Warning – Difficult Times Ahead

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!

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. 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. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 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 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 this devotional, please click on 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. Words underlined in my blog might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, 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 you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

What Might Jesus Find at our Churches Today

Jesus had just called 4 disciples to follow Him – to learn about Him and then to be His example, as He gave them power to do so. A good first stop was the Temple, a normal place of worship and teaching. But what Jesus found there, was anything else but normal. I hope to draw our attention into what Jesus might find at our churches today when He walks in. Allow the Spirit to open your spiritual eyes, and remove all prejudices because of your love for your church, as you think about he might find right at your church!

Friday, 2019-04-12

Bible Reference: Mark 1:23-28
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: Suddenly, while still in the meeting place, he was interrupted by a man who was deeply disturbed and yelling out, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!” Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms, protesting loudly—and got out.  Everyone there was incredulous, buzzing with curiosity. “What’s going on here? A new teaching that does what it says? He shuts up defiling, demonic spirits and sends them packing!” News of this traveled fast and was soon all over Galilee.

OBSERVATION: Jesus had just called 4 disciples to follow Him – to learn about Him and then to be His example, as He gave them power to do so. A good first stop was the Temple, a normal place of worship and teaching. But what Jesus found there, was anything else but normal. I hope to draw our attention into what Jesus might find at our churches today when He walks in. Allow the Spirit to open your spiritual eyes, and remove all prejudices because of your love for your church, as you think about he might find right at your church!

APPLICATION: The first time that you visit a church, hopefully you will find a sweet spirit of corporation, love for each other, and preaching the pure, unadulterated Word of God. Of course, I hope that years after attending that church, you will still find the same thing there. But if we are to be totally honest with ourselves, it really becomes like anywhere else, because we get to know about the attitudes and actions of those that Satan has planted among us to stir up trouble and strife between God’s people. We find those who feel like they could do a much better job in the kitchen, or as a teacher in Sunday School, or even in the pulpit. We find those who are determined to fix the pastor, or the elder, or perhaps a deacon. Those who find fault with everything, and everyone. In fact, it becomes like a fog as we search in earnest for those who are strictly there for the purpose of worshipping God, learning more about Him, and to enjoy a sweet fellowship with the saints, as they search for ways to build one another up. But I wonder what God truly sees? I wonder if He was to send His Son, in person, through the doors of my church this weekend, what might He stop, touch me on the shoulder, and tell me to cleanse my heart of? Friends, we need not look for Him to point out the criminals in the church, or the backbiters, or those who habitually lie, steal or try to distract the saints, although I’m sure He knows each of our weaknesses very well. But may we soberly connect with the Master and hear Him say ‘well done good and faithful servant’, as that should be the desire of every believer. However to achieve that ultimate goal, no doubt there are several things that God might need to point out to us that tend to separate us from His perfect will. So do you suppose that we should look for the one in our midst possessed with a demon, that Jesus might have to call out, or would each of us have a full time job seeking God’s forgiveness for all that lies within us? Oh that we may pray like the psalmist, ‘Cleanse me oh God, and know my heart, my thoughts, my will and my desires’.

PRAYER: May the meditation of our hearts and the praise, worship and words from our lips, be acceptable to You oh Lord, our Rock, our Redeemer and our soon coming King. Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You, and always conscious of our own weaknesses in trying to imitate You in this life here on earth. This is my personal prayer Oh lord. Help my readers to search their hearts and petition You for their needs, so that we will be found humble, pure and true before Your throne each and every day, especially at the unannounced time of Your return. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog 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 this devotional, please click on 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. Words underlined in my blog might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! 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!