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.
The first four verses sound as though they are those to whom Jesus would seek out for conversion – those in most need of salvation. But in verse five we see their true nature. They know the good news. They even pretend to follow it’s principles. However,they continue to resist real change. In their heart of hearts they resist the will of God for their lives. They deseave others and possibly even themselves. They will be judged buy their fruit. Having the appearance of godliness, they sow seeds of evilness. They are the weeds planted by the enemy in the field of God’s good grain.
24. Jesus used another illustration. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted good seed in his field. 25. But while people were asleep, his enemy planted weeds in the wheat field and went away. 26. When the wheat came up and formed kernels, weeds appeared. 27. “The owner’s workers came to him and asked, ‘Sir, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’ 28. “He told them, ‘An enemy did this.’ “His workers asked him, ‘Do you want us to pull out the weeds?’ 29. “He replied, ‘No. If you pull out the weeds, you may pull out the wheat with them. 30. Let both grow together until the harvest. When the grain is cut, I will tell the workers to gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to be burned. But I’ll have them bring the wheat into my barn.'”
God has a place for these deceitful disruptors amongst the congregation. Matthew 25:46 “These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.”
FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED
“You will declare the truth, too, because you have been with me from the beginning.” Jesus continued, “I have said these things to you so that you won’t lose your faith. You will be thrown out of synagogues. Certainly, the time is coming when people who murder you will think that they are serving God. They will do these things to you because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I’ve told you this so that when it happens you’ll remember what I’ve told you.”
Let’s say that you are bebopping along — dota dota dota do — and suddenly a big hairy beast comes running toward you — what do you do? I don’t know about you, but after peddling down my leg, I’d run.
Now, let’s say that you had been warned that big hairy beasts were in the area. You were told that, if you encounter a big hairy beast, absolutely DO NOT RUN AWAY. If you run from them, that triggers a predictor response in them and they will chase you and eat you all up. Further you were told that you should RUN AT THEM ENDS GROWL. That triggers the prey response in them and the will ruin and hide from you.
Wouldn’t you be better off knowing in advance about big hairy beasts? In either case, you are going to encounter big hairy beasts. However, forewarned is forearmed.
In this passage of Scripture Jesus tells his disciples their duty, declare the truth. Now the hoped for outcome is that, having heard the truth, people will be set free from their sins. (John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”) However, not all who hear will believe. (John 8:47 “The person who belongs to God understands what God says. You don’t understand because you don’t belong to God.”) And Jesus warns his disciples that those non believers will throw them out of places out worship and even try to kill them, and in some cases succeed in murdering them. But through it all you won’t lose your faith because you were forewarned.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for calling us to be your disciples and for trusting us to tell your truth in a world that badly needs the truth though they may refuse to hear it. Protect us or give us the strength to endure, so that we not lose our faith. Amen.
I found this on Facebook
I was in Dollar Tree last night and there was a lady and two kids behind me in the LONG line. One was a big kid, one was a toddler. The bigger one had a pack of glow sticks and the baby was screaming for them so the Mom opened the pack and gave him one; which stopped his tears. He walked around with it smiling, but then the bigger boy took it and the baby started screaming again. Just as the Mom was about to fuss at the older child, he bent the glow sticks and handed it back to the baby. As we walked outside at the same time, the baby noticed that the stick was now glowing and his brother said: “I had to break it so you could get the full effect from it.” I almost ran because l could hear God saying to me, “I had to break you to show you why I created you. You had to go through it so you could fulfill your purpose.”
That little baby was happy just swinging that “unbroken” glow stick around in the air because he didn’t understand what it was created to do which was “glow”.
There are some people who will be content just “being” but some of us that God has chosen, we have to be “broken”.
We have to get sick. We have to lose our job. We go through a divorce. We have to bury our spouse, parents, best friend/sibling, or our child because, in those moments of desperation, God is breaking us but when the breaking is done, then we will be able to see the reason for which we were created..
so when you see us glowing just know that we have been broken but healed by his Grace and Mercy!!!
Then an expert in Moses’ Teachings stood up to test Jesus. He asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “What is written in Moses’ Teachings? What do you read there?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.’ And ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'” Jesus told him, “You’re right! Do this, and life will be yours.”
