Friday, March 13, 2015
The Complete Picture
THE HOLY BIBLE (Contemporary English Version – 2 Timothy 4:1-4): When Christ Jesus comes as king, he will be the judge of everyone, whether they are living or dead. So with God and Christ as witnesses, I command you 2 to preach God's message. Do it willingly, even if it isn't the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient. 3 The time is coming when people won't listen to good teaching. Instead, they will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear. 4 They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories.
THOUGHTS: Paul offered a warning and a strong word of advice to Timothy about the urgency of preaching the Word of God, and to do it in spite of opposition or disinterest of the people to whom he would preach. He not only indicated the disinterest of the people, but also went on to say why they would appear to be like that. Friends, I believe that God got my attention to this and caused me to apply this to my life today. So I want to share my thoughts with you. I believe that we have some excellent pastors/shepherds today and I am convinced that we have some excellent teachers of the Word. I believe that some of these preach and teach from the depths of their heart as touched by God while in His Word. However, these men are mere humans and they will be tempted to please the crowds, and this may even extend to the pulpit where they might try to be politically correct in order to soften the impact of the Word of God to those who are living in opposition to Its teaching. There are some who preach only the good, the positive, the uplifting parts of the Bible, and this pleases the people, but it is NOT the whole teaching of the Word of God. From personal experience I can tell you that there was a time in my life where I just couldn't see the importance of the Old Testament because of all the gory war and slaughter that is told in many of Its pages. However, today my study time involves time in both Testaments, and while I am still amazed at how fortunate we are compared to the strong actions by God in the Old Testament, yet I realize that lessons are taught throughout, and often meld with teachings by Jesus in the New Testament. I believe that the very portions that pastors refuse to teach on, could often be the portions needed by the church, but could perhaps 'sting' a lot because of the present spiritual condition of many in the church. Pastors are blessed with an awesome responsibility ordained by God to shepherd His flock. Being disobedient to any part of His commands are as bad as disobeying the whole. I pray that none will be guilty of this when they stand before Christ. Now for the flip side of this, vs 3 indicates that people will naturally resort to listening to a pastor or teacher who tells them what they want to hear. The good stuff, the encouraging words, the positive things, and one who never 'beats up on them' by pointing out their disobedience to God's Word. I believe you might agree that these types of pastors are filling stadiums with people who could 'put up' with that type of teaching, right? Friends, please be aware of this when trying to decide on a church home. Please be sure that the 'whole' Word of God is taught. God speaks to us through the teaching/preaching /words of His Book of Instructions. When we don't hear all of it, we are incomplete in our full understanding of the Word. Pray for your pastors and teachers that they would not feel pressured in any way to not disclose the full Word of God.
PRAYER: Thank You for Your inspired Word dear God. Thank You for all the reasons You wanted us to learn about the ups and downs of our ancestors, as well as the wonderful message of Your resurrection from the dead and the beauty of our future home, Heaven! I realize that our lives are much like this, where there are pieces that we would just rather not talk about, but things that are so uplifting and glorious, especially after we allowed You into our lives. However, to know us today without getting an appreciation for our past is not portraying the full picture of who we really are. Please help us to never be ashamed of any piece of Your message in the Bible, for I believe that it was placed there for our edification and understanding of the good things that followed. Our pastors and teachers are really pressured by us to 'dance around' certain teachings, but Father, we want to be complete in our understanding of Your Word and the intentions of Your heart for us. Please vitalize our pastors and teachers with an encouraging word today so that they may be reenergized and encouraged to teach and preach the whole, unadulterated Word of God for truth and good works. Because Your Word is a light unto my path, I must know the right path and the wrong path, so please continue to point out my wrongs and my incorrect path when I stray. Please bless us with good church leaders who serve You and teach Your principles. We continue to need You each and every day Lord, so I am asking again today for Your ongoing love and direction, for I ask all this in the name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!