Photo by Andrea Piacquadio at: https://www.pexels.com/
I was reading in 2 Timothy 4:8 and began to wonder about the word “loved” at the end of the verse. I looked it up in the Blue Letter Bible and found the Greek word is agapaō. You should be able to immediately recognize the root word as I did. We find that same word in John 3:16 which speaks of God’s love for us.
Yet, most of the time I have heard these words defined as a self-giving love and had trouble thinking about that in context of “all who have loved His appearing.” My Bible dictionary gave another definition regarding things rather than people as “to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing.”
I spent a few minutes thinking about being content with Jesus appearing, which would include his life, death, and resurrection. How can I grow in contentment regarding Jesus coming to Earth?
As I read on, I found the exact same word only two verses later: “for Demas, having loved (agapaō) this present world (2 Tim 2:10, NASB). Paul seems to be contrasting people who love the appearance of Jesus with people who love the world. Or by using the dictionary definition, people being content with the world rather than Jesus. And Demas was a Christian who was learning from the Apostle Paul!
So, it was back to mulling over the word but now including the contrast: content with the appearance of Jesus versus content with the world. And back to my Bible dictionary to see a definition for world as a “period of time, age.”
We live in a period of time where stuff can provide us with contentment? That stuff can be the things we own, but it can also be how we are treated. Luke 11:43 reflects this idea when Jesus said, “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love (agapaō) the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places.”
And look at where that contentment brings us. We are either devoted to what we love, or we despise it for not “meeting our needs.” (Cross reference Luke 16:13 – “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love (agapaō) the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”)
So, what are you devoted to? What gives you contentment? If I asked someone close to you, “What is it that he loves” what would he say?
Let’s strive a little more to find our contentment, our satisfaction, our devotion to the appearance of Jesus in this world to redeem us to Himself.