Scripture: 2 Peter 2.
(What is God saying here?)
2 Peter 2:18-21 (NLT)
18 They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception.
19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.
20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before.
21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
Peter was addressing a real issue that had arisen in his churches – that of false teachers. Being a believer in God, and believing that He has filled His book with everything that He knows that we need, I had to sit back and ponder what might God be teaching in this lesson to me and to our churches today. Well, of course we don’t have false teachers in our churches today, right? Wrong! It is unfortunate, but something like this sneaks up on us like a thief in the night. Here’s how I see false teachers prevalent today:
- In our fast paced world today, Christians are dedicating less and less time in the Word of God. Many use the excuse that it is too difficult to understand – even though God has enriched the minds of many to translate the Word into vernacular that match the way we read, speak and think today. Many use the excuse that their offering pays a preacher to explain the Word of God to them on Saturday or Sunday each week. We must think about the richness of God’s Word as food for our souls, and because most of us will never think about withholding food from our physical bodies, we need to convince ourselves about the need for spiritual food every day. Furthermore, we must also be reminded about how much more we are blessed by personally experiencing something, than just being told about it!
- We hear so much about the greed of many church leaders today. Friends, when someone only has a sermon for us because they are paid to have one, then the Word of God is often not taught from the mind and soul of a disciple of God, but from a hired hand who could read and explain what he just read. When God truly calls His shepherds, He will fill them with so much of Himself that they will overflow with His love, His understanding and His teachings – sufficient to reach the non-Christian, and encourage and challenge the believer;
- God said in His Word that we are to test what is taught and preached. In other words, keep your bibles handy and follow along with what is being taught and preached to you. Make sure that you understand what God has to say to you about a given subject, not just opinions of the preacher or teacher.
Friends, when we stay in the Word, and we sincerely pray for those who share God’s Word from the pulpit or classroom, then we will clearly hear the voice of God for the enrichment and encouragement of our souls. Ready yourselves for the next scheduled time of teaching or preaching. Ready yourselves before God so that you may be found holy, even as He is holy.
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Lord Jesus, I pray that Your children will take seriously their relationship with You. May our eyes be opened by Your Word each day and may our understanding be clear about what You declare to us through Your Word. I pray that You will bless my pastor, and other teachers and preachers that we may come across, with Your love, Your knowledge, Your wisdom, Your patience and a burning desire to grow richer in relationship with You so that Your Word can be presented to Christians and non-Christians alike with such passion that folk will come to know You in a very personal way this week. May the ‘False Teachers’ be flushed out from our midst this week because of our burning desire to have an intimate and genuine relationship with You.
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