Thursday, November 1, 2012

2 Timothy 3:6-7

Summary retelling of 2 Timothy 3:6-7

Although it seems like Paul is talking about people sneaking into people’s homes at night … Paul’s actually making a snide comment about religious people who go into houses seemingly in a religious mode but who actually are not proclaiming true religion.  They go into houses and teach false things, sucking people into their way of believing through their passion.  Such people always seem to be in the process of “discovering” truth but never really arriving at the presence of God.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Paul talks about weak-willed people who are “burdened with guilt.”  There are people out there who want to guilt you into believing in God.  There are people out there who want to make you believe in God by scaring you about Hell.  There are people out there who want you to come to what they are presenting as God for all the wrong reasons.  We need to be careful about these people.  Jesus did not come to scare us into Heaven – although our relationship with God is important enough to take very seriously.  Neither did Jesus come to guilt us into God.  Jesus came to genuinely teach us about God so that through the draw of the Holy Spirit we come to God on His terms.

What other “false tactics” have you heard people use to try and get others to believe in God?  What is the best way to talk to others about our relationship with God?  Why do you think your answer is the best way?

Second Thought:
Passion is another thing we have to be careful about.  Passion is absolutely necessary in faith.  Jesus was quite passionate about His relationship with the Father.  But that’s just it.  Jesus was passionate about the Father.  So many times people in the faith get passionate about seemingly good things and they forget to be passionate about God, too.  For example, helping people in Haiti is great.  But it should supplement our passion for telling them about God, not replace it.  Being passionate about being kind to our neighbor is good, but it should not replace our passion about telling our neighbor about our relationship with God.

Is it easy to get passionate about good things only to realize that we’ve lost our passion about God?  Why might it be so easy for us?  How can we help remember to stay passionate about God in addition to being passionate about work that should point to God?

Third Thought:
Paul warns us about those who always seem to be on the path of finding truth but who never get there.  This might be a subtle point, but it is really true.  Jesus came to give us truth.  He is the truth (and the life and the way, too)!  We need not be on the path to truth – we can know truth when we know Jesus.  We can tell others truth by telling them about Jesus and His relationship with God.  Yes, we should be growing closer to God.  But while we are doing that we can be proclaiming truth with confidence.

What is the difference between a person who is trying to discover truth versus a person who knows truth?  How do those people talk about God differently?  What can you do to make sure you are actually proclaiming truth?

Passage for Tomorrow: 2 Timothy 3:8-9
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