21 May 2020 - 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Today’s devotion is taken from 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Warning against godliness appearance and empty religion.

The above passage tells us that in the last days to come, expect evil and therefore, we should guard our hearts against opposers of the faith as described in verses 2-5. The list of ungodly characters are so real even today people are lovers of themselves, money, fame and so on and Paul says that they have the appearance of godliness but denies the power of God. Paul was talking about people who externally showed they are ‘Godly’ but their inner life shows otherwise. They may attend Church services and claim to be a Christian, but lack the inner transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit. They claim to know God but their lives do not show any fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Paul also warned to be wary of false teachers that oppose the truth and are “of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith”. In the passage, he pointed out the time when Jannes and Jambres, two Egyptian magicians, opposed Moses before Pharoah (See Exodus 7:11, 12, 22). In the eyes of men, the magicians appeared to be able to work real miracles – BUT if we look closely, they were working by the power of darkness and not the power of God. When Moses cast down his rod and it turned into a serpent, the magicians could do the same. They could also do the same when Moses turned water into blood and brought forth plague of frogs. (8:7) However, in the end, they could not match God miracle-for-miracle, and their ‘powers’ were shown to be inferior to God’s power. (8:19) With this, we should not be easily deceived and always be wary of what is from God, and what is not.

Paul made a very good point about learning the Word of God in verse 7. He warned against the attitude of “always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of truth” and these are the people who are easily swayed by all kinds of evil. What this means is, learning the Word on a surface level is not sufficient. Let’s not forget that Satan too, knows and memorizes the Scripture. But he uses it deceitfully. For example, Satan used God’s Word when he confronted Jesus in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-11). In the process of trying to tempt Jesus to sin and thereby cause Him to fail as Messiah and Redeemer, Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12 saying, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scripture say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you and they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”

So how do we avoid the Godliness that Paul is warning of? We must not become Christians by name only. James saysDo not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Learning the Word of God is not sufficient, we must let the Word of God take root in our life and bear good fruits. So let us reflect on the following points:
 1) We should connect and be in a true relationship with God on a personal level;
2) Ask for the Holy Spirit to come into your life and reveal to you what the truth is and transform our lives; and
3) meditate on the Word daily and apply it in our daily life.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the shedding Truth and Light into our lives. As we live our lives daily, continue to shine your Light on us and reveal to us what is from You, so that we may not be easily deceived. We pray to be disciplined in learning your Word, not on a surface level, but with a deep understanding of Your heart and Truth.