Proud and Boastful

[people will be] boastful, proud, 2 Timothy 3:2c

In my mind proud and boastful go together. I go back to a previous comment made about being lovers of themselves, the LGBT community. Pride. Boastful. Not realizing that they have no shame whatsoever. It’s one thing to do whatever in the privacy of home, but to broadcast the decadence and sin for the world to see is a special kind of hubris.

But Christ died for people in the homosexual lifestyle too. You probably know a few caught up in it.

Pray for that person by name that God will break through their hardened hearts. Pray that the blinders will be removed from their eyes and they’ll begin to see the truth of the gospel. Pray too that God will reveal that the proudest being of all time has deceived them.

Please follow and like us:

A Little More

lovers of money, 2 Timothy 3:2b

While watching a movie with Tom Cruise in it, my wife commented, “He’s got everything, but he’s got nothing.” Cruise has everything the world desires: looks, fame, fortune but he doesn’t have Christ.

He’s certainly not unique in the entertainment industry. But let’s look closer to home. Rich and poor alike can be lovers of money. Greed is greed no matter how much money you make each week.

Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, on The Shark Tank epitomizes the love of money (though I suspect some of it is an act). He constantly wants to make more money even though he is tremendously wealthy. And of course, when asked how much money is enough, billionaire J. Paul Getty responded, “A little more.”

Money is insidious and deceiving. In an of itself it’s not evil. We have to make money to live. Of course we live in the most prosperous time in the world there has ever been. The push to make more and spend “a little more” is everywhere.

The antidote of loving money is to be content with what we have. We have to be on our guard constantly against motivations that are not godly or helpful.

One final illustration brings home this point. Recently I was sitting around talking with friends. One man, a fairly wealthy doctor, was commenting about someone he had heard who was employee #46 at Microsoft back in the 1980s. This employee was a millionaire many times over. Jim’s comment about the employee, “Boy, I would like to have that guy’s investments so early in Microsoft’s history.” Someone sitting across the table kindly noted, “Jim, you’ve done quite well for yourself, haven’t you?” Jim nodded and slunk back in his chair. Jim, too, wanted a little more despite being semi-retired and owning three very nice homes outright.

Please follow and like us:

Lovers of Themselves

People will be lovers of themselves, 2 Timothy 3:2a

It has been said that most people are not opposed to you but all about themselves. That means that people are more concerned about what you did to affect and change their lives than they are about you.

We’re seeing that in the Millennium generation. We see that in Hollywood, Nashville, and in Washington DC. Policitians are rarely interested in their constituents. They are, however, more concerned about their next re-election.

You see this attitude displayed blatantly in the homosexual community in their pride parades.

As believers we are called to love and care for others. Certainly we need to take care of ourselves when we’re sick, and we are to provide for our families. But God wants us to go much deeper than that. People are hurting, and you can see it in the way they express themselves. Despite their angst and frustrations, they want people to notice, to pay attention to them.

Lend a helping hand or a kind word to someone who is in love with himself/herself. A smile and a prayer will go a long way.

Please follow and like us:

The Last Days

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 Timothy 3:1

When Paul wrote this, many of the sins he is about to list went on with little to no interference. We are living in the last days. As we progress technologically as a society, our morality devolves into chaos and despair . The culture is not getting better. It is becoming more and more perverse as each day begins. People have no sense of shame for their sin. They are blatant in their perversions and degradation of the human body. Is this culture any worse than the pagan culture Paul lived in? Probably not. We just know about the sin more because of the internet. In fact, the internet has become the transmission vehicle for many of these sins.

As we delve into each of the sins Paul mentions in this chapter, consider praying for someone who displays each of these sins. That person may be in all of the sins listed. Ask God to help you with the name of someone you can pray for.

Please follow and like us:

Praying For the Unbeliever

25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:25-26

If you are praying for lost loved ones, these two verses seem to be well-suited prayers for that. Satan has, in fact, trapped the unbelieving but they don’t quite know it. Sometimes, though, many will need to reach rock bottom until they look up and come to their senses. It was like that for the Prodigal Son. It was like that for Jonah. It’s very painful to witness because we don’t like to see people in pain, but the alternative is worse.

Take a few moments today to commit these two verses to memory. Say them out loud. Write them down. Let the words sink in.

Please follow and like us:

Throwing Off Anger and Donning Kindness

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 2 Timothy 2:24

More than 25 years ago, Dr. Joseph Stowell, then President of Moody Bible Institute in a chapel service said, “For some reason Evangelical Christians are an angry people.” His observation was true at the time and seems almost prophetic now. He’s right. We are angry, and much of it is related to politics. Jesus did teach there was a time to be angry, but it’s not all the time or whenever a politician says something we don’t agree with.

When we’re angry we cease being kind. The anger manifests itself in unusual ways, and then we become miserable.

We probably should do an audit on the things that make us angry. Are we justified in being angry? Should we just “let go” of some of the more trivial things that anger us? We, of course, need the Holy Spirit to help us with this. If we are to shun our anger and put on kindness, then we may need supernatural help. We can’t do it on our own, especially if we have a history of anger.

Please follow and like us:

Foolish and Stupid Arguments

23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 2 Timothy 2:23

Arguing with someone who doesn’t see your point of view is often a waste of time. In matters related to relevant doctrine, it’s important, but if it doesn’t have eternal significance, it’s best not to engage. If the subject matter riles you up without any visible release or satisfaction, what’s the point?

In the internet age it’s easy to have heated discussions online, but again, why do it? Do I think anything I say is going to persuade someone who is as stubborn as I am over the issue? Hardly. They’ll probably dig in even further.

Discussion is one thing but getting hostile over it is quite different. If you lose your temper over their responses it might be a bad witness. Could your time be spent better doing something else? Probably. Anything would be better than getting flustered over people who will never get your point of view.

Please follow and like us:

Pursuing Other Believers

22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

Paul continued to remind Timothy (and us by extension) what to flee and what to pursue. Just because you’ve fled one thing doesn’t mean you’ll pursue something else. But these instructions were clear. We need to be reminded because life happens. But if it’s always in the forefront of our minds, we’re more likely to remember. If you’ll notice, though, there are four qualities we are to pursue plus people. We cannot underestimate the power of extending gentle hands and kind words can mean.

Reach out today to someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. Just reach out and let the Lord guide the conversation.

Please follow and like us:

Useful Purposes

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21

Paul continued to reference God’s house with the firm foundation but took it one step further. What about the objects in the house, the people? Some are living there but aren’t that useful. This certainly does not have anything to do with salvation but usefulness in the kingdom.

I know we all experience times of usefulness and uselessness depending on what’s happening in our world at the moment. I believe Paul is referring to those who aren’t even trying anymore, those who have given up. It seems as though he’s saying to just move on from those people. That’s a tough pill to swallow, isn’t it, especially when you recognize the trait in someone you care about. But God is sovereign. He can soften hearts and motivate people to live life to the fullest. Sometimes, though, entrusting Him to do just that is next to impossible.

You’re probably thinking about that person right now. Now’s the time to life that person up to the Father for only He can change hearts.

Please follow and like us: