I was driving down the road not too long ago and saw a bumper sticker which read, “Catholics for marriage equality. GOD IS LOVE.” This caused me to think of other things that don’t make sense. For instance, there are those who profess a belief in God and yet, would march for the right to abort babies, in some cases even to the ninth month. We watch the news and see the violence and looting and the claim by some that it is simply reparation because of the past. For as Paul spoke of the society back then, so we can say it today, that we live in a sinful world, a “crooked and perverse generation” (Philippians 2:15). Isaiah the prophet wrote, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). This is troubling for a number of reasons, but for me, it is because so many in the so-called Christian community are being persuaded to think like this.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who
does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2nd Timothy 2:15
The wisdom provided to the evangelist Timothy through the Holy Spirit guiding the apostle Paul is helpful to us as well, for he too had to face those who with “itching ears” would “turn their ears away from truth” (2nd Timothy 4:3, 4). So, let’s consider three basic things crucial to fighting against such conformity to the world around us. The first key is the task to “be diligent.” The NIV would say “do your best.” The NCV says “make every effort.” You get the idea, don’t you? We need to be disciples of Christ; that is, learners of Christ and His ways. Asking God to help equip us so that we can “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude v3). The conviction that His word can and will “equip us for every good work” (2nd Timothy 3:17) should inspire us because “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Second, we need not be ashamed of the truth. We need to be willing to speak the truth in love. Sin is sin. Darkness is darkness. If not, then this whole Christianity thing is bogus! I would agree, how we speak it is as important as what we speak. Paul exhortation to Timothy, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2nd Timothy 4:2). I know that this is Timothy’s work with the church, but can’t we apply some of this to how we engage the world around us? Paul wrote to the Philippian church that they should “shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Philippians 2:15, 16). Okay, if these two are reasonable to consider, then the last one is critical to them both; that is, rightly dividing the word of truth. There is such a thing as “sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). To the very best of our ability we need to grow in our understanding of it. It is the tool God has given to sinful man to reveal to them the greatest gift ever given, Jesus Christ! It is this same tool that provides those who believe with insight into what it means to “walk just as He walked” (1st John 2:6).
Our world is changing rapidly before our eyes. Yet, as we look throughout history, and more importantly, the scriptures, we find that this is nothing new to our sinful world. We cannot stop such changes from happening, but we can lovingly stand for what God teaches in His word. For if we, His church, do not stand, who will? Let’s seek God earnestly to help us shine as lights in the world. Have a blessed week and know you are loved by God.