As I study this verse, I try to restate it in my own words.
Love God for who He is. Seek to be pleasing to Him. To love and obey Him, not as a robot but as His loving child.
Love others and seek what is best for them, even if that requires a personal sacrifice. To go beyond what is required, to give out of love.
Love self, but not boast of self worth. But do not demean myself. I am a child of the King and loved by Him. He values me and has a job for me.
Heavenly Father, I seek to lovingly obey You. I trust You to re-form me, re-make me, to re-create me, to re-center my life around loving you and loving others. Do your work of grace in me. Amen.
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Those who refuse to confess or admit their sins will not prosper, but God acts mercifully and kindly toward those who confess their sins and turn away from their sinful behavior.
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2 Corinthians 13:11-14 (NRSV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Paul urged the Corinthian church to put things in order. The proper order is God first, Others second, and lastly Self.
In the last couple of weeks we have been dealing with STUFF. We’ve emptied storage units that has held things we have neither seen nor needed for a decade or more. We’ve also completely emptied our summer home. We have shed literally hundreds of pounds of STUFF. We still have more to do. We’ve been sorting into three piles, keep, donate, thrash.
Perhaps, if we had put our lives in the proper order of 1. God, 2. others, 3. self, we might not have accumulated so much STUFF!
Matthew 6:19-21 King James Version
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will act kindly toward all of you, in ways that you do not deserve, that God will show all of you how much he loves you, and that the Holy Spirit will cause you to have good fellowship with him and with each other. Amen.
©2020 Thomas E Williams
1 Peter 1:5-7
By the power of God, you are guarded through faith for a salvation which is ready to be revealed in the end time. In this, you should exult, if now, for a brief time, it is necessary to be made sorrowful by various trials, so that the testing of your faith, which is much more precious than gold tested by fire, may be found in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We are made sorrowful for a time, not by God, but by the trials and tribulations of life inn this sinful broken world. But this world is temporary. The world to come it’s where we will be glorified, even as Jesus it’s glorified.
There is a saying, “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Not bad advise. Sometimes the only way out if a trouble is to outlast it. We, who follow Christ, have been promised a crown puff glory when we have endured.
Lord God, lover of my soul. You have promised good to me, if I overcome the trials and temptations of this present life. Lead me not into temptations but deliver me from evil. All praise and glory is Yours now and forever. Amen.
Romans 1:1-7 1. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called as an Apostle, separated for the Gospel of God, 2. which he had promised beforehand, through his Prophets, in the Holy Scriptures, 3. about his Son, who was made for him from the offspring of David according to the flesh, 4. the Son of God, who was predestined in virtue according to the Spirit of sanctification from the resurrection of the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ, 5. through whom we have received grace and Apostleship, for the sake of his name, for the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, 6. from whom you also have been called by Jesus Christ: 7. To all who are at Rome, the beloved of God, called as saints. Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this one sentence, at the very beginning of his letter, Paul lays out so much of his beliefs and theology. He could have just said, “Dear Church at Rome, it’s me Paul.” He could have, but he didn’t.
He begins by identifying himself. He is Paul not Saul. No longer is he the zealot Pharisee and persecutor of Christ’s followers. No longer is he sent forth by the power of the Jewish leadership. He is now Paul, an apostle (meaning “one who is sent off”
) not by the Great Sanhedrin
, but by Jesus. The same Jesus who was persecuted, prosecuted, tortured, and executed at the will of the Jewish hierarchy.
As Paul gave witness to his transformation through the power of Christ, so are we to share our testimony of our transformation. For some of us it may be a dramatic 180° turn around. For others it may have been only a 1° adjustment in our life path that sets us straight with God’s will. No matter the degree of change, our transformation is what we are to share. This is not the gospel according to long dead men, but OUR gospel of what Jesus means to us.
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- Prayer. Most gracious and loving God, we praise you and thank you for our salvation. We recognize that even if we were only slightly off your straight and narrow way, we would have missed the way that leads to life eternal with You. Help its to show others the Way the Truth and the Life. Amen
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©2020 Thomas E Williams