In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 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. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
Instantly Itching ears
There are some obvious places we can go here with this passage of Holy Scripture, but if you have been following my work in Christ here at Apprising Ministries somehow you knew “I’m not going there” as the kids say. The Lord knows that I do give my best—as one God has called to be a pastor-teacher—to follow this command of the Lord. These verses cut to the heart of the subject of “opinions.”
Opinions are much like noses in our society today, everybody’s got ‘em. Although this passage of Scripture is especially applicable for those of us called to fill the pulpit, it is extremely important for any of us who truly belong to Jesus today as we wallow through this seeker sensitive nightmare of postevangelicalism and the emerging church. And as soon as more true Christians begin to do what these verses instruct us to do, it will serve to clear up a whole slew of huge misconceptions people have about Christianity.
(click here to read this excellent post)
The studies we have done on spiritual warfare, the believer’s armor, the Resurrection, and the marks belonging to genuine Christians have, hopefully, quickened in many of you a deep desire to know our God deeply. Your heart’s desire is to honor and glorify Him because you love Him with your entire being. He has put His truth in you and this love for Him is a product of His good work of sanctification in your heart. You have been awakened to what a miracle your salvation really is and you now have a new perspective that is becoming more and more aligned with God’s. Those who are used by God are called by Him to serve. It is not on their own terms, but His.
Below is a piece by Oswald Chambers that give us insight into the proper perspective believers must have in order to have lives which glorify their Heavenly Father. Enjoy and be blessed. – Mike Ratliff
by Oswald Chambers
Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ . . . —2 Corinthians 2:14
The proper perspective of a servant of God must not simply be as near to the highest as he can get, but it must be the highest. Be careful that you vigorously maintain God’s perspective, and remember that it must be done every day, little by little. Don’t think on a finite level. No outside power can touch the proper perspective.The proper perspective to maintain is that we are here for only one purpose— to be captives marching in the procession of Christ’s triumphs. We are not on display in God’s showcase— we are here to exhibit only one thing— the “captivity [of our lives] to the obedience of Christ” ( 2 Corinthians 10:5 ). How small all the other perspectives are! For example, the ones that say, “I am standing all alone, battling for Jesus,” or, “I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold down this fort for Him.” But Paul said, in essence, “I am in the procession of a conqueror, and it doesn’t matter what the difficulties are, for I am always led in triumph.” Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him as a blatant rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive— and that became his purpose. It was Paul’s joy to be a captive of the Lord, and he had no other interest in heaven or on earth. It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. We should belong so completely to the Victor that it is always His victory, and “we are more than conquerors through Him . . .” ( Romans 8:37 ).
“We are to God the fragrance of Christ . . .” ( 2 Corinthians 2:15 ). We are encompassed with the sweet aroma of Jesus, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.