Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yikes! What are you filling your head with?

Good morning my friends. It is a great day to be in service to the King. That's our big brother you know. King, Lord, High Priest, mediator, living word; he's a lot of things but never lose sight of the fact we are family and he is the first born, our big brother. Thankfully he is the perfect big brother and not the big brother of our childhood. We have other siblings in the family as well who also look after us in the same sense that Paul looked out for Timothy. Timothy had become "like a son" to Paul and in his last letter to him we get the definite sense of Paul passing the torch:

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:6-7)

Paul was looking forward to moving on:

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (v. 8)

I am sure it is a day we are all anticipating, when we receive all the promises of Jesus as we see him face to face. No more tears, the Word tells us, just the overwhelming joy of being with Jesus. However, Paul also had a warning for Timothy who was taking up this torch and staying behind to continue the work of the mission:

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (vv. 2-4)

We have always had a few people teaching and preaching falsehoods in Jesus name but I believe we now live in a time when many will be fooled because of their own laziness. As wonderful a thing as the Internet is, it has also made it possible for people to fill their minds with many false teachings and false doctrines. People who are young in their faith and who consider themselves of great ability to understand are falling for this garbage. As preachers, such as myself, tell people to check us and our teaching by checking the Word, people instead turn to other people's opinions who are not anointed to preach and teach. They are just people who are puffed up with a little bit of knowledge and who jump to great and terrifying conclusions.

When the Apostle Paul first entered Macedonian he went to a city called Berea. There we read this recording of the scene:

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

Note here that they checked the Scriptures to see if it was true; they did not go running off to ask the scholars of the world what they thought, and they were close to the heart of the great philosophers at that time. They checked the Scriptures. Some people today spend all their time checking out blogs (thank you for reading mine), watching various preaching on the Internet, reading articles and only a few minutes with the Scriptures themselves. They fill their head with ideas and opinions instead of reading and allowing the Spirit to give them understanding. They dismiss the great teachings of the giants of our faith to take the opinion of someone who has never met Jesus. So much knowledge and so little understanding will destroy our relationship with Jesus. It always comes down to that relationship. Paul counseled Timothy:

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)

In other words, stay faithful as I have remained faithful, Paul is telling Timothy. That's a major part of this race we are in, to stay faithful to Jesus and the mission he has called us too. The world and those who are lost in the Church will believe what their minds and hearts will fool them into believing but we must remain true to what we are convinced of. That is what we read yesterday from our reading of 2 Timothy3:

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (vv. 14-15)

We live in dangerous times and many will fall away because of the false teachings and doctrines that will puff them up with false knowledge. They will refuse to listen to wise counsel and will instead try to teach others the same false doctrines. We aren't surprised by this because there are a number of warnings about this in those same Scriptures that are under assault today. Just don't you be one of those who is deceived. Consume the Word of God and allow the Spirit to guide and teach you in all things.

 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
       and lean not on your own understanding;

 in all your ways acknowledge him,
       and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

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