Remember the story of the dad who gave his son a bible for his birthday? The young man was expecting something different and got angry. He thought his dad would give him money for a particular thing he wanted. In anger, he refused to read the bible and slowly, in ungratefulness, grew apart from his dad.
Years later, he had to find a bible to use at his father's funeral. He grabbed the unused bible from the shelf for the service. As he moved the bible a $1,000 check fell out. The memo read, "Happy Birthday son, I love you."
I wonder how many things we miss because we expected God to give us one thing and we got something different?
Read: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
2 Timothy is Paul's last letter, written from prison ... his swan song. This is the last formal communication he will have with young Timothy. What would you write to one of your children if you knew it was the last thing you'd ever communicate?
The letter is full of encouragement, urging and warning. This portion is a strong warning not to fall in with the crowd. Paul warns Tim that as the world moves closer to the end times people are going to get more bold in their sin and rebellion.
People will love themselves & money, rebel against authority, love pleasure, be unforgiving, unholy and uncontrolled.
Sounds like the land I live in. Sounds also like the skin I live in as well at times.
That is a pretty brutal list. There has always been one on the list that made me wonder. Tucked in that pile of ugliness is a 10 letter word .... UNGRATEFUL. Ungrateful? How in the world did that make this list? It doesn't seem as bad as unholy or unloving, does it?
But in God's economy, ungrateful has a value attached to it. It is important to him. It is obvious when it is lacking. It is bad enough to make this list!
We might want to evaluate the expectations we place on God regarding health, wealth and happiness and see if we harbor any ungratefulness toward him.
Look back over the list of qualities in verse 2. How bad is this really? To God, apparently pretty bad.
Do you tolerate a spirit of ungratefulness in your life? Do you reflect an ungrateful spirit toward God for not meeting your expectations?
What can you be grateful for today and this weekend? Will you stop and reflect on the love of God shown to you in the dying and rising of Jesus Christ? Will that bring a measure of gratitude?
Identify 5 things you are grateful for today! Write them as a prayer of thanks to God.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.