Today you should read: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
“Which one is easier…to sit with a bucket of butter-soaked popcorn and watch Tom Cruise on the big screen for two hours, or kneel and pray for five minutes? Tom Cruise wins hands down, because there is literally no competiton. What the flesh hates is God, so it resists anything that smacks of God- especially communion with Him. The flesh can curl up by your side and watch mindless movies all night long. But, let even the barest thought of meditations flutter into your mind, and the flesh goes to Red Alert. Before you get past “our Father,” your eyes, which were glued to the screen, now sag in sleepiness, and your attention, which was so fixed on the plot, now zips around the universe faster than the Starship Enterprise.” ~ Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within.
We struggle, as Christians, to war against the passions of our flesh. All of us can identify with the quote from, The Enemy Within. Paul is addressing that very issue with Timothy and the early church. We see this issue more than ever in our culture and many churches are turning away from speaking truth in the name of being “seeker friendly.” I do not want to put too much blame on the pastors of these churches without addressing the truth that the reason for these churches is because “seeker friendly” draws large crowds. When you and I are addressed with truth it will lead to conviction. Conviction is awesome and leads us to change into the likeness of Christ, but conviction hurts. It means that you and I desire things that are not of God and we need to be rebuked and reproved (v.2). So how can we avoid allowing our flesh to win?
1. Be sober-minded.
It means we should not just listen to everything that sounds good to us but to test everything by the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16, Deuteronomy 6:4-8, Psalm 1).
We have to be transformed in our thinking and protect our beliefs from the lies of our flesh (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23-24).
What beliefs do you live by that you cannot defend scripturally?
2. Endure suffering.
Denying yourself and living for Christ is hard and often will lead to suffering and persecution. This is why it is so important to develop your beliefs biblically and know why you believe them because they will be tested in persecution.
Remember that suffering does not produce character, it reveals it.
3. Do the work of an evangelist.
Live with a godly purpose and intentionally share the gospel with those around you. When our focus is on God and his glory for the purpose of loving others (Matthew 22:34-40) then our focus will not be on ourselves. Pride and selfishness fuel our sin but the cure is humbly serving others and glorifying God through the gospel.
Who is on your heart this week? Who do you plan on building a deeper relationship with in order to share the life changing message of the gospel?
Posted by:Chad Wiles