Love Gone Wrong
Holy One, tune my heart to sing Your songs and lift my eyes to see Your visions.
2 Timothy 3:1-9
Consider: It is so easy to look godly without having a true heart for God. We need to be on our guard to always walk sincerely before God and others.
When people stop loving God, they don't stop loving altogether. They love themselves, money, and pleasure, but not goodness. In the "last days," (1; cf. 2 Pet. 3:3), the period inaugurated by Jesus in his coming to earth until his return in glory, a main feature will be the sidelining of God and his replacement by idols. Not that every individual is as bad as he or she can be all the time. Rather, Paul says that "opposition to the truth is not a passing situation, but a permanent characteristic of the age" (John Stott).
In the Western world we witness a breakdown in respect and community.
As if that is not concerning enough, this idol worship also infects the church. Some who claim allegiance to Christ are just in it for themselves, their outward commitment to faith being a cloak for self-gratification (5-7). Some are evangelists preying on vulnerable people, using them to satisfy their lust for power, influence, and admiration. Paul likens them to Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses (Exod. 7:8-12). They produced counterfeit miracles in opposition to the truth--a problem that is still with us today.
How should we respond? Is it a cause for fear and anxiety? There is no hint of either here. We should not be surprised or alarmed. This is in line with opposition that stretches back to Moses. We do need to take action. Having "nothing to do with such people" (5) is drastic but in line with Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11, where he makes it plain that he is talking about divorcing ourselves from those who claim Christian faith but live by ungodly standards. Finally we have confidence that people who oppose God will ultimately be exposed. We know how the story will end (8-9). We stay alert but confident.
Apply: How does reading this passage make you feel? Turn these feelings into honest prayers.
Father God, I pray that I will be a sincere person, walking transparently before You and others. May my heart set the tone for my outer actions.
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