Timothy 1:5 “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
One devotional resonated to me about the direction of the Christian message and how the focus is constantly on us in the “here and now” and doctrine by God’s Word is (to put it nicely) not primary and foremost in Christian living. I was blessed to have a public Junior High School teacher who eye-opened my eyes to the deceptions and mis-directional ways of the world, which started me seeking truth and recognizing popular fads, trends or crazes. We all may remember grandma asking: “If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you jump too?” I remember hearing an interview with writer Anne Rice, who explained how living out “existentialism” in college (the philosophy of living for today) distracted her vision of Christ and lead to the endless pursuit of happiness everywhere else, but later rediscovering the love of Christ that pursued her in truth. I see them all as priceless lessons along the broken road to the Lord. The article asks: Have you noticed how much of modern, self-oriented teaching and writing has tended to downgrade biblical “doctrine” in favor of an emphasis on “love” and “fulfillment,” the “pursuit of happiness,” “sharing and caring,” “confident living,” “self-improvement,” and “personal success?” Doctrine is thus downgraded in favor of practice, and “works” are considered more important than the Word. But this type of emphasis places the cart before the horse and can never succeed for very long. “Doctrine” is simply “teaching,” and true teaching must come from God’s infallible Word, whether that teaching relates to great divine truths (creation, atonement, sanctification, etc.) or to the daily Christian walk.
Our denomination’s CEO Willie Nolte, preached at our church one Sunday, stated that when one disregards old church traditions, standards and doctrines, they bring in new traditions, standards and doctrines. His point: We cannot escape being taught doctrine somewhere. If we will not receive true doctrine from God’s Word, we will inevitably become indoctrinated with the world’s secular humanistic deceptions, for these imposed upon our thinking continually, from classroom and journal, from television and (unfortunately) sometimes even from the pulpit mirroring that culture. Who or what is truly being worshiped? What is holy?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
If we are really concerned about love, joy, peace and such things, we must acquire them from the right source, the doctrinal truths of the Word of God. It is knowing and obeying the commandment, as our opening verse says, that generates pure love, a faithful heart, and a daily life that supports a clear conscience. But, distractions are everywhere. When we “know the truth” (the doctrinal truth of the Word of God), then and then only can we “walk in truth”.
In Christ, Brian