One of the things I love about the Bible is that although the words were written 2000 or more years ago, almost every time I read it there are words that practically jump off the page as if they were written for me today.
Although Paul’s words to Timothy were written to address first-century problems, the following words hit home right now…
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.2 Timothy 4:3
Have you heard of the Jefferson Bible? Thomas Jefferson didn’t call it that . . . he titled his book – The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the website, “Jefferson’s goal was to clarify the teachings of Jesus which he believed provided ‘the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.’”
Jefferson believed Jesus was a great moral teacher but as far as we know, he didn’t believe He was the Son of God who performed miracles and rose from the dead. So he constructed, “edited and arranged the passages in a chronological order to tell the story of Jesus’s life, parables and moral teachings.” He didn’t know what the Bible really says!
And many are guilty of similar practices today. They don’t know and trust the whole Word preferring to take verses out of context, ignore things with which they disagree, and reject the counsel that makes them uncomfortable or interrupts their lives.
The Living Bible paraphrases it like this:
For there is going to come a time when people won’t listen to the truth but will go around looking for teachers who will tell them just what they want to hear. They won’t listen to what the Bible says but will blithely follow their own misguided ideas.2 Timothy 4:3(TLB)
So, what should we do about it? Do we throw our hands in the air and give up helplessly crying “ain’t it awful”?
Not at all!
Paul gave Timothy this advice:
- Keep preaching the [whole] Word of God.
- Be prepared for, courageous in, and sensitive to God-given opportunities to serve and tell the Good News. (LAB Notes)
- Correct people’s mistakes. Warn them. Encourage them with words of hope.
- Don’t give up, be patient, and teach carefully.
- Keep a clear head in every situation and do what God gives you to do.
- 2 Timothy 4:2,5
The message of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection has the power to transform lives. The Word is truth, able to humble the hardest heart and restore lives broken by the consequences of sin.
Don’t give up! Pray! Listen to and trust what the Bible really says . . . it holds the power of LIFE!
A Prayer to Listen to and Know What the Bible Says
Father, please forgive us. Please forgive me. I want to know You. I want to trust Your promises. I want to obey Your will. I don’t want to ignore the hard parts of Your Word. I don’t want to be guilty of only following my own misguided ideas. Please help me. Make me faithful. Give me the courage to stand strong on the firm foundation of Your truth. Please give me wisdom that I might be able to discern the ideas of false teachers. Help me look at every situation with a clear mind to know and follow Your commands.
By Your grace, make me humble and willing to sit at Your feet that I might have the strength I need when life is hard. Lord, I humbly surrender myself to You. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for giving me Your Word. With Your Spirit’s help, I ask that I might share Your love with others, quickly forgive as I have been forgiven, and serve wherever You lead me. I believe Your Word will not return void. “[You] send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all [You] want it to, and it will prosper everywhere [You] send it. (Isaiah 55:11) By Your all-sufficient grace for Your never-ending glory. Amen.
It’s been hard to know who or what to believe in recent years. So much has been said about “fake news” and information needing to be “fact-checked” and all of it still seems to be based on personal opinions. That’s why I have decided to turn to God’s unchanging Word.
Science seems to change every other day. The news is undependable at best. But…
The Word of the Lord lasts forever! (1 Peter 1:25)
On today’s note write:
With God’s help, I will set my heart and mind on what the Bible really says!
May God be with you and bless as You study to know what the Bible says for life today, tomorrow, and always.
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