“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

2 Timothy 3 (Perilous times)

What our eyes behold often determines what we think. 

Henry B. Eyring said, "The prophets of God have foreseen the times in which we live. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 1 Anyone with eyes to see the signs of the times and ears to hear the words of prophets knows that the peril is great. The peril comes from the forces of wickedness. Those forces are increasing. And so it will become harder, not easier, to keep the covenants we must make to live the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Why does Paul describe the last days as perilous? 
What does he want Timothy to understand? 
Perilous means fraught with danger. What is in jeopardy? How do our covenants protect us?

In looking at the definition of perilous, I wondered how it related to Paul's description of the last days.
Are not we living in blessed time? Can we not do all that we need with lightening speed? Is there a reason to fear? I think it is important to understand that all pleasures, all advances come at a price. All too often we realize the prize is greater than we first thought. What do the prophets say of these times?

Perilous: dangerous, fraught with danger, hazardous, risky, unsafe, treacherous; precarious, vulnerable, uncertain, insecure, exposed, at risk, in jeopardy, in danger, touch-and-go; informal dicey.

Paul gave a series of words that he felt were connotations of the word perilous. As I  read them I imagined if I could see: one person, one situation, one circumstance. The newspapers are fraught with examples.

Perilous times:                                    

  • lovers of their own selves  -  I wondered what the world would be like without mirrors, photographs,  media, video, face book, How would it be to have to go to another individual to find the love within our selves? Isn't is a different experience to discover a self love based on service as opposed to one based on self grandeur? 
  • covetous - o In our 30 years of economic growth have we learned to accept or to covet? How do we define success? with gratitude or discontent? 
  • boasters- politicians, athletes, 
  • proud- powerful, wealthy, successful, educated, religious, ethnic 
  • blasphemers Are there not those who would defame another, or God. Show no respect?
  • disobedient to parents- Can we see that there are many who no longer respect the wisdom of the older generation? This is sad b/c the older generation live longer now more than ever before. Do not our parents perspectives bring great blessings of lessons learned. 
  • unthankful - Who has not known a man who has shown no gratitude. 
  • unholy 
  • without natural affection  lust is not love. Love is pure natural affection. Or is there another interpretation? Unable to feel? Unable to understand another's pain? 
  • trucebreakers 
  • fasle accusers 
  • incontinent 
  • fierce 
  • despisers of those that are good = Who wants to see prayer done away with? Who wants to see all that is good gone. Can we say Merry Christmas anymore? What has happened to our country?
  • traitors, 
  • heady - Are there those who will refuse comment on their work? difficult to work with?
  • highminded 
  • lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God - Given the choice to serve another or watch entertainment, which do you choose? What does this say about us? 
  • denying the power of God - when God gives us a miracle do we recognize the power of his hand in our lives or do we chalk it up to coincidence? What is coincidence but the power of God in our lives. REvelation comes to those who seek it. Yet there are many who say it does not occur anymore. Why? 
  • creep into houses - What creeps into our houses that we don't open the door wide open and let it in? Could it be said that television, internet, music, etc. creep into our houses? 
  • divers lusts - lusts that are unholy, unseemly, lusts for the most wicked and preverse things? 
  • ever learning .. never able to come to a knowledge of the truth - who has gone to school for years. found wisdom, respect, intelligence and yet they are unsettled because of their lack of faith. Who can know the truth if they do not seek it? Does truth come from the learning of man's words or the practicing of God's wisdom? Where does curiosity end? 
  • men of corrupt minds - Where do corrupt minds come from if not from the practicing of unstable living? If you are jealous, covetous, and ungrateful, how can you expect to find peace? Peace comes from putting into practice the  solid understanding of truth.
  • reprobate concerning the faith - Who knows of God's love? Who knows of God's faith but he whom will practice it? 

Now.. what to do? What to choose? How to live? 
Man of God  Paul was all of these. Can we too choose one and practice it? 
  • manner of life Paul Mother Theresa, Prophets, Apostles, Bishops, 
  • purpose - I think of so many who after a lifetime of work, have no purpose to their lives? Is the purpose of life to eat or should we eat so that we might discover the purpose of life. What should we eat that will bring us the greatest satisfaction? 
  • faith - believing in what we cannot see
  • long-suffering -living for what we cannot always understand
  • charity 
  • patience 
  • persecutions, 
  • affliction 
  • live godly in Christ 
  • suffer persecution 
  • from a child thous hast known the scriptures
  • wise unto salvation 
  • continue in the things which thou hast learned 
  • knowing whom thou hast learned them
  • by inspiration 
  • profitable for doctrine 
  • for reproof 
  • for correction 
  • for instruction in righteousness 
  • perfect 
  • throughly furnished unto all good works
After reading this list, I have to ask? Did Christ miss any of these? I don't believe so? 

Paul chose to contrast the evil with the good so that we could all see clearly what we fight in order to maintain our faith. The battle is not easy. It is long. It is not for the weak. It is for the loving, the kind, and the sure. Persecution will mark our paths. Why? Because darkness disdains light. Because those who are in pain seek to destroy the peace of others. Because no one likes to be told they made a mistake. 

The times are perilous because the hearts of men steer clear of correction, reproof, or instruction. Without a ruder to guide any ship will surely face the ragged rocks and certain demise. But with a guiding oar to guide, we can all find our way to calm and sure waters. 



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