II Timothy 3: 2 ( ESV) For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
Are we living in the end times? The Bible has this to say about it in today’s reading : “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, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, ESV). What’s your thoughts?
Paul is speaking here of dedicated churchgoers but describes them as having only a form of godliness. Paul said these Christians were “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” (3:7). In other words, they listened to all gospel teachings but never took them to heart, and that made them powerless, Paul said, because they “opposed the truth” (3:8). How do you feel about this matter? Does it even matter to you? Your response says it all!
We may never face the same trials that the New Testament believers did, but God still gives us New Testament power. We’ll surely face trials of our own because we are not immune to what is happening in the world. But those hardships can produce in us a power like we have never seen before. Are you ready to face it and move forward in your destiny? I am ready to move forward with my destiny!
That is why we can’t afford to be normal in our faith any longer. Think about the fast-growing number of nonbelievers in our world. Each one represents a soul headed in the wrong direction not towards the Lord, someone for whom Jesus died. Those numbers alone call us to rise above “normal” Christianity, to proclaim Christ’s gospel without fear or hindrance. I believe this requires the Lord’s power, which cannot be achieved or obtained on our own merits—it is received only through God’s grace.
Point to ponder: Consider this quote I have a paraphrased by Leonard Ravenhill, and this comment of his bears repeating: “Christianity today is so subnormal that if any Christian began to act like a normal New Testament Christian, he would be considered abnormal.”
Tell me, is there a disparity between Christ’s power and your life? Pray with me: “Lord, I’m tired of settling for normal Christianity. Merge my life with Your heavenly power. I am an empty vessel—fill me with Your power! Whatever it costs, Lord God! Amen.
Pastor James Baker, Jr.