Time For God: May 20

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: 2 Timothy 3:13-14
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
 
Reflect:
Is it just my imagination …or is the number of telephone frauds increasing? Like a virus, they mutate and morph into new and dangerous forms. The frail and the elderly hide from them in fear, isolating from the threat of theft.

A widow loses her family fortune to a newcomer to her church. A powerful man in a powerful job, he often works out of town. He says he has fallen in love with her. She feels swept off her feet by his words of interest and promise. His firm is negotiating a vital purchase. Foreign income is assured but delayed just for now. The deal may fall through. Can she help with a bridging loan for two weeks? It will, of course, be repaid with handsome interest. She leaps to assist. Tragically, she loses her newfound love, retirement savings, self-esteem, and her trust in promised love.

Incoming phone calls instruct you to pay the tax office—or dire results will soon follow. Emails declare that offices in Africa require your benevolent bank account to receive funds in return for a large share of the money. A ridiculously rich and distant relative has left an estate that waits to be settled … and you are the sole beneficiary and they need to pay you right now. Who wrote this encyclopedia on how to rob the innocent and trusting among us? The Apostle warns against deceptive practitioners.

To lose money, relationships, and trust is bad indeed. To lose eternal hope is even worse. Paul warns of a more serious scam—spiritual deception. The evil men and impostors he forewarns will grow worse and worse. They are in the business of deceiving and being deceived. Their goal is to deflect believers from their Pilgrim path. If evil men succeed, many risk not reaching their goal—the Celestial City. The New Jerusalem is God’s safe place of welcoming embrace into His eternal presence.

The quick test is does the Bible confirm their message? Who do they say that Jesus is? Is He is their one way to God? Do they declare Him the Son of God, Savior of the world? Do they preach His atoning death on behalf of hell-bound sinners? Do they urge the lost to be found only in Him? Do their lives reflect those truths? Belief begets action; action confirms soul-values. Live biblically into God’s future for you.

Consider:
When have you felt the sting of deceit? How has God’s gentle healing been brought to you? What helps you to learn to safely trust again?
 
Pray:
God of new beginnings, mend my broken heart. Protect me from the schemes of evil men. Set me upon the Pilgrim path that leads me back to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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