Tuesday 25 February, 2014
2 Timothy 3:1-9
3 Here is what I want you to know. There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will love themselves. They will love money. They will brag and be proud. They will tear others down. They will not obey their parents. They won’t be thankful or holy. 3 They won’t love others. They won’t forgive others. They will tell lies about people. They will be out of control. They will be wild. They will hate what is good. 4 They will turn against their friends. They will act without thinking. They will think they are better than others. They will love what pleases them instead of loving God. 5 They will act as if they were serving God. But what they do will show that they have turned their backs on God’s power. Have nothing to do with those people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into the homes of silly women. They get control over them. Women like that are loaded down with sins. They give in to all kinds of evil longings. 7 They are always learning. But they never come to know the truth. 8 Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. In the same way, the teachers I’m talking about oppose the truth. Their minds are twisted. As far as the faith is concerned, God doesn’t accept them. 9 They won’t get very far. Just like Jannes and Jambres, their foolish ways will be clear to everyone.
Wow – this is a very descriptive warning for me to attend to. It reads like a synopsis of a TV drama. It is a description of things commonly observed around me. I read it and take note of the warning from Paul – but there is something else that strikes me here – in verse 5 Paul describes the people this way: “They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.”
Each time I have read this I have felt the Holy Spirit challenge me about whether I am this kind of person. I have had to ask myself if there is evidence of the power of God in my life daily – making me godly – or if I am merely acting religious. I want to say that God’s power is always at work in my life. And yet I struggle with areas of my life where God’s power is not at work in me.
God I know that your power is real and available to me and yet I struggle to depend on you – opting instead to rely in my own feeble abilities and failing. Thank You for speaking to me through Your word again. I humbly lay down my reliance on self – again- and ask you to fill me with your life changing power. As I trust in You and rely on Your power, may You change my life and the lives of those You have placed around me. May your kingdom come!
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn
God’s requirement for right behaviour is the same in the Old and New Testament. The difference between the two covenants is highlighted in Ezekiel 36:26,27
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart and I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
The power in v5 (2Tim3) is the Holy Spirit. Without His influence all people are destined to eventually conform with the list in v1-5 no matter how good they appear, even Christians.
If you reverse the list you will see some of the characteristic of a Holy Spirit influenced believer. For instance a Holy Spirit transformed believer will have ‘No love of Money’.
You are right Linda, it is challenging stuff.