Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2 Timothy 3:4


Summary retelling of 2 Timothy 3:4

Paul continues his barrage against human nature: betrayers, reckless, arrogant enough to be demented, lovers of physical pleasure, not lovers of God

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Betrayer.*  This word brings up all kinds of images.  A betrayer is someone who acts out of sheer treachery.  They are someone who doesn’t care about the big picture; they only care about having their way or “being on the winning side.”  The betrayer is someone who goes against prior established beliefs.  Betrayal is so bad because it not only damages the community around a person but it also erodes the person from within.

Think about a famous person in history (besides Judas) who is known for betraying someone or something.  What effect did they have on the community around them?  What effect did their actions have on their own mental, spiritual, and emotional health?  Have you ever betrayed someone or something?  What was the result?

Second Thought:
Paul says that human beings are reckless and lovers of physical pleasure.  So often that is indeed true with us.  We as a race have a habit of not considering consequences.  We have a habit of not considering consequences even more when the amount of physical pleasure increases.  We enjoy pleasure.  We dislike prudence and living a controlled life.

What are the pleasures in life that are your Achilles’ Heel?  What are the things in this world that can cause you to be reckless?  What can you do with this information that you are able to discern about yourself?

Third Thought:
Paul talks about how we are also not innately lovers of God and we are arrogant to the point of being out of our mind.  We don’t inherently love God.  We love ourselves.  We love pleasure.  We love money.  We love many things, but we inherently love the stuff that benefits us.  We don’t love God largely because we are too busy focusing on ourselves.  This naturally brings about arrogance.  The more we think about what we want, the more we occupy the center of our world.  The more we occupy the center of our world, the less we have space for the love of God.  We become demented – wrapped up in our own thoughts.

Do you really believe that we are unable to love God on our own?  If that’s true, then how is it that we can actually love God?  What (or who) is responsible for giving us the ability to love God and stop focusing on ourselves so much?

Passage for Tomorrow: 2 Timothy 3:5

*You might have heard my soapbox in the past about why I don’t say “on the night in which He was betrayed…” at the beginning of the Communion portion of the service.  {Instead I say, “on the night in which He was handed over.”}  The Greek word in this passage of 2 Timothy is “prodotes” (προδότης), whereas the word mistakenly translated as betrayed in 1 Corinthians 11:23 is “paradidomi” (παραδίδωμι).  These words are not the same.  In the Greek, paradidomi literally means to give across or to hand over.  The work of Judas was most about handing Jesus over to the Jews so God’s will could be done.
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