THE HOLY BIBLE (God’s Word Translation – 2 Timothy 3:1-5): 1
You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. 2 People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, 3 and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. 4 They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people.
THOUGHTS: I believe that if I would have stripped out the scripture references on this passage this morning, you may have assumed that I was quoting the local newspaper, or sharing with you what might be happening in my realm of friends. I discovered two very important things in these verses that I want to share with you friends:
Warning signs of the last days (before Jesus comes) – Keywords such as bragging (in order to promote self); arrogance (placing yourself above others because you have such confidence in self); abusive language (we hear it in the music being blasted as cars pass us by, or we hear it from the passengers – like I heard from my back yard yesterday while a car was passing); curse their parents (I don’t know if there has been a time in history where there has been as much animosity as today between parents and their children. It really hurts me beyond explanation); lack of gratitude (in spite of the generosity of many, there are some very ungrateful folk who receive without any thought of gratitude); no respect for what is holy (so hurtful to hear of robberies and defacement, but especially sad to hear when this happens to a church. I’m really surprised that God has not yet stricken the offenders blind or hurt them seriously during such acts); Friends there are several other signs in verses 3, 4 and 5 that I could also expand on, but I believe you and I can appreciate that these are not ‘pie in the sky’ actions and/or characteristics, but actual actions that we see occurring almost daily in our circles, right now in 2015. Why, you might ask? The scripture tells us that these are all signs of the last days before the last trumpet call, when Jesus will come to take His bride (the church – believers – Christians) home to be with Him in glory.
What must Christians be doing? – We are instructed to stay away from such people as described in (1). Why do you suppose God would instruct us towards such segregating actions? Friends, if you swim in a septic tank, you will come out very smelly. We are to distance ourselves from folk that have characteristics described in this scripture, and instead show them by our character, our speech, and our bold witness that there is a better way to live. With God’s help, it is possible to be holy and righteous. It is possible to live our lives free from conceit and self-worth, but totally controlled by the Holy Spirit and in line with what our circles would expect from Christians – free from hypocrisy.
Friends, to live like God intended, we must be sincere in our relationship with God, and we must be willing to be controlled by His Holy Spirit dwelling inside of the Christian who will steer us towards love and good works. Do you feel that kind of power today? Let us draw close to God so that He might draw close to us and mold us into His likeness. Please feel free to use the information in my ‘Footnote’ to contact me, if there is anything that I might pray with you about, especially in regards to this lesson today. I’m sure that your local pastor and/or church leader would also welcome the opportunity to sit and chat with you about any questions God might have provoked in your mind today after reading this devotional.
PRAYER: Lord God, Your Word is very plain and it is filled with ‘Nuggets’ meant to convict us of our sin, and show us the way to live more like You. Thank You for loving Your children so intimately, and for caring enough about our witness after we commit to You. We want to be more like You every day, and every day we are more and more convinced of the need for Your power and Your strength to guide us through this life and protect us from the evil one. Please use us as Your instruments today to win the lost and encourage the fallen or despondent. May we be alert to your soon return and more excited every day with anticipation of worshiping You endlessly in heaven very soon! I ask these things in the perfect and all loving name of Jesus, the name above all names, and Your only Son, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!