Thursday, January 27, 2022

Not So Shocking Results

"But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
And their message will spread like cancer, Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some."
2 Timothy 2:16-18 (NKJV)

If you wanted to have good, healthy teeth, but you never brushed your teeth, and ate a lot of snacks that were filled with sugar, should you be surprised when the dentist tells you that you have several cavities?  If you go outside without an umbrella while it is raining and you get wet, should you be shocked that this happened to you?  If you are, then you have not recognized that you have done something that led you to less than desirable results, and you need to make a change in what you are doing.

In the two letters that Paul wrote to Timothy, Paul talked about things that Timothy should and should not do.  Something that Paul mentions more than once is how the wrong kind of teaching and ideas need to be avoided, because of the negative results that these things can bring.  In 2 Timothy 2:16-18, Paul talks about the wrong kind of teaching and ideas as something that will increase ungodliness, overthrow people's faith, and Paul even compares this kind of thing to cancer!

That is very strong language and leaves no room for doubt about what happens when people spend their time listening to the wrong things.  Good, Bible based teaching will increase godliness, build people's faith, and rather than being harmful like cancer, right teaching builds us up and equips us to live the life that God has planned for us.  We need to be sure we are spending time in God's Word and hearing good teaching.  If we are not, we will have some not so shocking, negative results.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Observing The Speed Limit

"Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet."
Proverbs 19:2 (NKJV)

Most of the roads you can drive on will have some speed limit. The speed limit is usually determined by the type of road and where it is.  For example, if you are driving on a highway and you are out in the country somewhere, the speed limit there will be different than if you were driving on a city street.  It is important to know the speed limit for the road you are on, not just to avoid getting a speeding ticket, but because if you are driving too fast, there can be a greater possibility of having a problem.

Although there is really nothing like a posted speed limit in the Bible, we do have some wisdom and guidance from God's Word that should govern how we do things in our life.  Some people think that they just need to find out what God wants to do, and then they should just go "full speed ahead", no matter what.  While this may be the case in some instances, it is also wise to take the time to listen to how God will guide us to carry out His will, and to put into specific practice the general will of God that we find in the Bible.

If we have an idea, even from God's Word, and we don't follow the direction of the Holy Spirit in applying that to our lives, we can be in a hurry and do something we should not have done.  Even though God's will never changes, how it works in our life and how we apply godly principles can be different from one situation to another.  Don't get into a rush to do something just because it is a good thing to do, take the time to listen and be led by the Holy Spirit, and obey the "speed limit' that He gives you.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Checking For The Signal

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner."
John 5:19 (NKJV)

Several years ago, I had a "Radio Controlled Clock". which kept accurate time, and even the temperature, because of a signal it received from a main location.  This clock did not keep these readings accurate on its own, but it was dependent upon a signal that it received; which meant that the clock needed to have a regular connection with that signal.  If that signal was disrupted somehow, then the readings of the time and temperature were no longer reliable, because the signal had been lost.

One thing we see in the life of Jesus is that He did not just do whatever He wanted to do.  We see how He would often pray before he acted.  A good example of that is in Luke 6:12-13, where Jesus spent the night in prayer, and the next morning He chose twelve of His disciples to be apostles.  What was Jesus doing?  Undoubtedly Jesus was talking to God about the upcoming decision He was going to make about those who would be closest to Him, those that He would spend time teaching and training.

In John 5:19, Jesus said that He only did what He saw His Father do.  What was Jesus talking about?  This is the same thing that we see in Luke 6, Jesus was checking in with God and getting the signal, so to speak, to know what to do.  In our life and relationship with God, we need to check in with God on a regular basis in prayer, by reading and studying God's Word, and by following the direction of the Holy Spirit, so that we are "checking for the signal" from God to know what to do, where to do it, and when.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

That One Key Thing

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge
to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love

For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NKJV)

Have you ever heard something being advertised as the one thing that you need for this or that?  Often this is the kind of thing that is presented for those who want to succeed in business, financial things, or areas of self-help and improvement, and someone is offering to show them that one key thing that they need to do.  But the real truth is, the majority of the time there is not just one key thing, but many things that are necessary in achieving these goals and having success.

It is unfortunate, but this kind of mentality is sometimes seen in Christianity, where something is presented as "that one key thing" that is needed to make someone a super-spiritual Christian, or to give someone the breakthrough in their life, or the thing that is needed to move forward in the plan of God.  But, just like in the secular world, the majority of the time, what believers need is a combination of several things to help them be what they ought to be and to do what God wants them to do.

One thing you don't see presented in the Bible is that there is just one key thing that you need to be a spiritual success.  As it tells us in 2 Peter 1:5-8, there are many things that are necessary for believers, and there are things that we need to add to our faith in order to be fruitful.  Don't be misled by the idea that all you need is that one key thing in life.  Put God's Word into practice, follow the direction of the Holy Spirit, and you will find what it is that you need, to do what God has called you to do.