Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 18 - Destructive Heresies

Today's Reading:
Isaiah 28:14-30:11
2 Peter 2:1-22
Psalm 142:1-7
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
2 Peter 2:1-3
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

In the first chapter of this short letter, Peter says the testimony of the prophets and the apostles is trustworthy and inspired by God. In the second chapter he warns of false teachers who invent their stories and teachings. He says that false teachers are marked by: 1) their denial of God's sovereignty; 2) their shameful ways; and 3) their greed and exploitation of others.

Peter urged Christians to exercise discernment. Not everyone who claims to be teaching the truth of God is doing so. Followers of Jesus must be careful that they are not lead astray by so-called prophets and teachers. Truth stands up to questioning. Having faith does not mean being gullible. Well-placed faith looks for reasons to believe.

Response and Action:
I need to be careful about whom I listen to and whom I follow. I want to follow Jesus, so I will study the Scriptures carefully everyday. I will hold every teaching and story I hear up to the light of Christ's teaching and example. I will be on guard against every teaching that diminishes God or questions the lordship of Jesus. I will evaluate teachers and leaders with a critical mindset and watch out for any indicators of greed, exploitation, or other selfish motives.

O God, your word is sharper than a two edged sword -- able to cut through the attitudes and motives of the heart. Give me a growing love for your written word and the discipline to study and meditate upon it each day. Thank you for Jesus, the Living Word. Help me to follow him closely and to become so familiar with his words, his actions, and his life that I am able to clearly recognize and reject anything that runs contrary to his way. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 
1 John 4:1
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

God Talk: Cautions for Those Who Hear God's Voice
by Ruth Tucker

No comments: