Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 119:25-32 | Jeremiah 48:1-49:22 | 2 Timothy 4:1-22 | Proverbs 26:9-12
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Timothy 4
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 4:3-4 NIV).
There is an epidemic of itchy ears today. This should be no surprise, as Paul warned us that this would be the case. Those with itchy ears listen to only what they want to hear. If the preacher steps on their toes, they move on to another place that won’t be so uncomfortable. More than that, they look for and accumulate false teachers that tell them what they want to hear. They turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths–they are easily deceived, especially when it “suits their own desires.”
It makes the job of a pastor ever more difficult and ever more necessary. Pastors must preach the word in season and out of season (when people want to hear it and especially when they don’t). In times of compromise it is especially important for pastors to remain true to the word.
What about you? Do you have “itchy ears”? Through Radio and TV and the Internet and church hopping and books, it is quite possible to accumulate teachers who tell you just what you want to hear. But this is not a time for selective hearing; this is a time for the church to hear clearly and obey. It is time for believers to have open ears and open hearts. It is a time for “Bereans” to search the word to find out if these things “be true.” The determining factor is not “is this what I want to hear?” but rather “What is the Spirit saying to the churches?” When God speaks clearly through his word, it is time for us to obey whether it is what we want to hear or not.
Be watchful and sober-minded, and be careful of those itchy ears.
Father, give me ears that hear you clearly. Take away the “itch” to hear only what I want to hear. Keep me from turning from the truth and make me a seeker of truth. Help me to apply the truth to my life daily. Amen.