TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5a ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• There are some things in this life I simply do not understand. I don’t understand people who don’t drink coffee. It’s just crazy to me that some people actually make it through the day without at least three cups. I don’t understand people who don’t love cats. They are so adorable and so much fun! And I don’t understand women who have a thigh gap. How do their thighs not touch? I just can’t even…
I also don’t understand how God could sacrifice His Son for me. I am so not worth it. I know it’s not just for me that Jesus died, but you realize that even if you were the only sinner in the history of the planet, Jesus would have gone through it all anyway? His love surpasses the understanding of my teeny tiny brain.
And I don’t understand how, when the signs are SO CLEAR, how people are still ignoring the truth of Jesus.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5a, Paul wrote, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”
Seriously—read that again. It’s like Paul is reading from a 2020 news headline! Self-centered. Greedy. Prideful. Arrogant. Abusive bullies. Disobedient and rebellious. Ungracious. Irreverent. Heartless and unforgiving. Constantly complaining. Lying about others. Out of control. Brutal. Loving sin. Deceptive and unloyal. Reckless. Conceited. Caring more about comfort than caring about Christ. Fake.
It’s sad. We can’t understand those behaviors… can we??
The sad truth is that if I’m honest with myself, I can see myself in each description. I don’t want to be those things, but I know the guilt is there.
By the grace of God, He’s forgiven me for these behaviors, and I try not to live this way anymore. But I’m still human. I make mistakes and sometimes, I am more interested in being selfish than I am being selfless. Too often, pride perches on my door. Complaining sometimes feels better than praying. It feels like for every step forward I make to be more like Jesus, I take two back. Maybe you feel the same. (Thank You, Jesus, for being patient with my failings and helping me up every time I fall!)
After writing that list, Paul had one more thing to say at the end of verse 5. In 2 Timothy 3:5b, he wrote, “Avoid such people.” Ouch. How does that line up with the call of all Christians to spread the Gospel to all the world (Matthew 28:19)?
When Paul told us to avoid these people, he wasn’t telling us not to interact with them or not to share the Good News of Jesus. He was warning us not to be influenced by them. The passage goes on as a warning against false prophets and those who seek to oppose the Truth of God. In those cases, when negative influence is a problem, it’s better to be distant and pray than be influenced away from Jesus.
For all that social media talks about spreading kindness and love—we see little to back it up. And we won’t. Not without Jesus. We need a revival in this world. A revival of epic proportions. And it begins with each of us. We are called on to be the hands and feet of Jesus and the light of the world. We are to tell others about Jesus! And pray that hearts and minds will be opened to the truth. We have to pray for those that Paul warned us about and remember—they are not our enemies. But they have believed the lies of our ultimate enemy, Satan.
So when we can’t believe that someone behaves this way or that… when we can’t understand how they can deny what is so obvious in front of them… when we can’t wrap our brains around how someone can ignore the signs of God that are happening all around us, let us remember that Satan is a formidable enemy. The father of lies. The king of deception. And he’s proven time and again to be very good at leading others astray.
Praise God that it doesn’t have to be this way, though. We know Jesus has already won. And it’s up to us to tell everyone. Whether they believe it or not. I have a horrible fear of being in heaven at the judgment of Christ and having a hell-bound friend approach me and with tears streaming down their cheeks, screaming, “Why? Why didn’t you tell me?”
Today, as you pray, thank God for sending Jesus to die for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with compassion for those who don’t understand their need for Jesus and to remember that they have been lied to… they are trapped by the bondage of a lie they don’t even see. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you… empower you… equip you… to share about Jesus and ask Him to help others understand their great need… Just as you have already understood yours.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe! Join an online prayer group at www.facebook.com/groups/onlineandonourkneesprayergroup. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.