It sure seems like people are getting crazier day by day. A guy throws his kids off a bridge. A mother tries to drown her twins, kills one, one on life support. A marine (apparently) kills and burns his ladyfriend and unborn child.
The tragedy of these tragedies is that they are so common. Maybe so common that we grow calloused to their horribleness. For instance, when is the last time I thought seriously of the horror of legal abortion in America? Or prayed against it?
Second Timothy 3 sounds like a summary of the front page on a newspaper, the opening minutes of a newscast, or the first paragraph of an emailed news update:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
What an indictment! And perhaps the most vital “charge” are the latter two – lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God and having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
That is a Spirit-inspired charge against professing followers of Christ, not the world. Loving stuff more than the Savior; saying, singing, and writing supposed stuff of godliness, but scrapping its power to transform us rather than entertain us.
The horrific news should cause us to weep, but should not surprise. This horribleness will not be solved by the upcoming elections, or by big and flashy church events. It can only be fought by genuine followers of Christ doing the “hard” things – presenting ourselves repeatedly as living sacrifices, loving not the world nor the things in the world, and by fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Easy to type, hard to do.
Easier to quote Ephesians 2.8,9…but Ephesians 2.10 declares “our” part…”For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.“
Ready for the application? Here’s one of my regular prayers, usually uttered before my feet hit the floor in the morning, “Lord, whatever You are up to today, help me be alert to the good works You have prepared for me this day so I can be a part of it.”
Lord knows – as do those who know me – that I have no where near “arrived.” But, with His enabling, I want to press on, no matter how dark this world becomes.