leaning in what direction?

SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 2

OBSERVATION/APPLICATION

  1. Peter is describing spiritual charlatans, religious sheisters who cloak themselves in religious garb, but who live for their own selfish, sinful pleasure. Deceivers, false teachers, they put on a good show, but… Jesus said we could tell the true and false teachers by their fruit, i.e. by the outcome of their lives. Not by their religious performance – they have perfected that skill – but by the effect of their lives on others. Do they heal or hurt others, do they give or take from others, do they humbly serve or arrogantly demand from others, do their lives look like Jesus?
  2. I have never met this kind of person, though I have read of people who were like this, as well as people who were taken advantage of or abused by them. As I read this, it is easy to look away from myself, since I know I am not like this extreme picture, as described by Peter. But then the Lord points to my heart, and challenges me to look for glimmerings of this. I think of Psalm 139, where when David realizes that God knows EVERYTHING about him, he shifts the focus away from himself to those “wicked and bloodthirsty” people who hate God and rise up against Him. But that is not where the Lord wants us to go; He calls us to open our own hearts to Him. As David finally does: “Search me, O God, and know my heart… see if there is any offensive way in me…” (Psalm 139:23-24).
  3. There are two extreme examples presented in the Bible, the wicked and the righteous. Since we are all sinners, and no one is perfectly wicked or perfectly righteous, the question is not which one we are, but which one we lean towards. Are there ways in which I lean towards the false prophets that Peter describes: using my religion to control others, pretending to be more holy than I am, using my faith for financial gain, having eyes full of adultery, slaves of depravity, entangled in the corruption of the world. I may not be the extreme of this, but am I showing signs of it?
  4. The flip side is whether I am leaning in the direction of Jesus, of the righteous life. Am I hungering to be righteous, not perfect but longing for it? Do I allow the Lord to look into my own heart and show me the offensive ways in me? Am I determined to change whatever He reveals to me that is not good? How serious am I about dealing with sin in my life? Do I hate it? Do I run away from it?
  5. One line jumped out at me, “a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” What is it in my life that is mastering me? A habit, a fear, a desire, a lifestyle, certain possessions? I can think of some things that have a greater control of me than they ought to. The line, “I can quit if I want to” sounds remarkably like the excuse most addicts make. Can I, or am I mastered by worldly desires, am I entangled by worldly corruption. I think I know the answer to this. The Lord is revealing specific areas where I am not mastered by Him, but by those pleasures, desires, possessions.

PRAYER:
Lord, thank You for not letting me off the hook by pointing the finger at others. Show me my heart, and more than that, help me to be determined to change, to lean in the right direction.

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One Response

  1. Walking in His Sonshine in Haiti. I must be true to His Word in my faith and my actions/doings. My loving=my knowing=my doing. My head and my heart and my hands must all be on the same page, in sync with one another. And they can tell we are Christians by our love.

    Being a teacher, may other find me leaning upon the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ. Continue Your work in me Lord, that I may never be the false teacher that Peter describes. As far as it depends upon me, may I live at peace with all mankind. Have Your Way , Lord. Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus each day and also live this day for Him. Living for Jesus a life that is true. May the children and the staff see me and read me that I am a Christ follower in all I do. Help me each day to be true. Help me be a servant leader – Your servant in all I say and do.

    You are my strength when I am weak
    You are the treasure that I seek
    You are my all in all
    Seeking You as a precious jewel
    Lord, to give up I’d be a fool
    You are my all in all

    Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
    Rising up again I bless Your name
    You are my all in all
    When I fall down You pick me up
    When I am dry You fill my cup
    You are my all in all

    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name
    Jesus, Lamb of God
    Worthy is Your name

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