Recently, a friend of mine expressed his frustration about all the problems in the world, and his inability to really solve any of them. I felt his pain. We live in the “outrage” decade. Just read the comments after pretty much any news story, and you’ll see what I mean. Everyone is offended about everything. In many instances, that outrage is warranted; the world is full of injustice. This is nothing new.
Perhaps we’re more aware of it all in an age of instant communication, but people have always been mean and selfish, violent and greedy. Thankfully, most of us manage to live as civilized adults—but there are plenty of exceptions. Nature tosses in her share as well, with hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. And then there’s politics. Right.
We are a culture of action. We’re eager to get started, to accomplish something. And to a great extent, we are valued according to what we achieve. How much money do we make? What awards have we won? What discoveries have we made?
When we meet someone new, we ask “What do you do?” If we have a need, the standard advice is to “don’t just sit there—do something!” We applaud a man of action and disparage a couch potato. We tell ourselves that life is too short to wait. Continue reading
Have you ever suddenly noticed that God is telling you something, and no matter where you turn, you can’t avoid the message? You could open the Bible to any passage, turn on the radio, have a conversation with a friend, read a book—and they’re all on the same theme.
In the past, this happened when I was doing something contrary to God’s will. In other words, I was sinning. I could try to shut out my conscience, but God was truly the Hound of Heaven, pursuing me relentlessly until I finally gave up and repented. Every sermon, every devotional, even totally secular activities such as reading a news magazine or watching TV were a reminder that God wanted not just my obedience, but me.
(Yet another installment in my study on 2 Peter 1:3, 5-8.)
Am I godly? Are you?
I’d always assumed that godliness meant “being like God,” so I was quite surprised to discover that isn’t the case. I don’t often take the time to dig in on a word or phrase, but in this case, I’m glad I did. Understanding the Greek was essential to understanding what Paul says.
Godliness is translated from the Greek word eusebia (εὐσέβεια). It is derived from a root word (εὐσεβής) meaning “pious” or “reverent.” It relates to doing that which pleases God, based on one’s heart attitude.