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Christian Union Day and Night

by justin woyak


Editor’s Note: The following devotional was written to help Christians think about and respond biblically to the crisis of COVID-19. In March, Christian Union Day and Night organized a nationwide, 40-day initiative of prayer, fasting, and repentance to address the coronavirus pandemic, supported by daily devotionals.

 

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 

—2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV)

 

DayandNightMagSummer2020 

Amidst such a drastic departure from normal life as the coronavirus has brought, we may find ourselves inclined to read the Bible in one hand and the news in the other, eager to know if “the last days” are finally upon us. The New Testament authors, however, have a different timeline in mind when they speak of “the last days.” 

 

‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,

that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,

and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

and your young men shall see visions,

and your old men shall dream dreams;

even on my male servants and female servants

in those days I will pour out my Spirit, 

and they shall prophesy. 

—Acts 2:17-18

But alongside the greatest gift—the Spirit of God within us as a new principle of life and direct communion with God—we have challenges. Interestingly, the “difficulty” Paul speaks of in 2 Timothy 3:1 arises not from the brokenness of our world (as heartbreaking as the current worldwide pandemic is), but from the brokenness of people. “There will come times of difficulty,” Paul says, because in the last days “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money,” and all the rest.

If we are not on guard, people that worship anything other than God can have a devastating effect on us who seek to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. And in these “last days” since our Lord ascended and poured out His Spirit, the message of His kingship and His offer of amnesty have a polarizing effect: some respond with faith and fealty; others assert their own self-sovereignty all the more vehemently, creating “difficulty” for us all.


Justin Woyak, Princeton ’09, is a Senior Ministry Fellow with CU Caritas, Christian Union’s Ministry to students at Stanford University.