We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Aaron Martell.
2 Timothy 2:16-19
16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Typically this phrase is about bullying or name calling. But I believe this can be true as we see the power words can have in life.
2 Timothy is a letter from Paul to encourage his young protégé, Timothy in his faith journey. In this context Paul gives a firm warning to watch your words; not only by what you say, but also by what influences you. We see an example of Hymenaeus and Philetus who were influenced to disregard the true resurrection and begin believing a lie.
I would argue, in today’s society, this is more evident than ever. How many times do we want to believe in the new thing: the new eating plan, the new money-making scheme, the new way to grow in our faith journey? How many times are we influenced to find the easy way? Not persevere? We are influenced by things that are quick and easy or different than what God has set forth.
I want to encourage you to watch the waywardness of words and how easily you are influenced to find a short-cut in faith. Persevering means that with the Spirit we test what we hear. How does it line up to truth and the ways that Jesus has invited us to live?
The Message version states it this way:
Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul…. Meanwhile, God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones:
God knows who belongs to him.
steer clear of evil, all you who name god as god.
God, May I be weary of slick-talking, short-cut ways of doing faith. Because your Son spoke with grace and truth, and never took a short-cut with his life. May I have the same perseverance in my faith journey. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
- Test the words you hear by the Spirit, Scripture, and trusted mature followers.
- Stand firm on who you belong to and who is guiding you.
- Create a clear path for others to believe the truth of the gospel, watch your waywardness of words, keep it plain and simple for those who are younger in their faith.
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