Friday, November 2, 2012

2 Timothy 3:8-9

Summary retelling of 2 Timothy 3:8-9

Paul mentions Jannes and Jambres – the names that Hebrew tradition has given to Pharaoh’s magicians in Egypt during the time of the exodus.  He says that the “false religious leaders” we spoke about yesterday act like Jannes and Jambres.  They are corrupt and worthless regarding the truth.  Their work does not progress very much before their folly is exposed.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Jannes and Jambres.  If you remember the Exodus story, you will remember that Pharaoh’s magicians tried to prove that the gods of the Egyptians were just as powerful as the Hebrew God by imitating what Moses and Aaron did.  Their imitations were never quite as successful as God’s real power done through Moses and Aaron.  There are many false prophets out there who are imitators.  They see a genuine person of faith proclaiming truth and actually changing people’s lives for all the right reasons.  They want the glory, the fame, the power, the prestige, etc so they try to imitate the genuine.  Unfortunately we cannot imitate other people and be successful.  We can only be successful when we genuinely discern our call from God and act upon His call – not the call we have for ourselves.

Why is the temptation to imitate so strong?  Are there certain things that it might be okay to imitate?  What are those things?  What are some things that you think people get into trouble over when they try to imitate?  How can we learn what is good for us to try and imitate versus what we shouldn’t imitate because God hasn’t called us in that direction?

Second Thought:
Paul calls people who behave in an imitation kind of faith are corrupt, depraved, or even worthless.  This is because we have the ability to teach people to do more than imitate Jesus.  We can teach people how to find Jesus.  We can teach people how to be in a genuine relationship with Jesus, not just some imitation.  We have been given legitimate power and the ability to genuinely know God’s will for our life.  Yet so often we settle for a shadow of the real.

Do you feel like you are in a real relationship with Jesus Christ?  Do you occasionally feel like your relationship with God might be based partially on your relationship with your parents, your pastor, a mentor, or someone like this?  What can you do to help your relationship with God become solely genuine while still being able to learn from mentors, parents, or pastors?

Third Thought:
Paul talks about the idea that it doesn’t take long for folly to be exposed.  Imitations are okay for a while, but soon people can see through the imitation.  Think about people who are genuinely your friend versus people who are your friend while it is easy but then who abandon you.  One is real, the other is imitation.  The same is true regarding faith.  True disciples of Jesus Christ don’t imitate, they genuinely make more disciples who can genuinely make more disciples.

What is it about an imitation that causes it to be exposed for what it is?  Why can’t an imitation of the real thing sustain a person forever?  If this is true, why is it important to make sure our relationship with God is real versus an imitation?

Passage for Tomorrow: 2 Timothy 3:10-11

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