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God has a cure for that itch - October 29, 2010
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:2-5
Mosquito bites! Athlete's Foot. Poison Ivy. If you've ever had to deal with these itchy, scratchy ailments, you know they are no fun and very hard to get rid of. You try this lotion and that spray but the itch doesn't seem to go away. Time and patience (and more lotion) are about the only answers that make the itch go away.
As the Apostle Paul wrote these last words to his dear friend Timothy, Paul was preparing Timothy to deal with a situation far worse that bug bites and skin rashes. False teachings, lies about the faith and salvation, and personal religious opinions were infesting and infecting the hearts of people. Such things go beyond irritation; they hurt and kill saving faith. Paul knew that a time was coming when people would no longer desire to hear the Word of God, especially what God had to say about sin. And because people like to sin and indulge in their every desire without being made to feel guilty, they would surround themselves with like-minded teachers who would grant a stamp of approval on their sinful lifestyles.
Paul's words are quite prophetic for us since we are still living in similar times. The abuse of God's gift of sex, which is reserved for marriage, only is called "experimentation." Giving in to homosexual temptation is now passed off as "God made me that way." The promotion that the world was not created but evolved over billions of years is the commonplace lie among most universities, high schools, and even grade schools. Books promote Jesus as a mere teacher of moral living and even suggest that he may have been married and might have sinned, too. Why all the promotion of these and many other false teachings? Because people who don't want to believe the Bible have an itch—an itch against God. They don't want to feel accountable to God or live their lives according to his Word. So, the only way to calm that itch is to reduce God to nothing more than a lucky rabbit's foot or a curse word.
What is the salve for this itch? "Preach the Word!" Preach and proclaim the Bible—the whole Bible. Let God work through the Scriptures to do the rebuking and correcting. Let God set the record straight. And even if people will not listen, God still calls us to be faithful to the Word and proclaim it "in season and out of season." May God strengthen us to do this always!
Lord Jesus, help me to always faithfully proclaim your word for your Word is truth and life. Amen.
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.