It sure seems like people are getting crazier day by day. A guy throws his kids off a bridge. A mother tries to drown her twins, kills one, one on life support. A marine (apparently) kills and burns his ladyfriend and unborn child.

The tragedy of these tragedies is that they are so common. Maybe so common that we grow calloused to their horribleness. For instance, when is the last time I thought seriously of the horror of legal abortion in America? Or prayed against it?

Second Timothy 3 sounds like a summary of the front page on a newspaper, the opening minutes of a newscast, or the first paragraph of an emailed news update:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

What an indictment! And perhaps the most vital “charge” are the latter two – lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God and having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

That is a Spirit-inspired charge against professing followers of Christ, not the world. Loving stuff more than the Savior; saying, singing, and writing supposed stuff of godliness, but scrapping its power to transform us rather than entertain us.

The horrific news should cause us to weep, but should not surprise. This horribleness will not be solved by the upcoming elections, or by big and flashy church events. It can only be fought by genuine followers of Christ doing the “hard” things – presenting ourselves repeatedly as living sacrifices, loving not the world nor the things in the world, and by fixing our eyes on Jesus.

Easy to type, hard to do.

Easier to quote Ephesians 2.8,9…but Ephesians 2.10 declares “our” part…”For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ready for the application? Here’s one of my regular prayers, usually uttered before my feet hit the floor in the morning, “Lord, whatever You are up to today, help me be alert to the good works You have prepared for me this day so I can be a part of it.”

Lord knows – as do those who know me – that I have no where near “arrived.” But, with His enabling, I want to press on, no matter how dark this world becomes.

Author: Jack Hager

Jesus invaded my life shortly after my arrest at age 26. I spent the first few years of my new life incarcerated. Went to Bible school after parole; have served with Kansas City Youth For Christ, Headwaters Christian Youth (Rhinelander, Wi), Family Life Ministries (Bath, NY), and now with Midland Ministries (Saint Joseph, Mo). Married with four children, work with youth, adults, inmates. Heavily involved in Bible quizzing for four decades. Narrow minded about Jesus and the gospel; fairly open minded about most other things. Speak in churches, camps (both teen and family), civic groups, public schools, Christian schools and colleges...amazed I get to do what I get to do....favorite verse Romans 15.13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may overflow with hope."

2 thoughts on “>Indicators?”

  1. >Thanks for the post. We all need to be reminded of hope and keep pressing on, no matter how dark things become. I’ll probably get the quote wrong, but it’s like Red says in SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing, and no good thing ever dies.” Hope is one of the best things. I have to be reminded of that.As for your reply to my xanga post, I haven’t exactly been doing whatever I want to do. I still lift things up to God everyday. I know he will direct me. I don’t know if I’ve ever made a major decision in my life on just pure impulse–I detrust emotion way too much for that.I’ve been posting on blogger in addition to xanga for about two years now. You and your family have been and will continue to be in my prayers. Until next time.Tom Varner

  2. >Jack – Welcome to Blogger! I like the new look. Amen to this post. I was actually thinking yesterday, well, more like I was really discouraged, because of everything in the news, etc. There are times that I really do love people, and other times I think I need an extended LONG vacation from them – because they can be downright cruel to each other. It’s in these moments I’m reminded of my own shortcomings and inablilities, and so thankful that God is above and beyound, completly perfect, and completly just. So comforting – makes me homesick for Him too…

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