DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-09-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
OBSERVATION: If you rushed to read this devotional because you were hoping that suddenly I am a prophet and could therefore tell you what lies ahead for each of us, then you might be right, yet wrong in some ways! However, our Scripture today had such a profound impact on me, that I wanted to make sure and share with you what Paul foretold when he was directing his son in the ministry, Timothy. You see, much like Timothy may have felt like he was dealing with very challenging people, even though this was the local church, this actually compares pretty accurately with the local church today. Meditate further with me on this scripture, dear friends!
APPLICATION: Just as we may think that we’ve heard way too much about the crimes that are taking place today, and the attitudes we either hear about or experience, unfortunately there were similar situations that took place back in Bible days. Young Timothy was thrown into a situation where Paul came to his rescue to open his eyes to what he might expect in the church, and from church folk. The descriptions might cause you to cringe, but Paul basically told Timothy, brace yourself young man, for as the Day of the Lord draws near, things will only worsen. As I recently shared with you, many of the signs foretold by the prophets and in Revelation, have either occurred already, or they are in process. This means that the time of the return of our Lord and Savior is drawing nigh. This means that one day soon, each of us will stand before the King of kings and will answer Him on why He should allow us into His kingdom. Friends, we are seeing in our Scripture today that it really describes what we are seeing all around the world today. The same attitudes, the same actions, the hatred, disregard for parents and authority, etc, etc. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul told Timothy that these things will occur in the last days – the last days that Christians remain on earth. In my last job, we would call these things ‘red flags’, meaning indicators, that Jesus is coming soon. What could you do to help prepare yourself, your loved ones and those in your circle of influence? I’m not so sure that there is anything you could do to rehabilitate those you know so that they won’t do and say the things mentioned by Paul. For you see, I believe the underlying problem points to an inward problem. In each of these verses, and especially in verse 5, the message is clear that we are seeing folk with multiple personalities. When at church, they try to act godly. When at work, they need to impress the boss and his greed, so they are willing to act like a criminal in order to help him succeed. When at the club, they need to be as good as the popular star who dances with everyone and drinks at least as much as the top man there. So when we look at the same person acting in each of the various ways like I just explained, why would a sinner see the need for being a saint? Our message for today is a reminder that perilous times are ahead. Know Christ in all of His glory, and live like He instructed us to, and showed us while here on earth with us. This is what drew us to the cross in the first place, so be conscious of those without Christ, who are looking for examples of Jesus Christ here on earth. They want to see if this Christianity thing actually has any credit, and is worth following its principles. Let them see Jesus in you precious friend. Hopefully it might impress upon them that if we could do it, so could they, with God’s help and because of Jesus!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we might ask how can it get any worse, because of the awful things that we are seeing happen all around the world today. But You have given Your servant Paul information that seem to be impacting us already, with warnings that the times ahead will only get worse. Lord, we know that You will return to take Your bride, the church, home to glory with you, so I believe that my readers and I are excited to see that happen sooner, rather than later. Many of these things mentioned by Paul are already happening, so I believe that is confirmation that your return is very near. Please soften the heart of each one reading this devotional. May we all be ready, even if You returned today. Oh that we may see Jesus in all of Your glory. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!