June 16, 2021
Scripture: But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money… 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
Observation: I have listened to several sermons on this passage. More often, the preacher rants about our nation’s moral decline. Certainly, history tells of the cyclical nature of humankind. Empires rise and fall, and the descent can always be traced to the condition of sin. Here, though, Paul’s caution is directed toward the church. We are the ones who are to reflect the image of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. But if we lose our edge and seek the approval of secular culture, then we will merely reflect a god made in our image (appearance of godliness). As such, we deny the power of the Gospel to transform lives.
Takeaway: “Avoid such people.” The more we associate with those who profess to be Christians but are lovers of self, who define godliness based on worldly reasoning and as such deny the power of the Gospel, the more likely we will become like them.
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, help us to embrace the power of your godliness, that we might be beacons of Christ’s light to our sin-marred world. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling