus, thank you that I can come to you boldly, knowing that in you, I will always find abundant mercy and grace.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 3:1-9
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do you react to someone who tries to manipulate you, treats you unkindly, or whose way of life is utterly focused on themselves?
In the fourth century BC, Plato had a go at the youth of the day. So did Peter the Hermit, a French Christian priest and key figure during the first Crusade in the eleventh century AD. Their remarks have sometimes been quoted anonymously, as if written about people nowadays, with the reveal of their origins coming later. And oh, what a surprise! People (and not just young people) have been acting the same way from time immemorial to the present day.
Paul’s list of activities and attitudes to be avoided is awful, from whichever translation of the Bible you read it. (The Message paraphrase is particularly graphic!) The kinds of behaviors described are, of course, damaging to the people who behave like that and also damaging to those on the receiving end who are prevented from finding the truth (v 7). No wonder Paul advises Timothy to steer clear—run away (vs 5; 2:22)! What’s worse is that, in ‘having a form of godliness but denying its power,’ (v 5), such people are engaged in the rituals of worship but refuse to let God change them into who he created them to be—they deny his power to redeem and renew.
Honestly? Some of these behaviors might be ours, on occasion. But when we recognize them and seek forgiveness, the saving grace and mercy of God comes to meet us and transform us into the likeness of Christ. Ask God for his forgiveness now.
With the hymn writer, I know that I am prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love. Loving Father, I need your Spirit to plant the truth of your Word deep in my mind and heart to keep my path straight, to help me to do what is right.
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