October 10, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“But, mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without authentic love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of what is good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God who have a form of godliness but deny its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3.1-5)
I don’t suppose there is much more to say in reflection on these verses as revelations of truth about a fallen society and a fallen world. They are the evidence themselves of what are the signs of the times. While Paul urges Timothy, and thus all those who will be taught by Timothy, to “have nothing to do with such people,” it does not include the requirement to cease praying for them. We should pray, putting them before God as their intercessors, that there will be some softening of their heart and the embrace of good reason. What is difficult is to have to submit them with a resignation that they have travelled past a point of no return. I believe Paul is instructing Timothy, and thus all mighty ones of God, to evaluate the time and energy invested in our determination to “bring them back.” In light of those who are willing, are searching and will respond positively to being found, isn’t our energy and time more wisely spent there with our ministry? What has become impossible for us must be left into the possibility of God! Yet, Jesus warned His disciples, “If your peace is not welcomed nor accepted, kick the dust off your feet and move on.” (Matthew 10.14) It seems we are willing to do that but then we make the fatal error of “looking back.” Jesus defined true discipleship this way, “Whoever puts their hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9.62) Those who heard this teaching may have had the image of Lot’s wife come to mind. In her last breath, she was turned into a pillar of salt because she turned back to look at the conflagration which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah which God commanded everyone not to do. It stands to reason for us then, too, that a longing for the “good old days” might fit into this category as well. If they were indeed “good old days” then why are these days not so good? We must be honest with ourselves in this regard and confess where we fell short. Our own sin or reticence fostered the evolution of good into what is evil. Our not righting wrongs in the moment created that sense of entitlement which said “wrong is okay and tolerable.” Then wrong became “right” by sinful declaration and the truth was exchanged for a lie.
I might suggest in reflection to my own failures and shortcomings that we must pursue the righteousness of God’s Kingdom first. It is what Jesus taught after all. Declare the wrong and proclaim the truth. We are the salt for the earth and the light to the world. We are the farmers of a great harvest and the sowers of a great truth. We have no time to fall short. Now is the time to rise up and be the people of God who are called by His name and directed by His purposes. We are the kingdom trendsetters. We are to make faithfulness desirable and holiness our way of living. We must have everything to do with God’s people and those who are seeking the truth to become the people of God alongside of us and not the people of the world against us. The harvest is still great and the need for workers of the field remains a necessity. But, if we are not sowing more than we are lamenting, then we are committing another generation to sin and the grave. This is what we are held accountable for in the kingdom of God on earth. Consider then, mighty ones of God, what is the good, right and true investment of your time, resources and hope which is of God? Shouldn’t we be tired of sowing excuses? The abundance of that harvest is evident and the fruit of it is disastrous.
Lord, help us to stay focused on the truth which is ever before us. Let the words of Your mouth, the works of Your hands and the meditation of Your heart be accepted into our own. We pray this for the hope of being strengthened in our testimony as Your children in Jesus’ name. AMEN.