Monday, February 05, 2007

2 Timothy 3:1-5 -- Ornamental Oranges

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

As I meditated on this passage this morning I first thought of how this is a picture of the world today (it is) and then how it is also a picture of the church (and it is). But then God brought it close to home and showed me how I have had different flavors of these issues in my life even as I was a church-going “Christian”. These attributes can surface when ones life is not God-focused. Think about it, if you are focused on living for God and pleasing him, how can you be boastful, ungrateful, unholy, and a lover of pleasure. If we truly surrender our day to God, how can we be a lover of ourselves, be abusive, disobedient, and conceited. It is when we keep our focus vertical on God and not horizontal toward ourselves and the world that we live a life free from these ugly attributes. Stay God-focused! Verse 5, unfortunately, defines so many church-goers and churches today: “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” I call this an Ornamental Orange Christian. In Arizona we have orange trees that produce beautiful oranges. They are gorgeous, but they are designed to just look good, because when you peel them back to the “fruit” and take a bite you will discover they are sour and not juicy. They are just for looks. It is sad to see so many Ornamental Orange Christians these days. They look good on the outside, but are filled with sour and dry fruit. Their lives are defined by many of the attributes in these passages and they have a form of godliness, but deny its power. God is in the business of transformation. He can transform an Ornamental Christian into the real deal. Let’s get, and stay, God-focused!

1 comment:

Josue said...

Its scary how these verses remind me of our world today.