Scripture reading for July 7th: Ecclesiastes 7-9, Psalm 46, 2nd Timothy 3
2nd Timothy 3:1-5 “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. Avoid such people.”
Paul wanted Timothy, and us, to understand that this world would not get better as time went onward. The time before Jesus’ return would be marked by increased wickedness among the people of the world. They would be centered on ‘self’ and gratifying their flesh. They would be involved in idolatry and violence and seeking after pleasure rather than seeking after God. In all of this self-centeredness, they would cover themselves with a pretense of ‘godliness’ but lack any power of restraint from evil. Believers were to meticulously avoid association with such people. Their pursuit of God’s righteous and true holiness would bring the need for holy separation.
Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Prayer: Father God, You are my refuge and strength in these times of difficulty and trouble. Help me to avoid the traps of these difficult times and to pursue true godliness and gently lead those who will listen to truth and escape from the snares of self-centered living and religion. Your Word is my guide and my message to keep my path straight and avoid a life ending in vanity.
Ecclesiastes 8:10 “Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.”