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Mid-Week with Christ
October 16, 2019

Itching Ears

2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

 
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
 

Prayer for the Day

 
Father, by your Spirit you enlightened the prophets, evangelists and apostles to speak your Word to us. May we always give heed to that Word as it points us away from things harmful, to Jesus who gives us all we need. In his Strong Name we pray, Amen. 

There was a man who joined my first congregation after having been away from church for quite a while. He tried out another church in town, but was startled to hear things that seemed to contradict what he had grown up learning from the Bible. He came to me, surprised that people would be willing to listen to things that weren't approved of by God. In response to his confusion, I read him today's Scripture passage from Timothy. 

The real problem, of course, is that we all have passage from God's Word that we would like to ignore. It is easy to accuse others of finding teachers that suit their own fancies. But we must be honest: do we ever do the same? Do we only seek out pastors who say what we agree with? Or do we listen to something with which we disagree and then test that teaching against God's Word? Sometimes we are right to mark and avoid a teacher. But sometimes we stop listening because they are proclaiming to us an uncomfortable truth. 

"All Scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction." So writes the Apostle Paul. When we hear something in church that rubs us the wrong way, it may be because we need reproof and correction. If we only listen to teachers that suit our own passions, how will the Lord ever train us to reflect the righteousness of Christ?

Jesus died that we might have life. When he gives us life, he also begins to lead us away from death. Sometimes that leading is painful, but it is always profitable for our salvation and for equipping us for true good works.
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