SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Peter 2:18-20 (ERV)
TEXT: 18 They boast with words that mean nothing. They lead people into the trap of sin. They find people who have just escaped from a wrong way of life and lead them back into sin. They do this by using the evil things people want to do in their human weakness. 19 These false teachers promise those people freedom, but they themselves are not free. They are slaves to a mind that has been ruined by sin. Yes, people are slaves to anything that controls them. 20 People can be made free from the evil in the world. They can be made free by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they go back into those evil things and are controlled by them, then it is worse for them than it was before.
OBSERVATION: God used Peter to speak to his people at the time, and to also warn us today of the danger of false teachers sneaking in among us. Of course, no one reading this devotional will probably know of any ‘false teachers’ that have made their way into your churches, although you may have heard of this happening before at the churches across the street! Peter’s warning in these verses today shows us how easily this could happen in your own church, and how well accepted it might be, especially if they start opening up the doors, that are normally restricted or barred from typical Bible believing churches. So let’s stop and meditate on this for a little time today friends…
APPLICATION: I remember attending a very small church at one time, and as they moved into their time of Holy Communion, my wife and I chose not to participate, because of our understanding of where our hearts should be in order to take part in this holy, sacred practice. From the pulpit, we were told that there’s nothing wrong with participating, because all have sinned. After some 50 years, I still remember the guilt feelings of giving in to that preacher in spite of where we felt we were with God at the time. Now in no way am I accusing that preacher of being a fase teacher, but I believe from our focal verses today, we could see where some teachers might easily convince us that it’s ok to do certain things, that we have always being taught is off limits for the believer. Friends, there is no better way to deal with this, than to have your Bible in hand at each service and/or Bible teaching class. If the preacher has announced a Scripture that supports his sermon, then turn in your Bible to that passage, and try to support what he is saying against what is written in the Word. If you can’t support it, then please get with the preacher after the service and ask him for the reference upon which he based his statement. Let me encourage you to do this. It will not only help you to stay true to the Word, but it will also help keep that preacher accountable to his calling. This will also encourage the preacher to thank God that at least one person was listening to the sermon/teaching! The other major thing that God got my attention on, was the fact that anything that controls us, we could easily become slave to. This really caused me to stop and ponder the things that tend to control me. While I really want you to think carefully about what might be controlling you, I believe that for me it might be things like work; church work; food; computer based programs and technology-based wonders, etc. To apply the Word of God, I believe it is my responsibility to make sure that none of the above enslaves me or interferes with my relationship with God. What about you friend, are there things that keep you for your daily time with the Lord, or opportunities to grow spiritually? Think about it, and will yourself to let nothing draw you away from God – the only One that loved you enough to sacrificially provide the means of you getting to heaven, and the only One who has the ability to help you overcome the evil things of this world and draw you to Himself.
PRAYER: Lord, You won us to Yourself through Your precious Word. Please deepen our commitment to always seek the Word when we feel like something is separating us from You. Please help us to feed ourselves on Your Word daily, so that our souls might be fed with things that are holy, things that are righteous, and things that will draw us even closer to Yourself. Please keep us accountable to our commitment to serve You all the days of our life here on earth. May Your Word be a rock and a firm foundation on which we could stand as we face the evil of this world. AMEN!