Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Which Face of God do you see?

Jeremiah 9:23–24 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares                                                  the Lord.

This is a tremendous passage! I will return to Philippians after this, let's finish our fast devos as the booklet guides. I have received so many emails and FB messages that have expressed that these devos have helped in this week of fasting, which is the reason I committed my time to doing these.

God instructs us here where we should place our trust! 

Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom

Why would God say this? Knowledge is accessible to anyone...however, the ability to know what it means and how to use it comes only from God Himself! Think of all the brilliant people that think we came from cosmic cell creature...and then a glorified monkey! Their brains are BIG, but there understanding is dwarfed. The reason is because only God can illumine the fallen mind of man. So if we have wisdom, we need to give credit to Whom credit is due - The Lord!

Let not the mighty man boast of his might

It is important to remember Who really wins the battle. There are a myriad of examples in history and the Scriptures of groups that were far out numbered and out gunned, yet they won the war. Gideon is an example of one thousands of years ago.  Three hundred men against over 120,000! Even in our age is the 7-day war against Israel. Many nations with many weapons against a very small country, yet Israel overwhelmed them in 7 days!  If we are mighty, we need to remember that at the end of the day, it is God that gives the victory.

Let not a rich man boast of his riches

This is a no brainer! Riches are the most unreliable foundation a person can have. Again history has proved this. One day in 1929 you have millions and feel completely secure...the next day the market crashes and you have nothing. Just a few years ago I know of people that bought houses on the east coast for $810,000 and within months... after the "housing bubble popped" the people that bought the homes on the next street...same neighborhood and almost the same homes, with just some of the “extras” inside not there...paid $250,000! I thought, how hard it must be to be a person holding an $810,000 mortgage on a home that is now selling for $250,000! If you are rich, thank God for the blessing, use it for eternity...but don't put your trust in it.

But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me,

This sounds great, but is it? The previous three items are temporal, they will all fade in eternity...even wisdom, because the wisdom we have now will be nothing to the wisdom we will have when we are Face to Face with Jesus. God is all Knowledge and Wisdom! God is Power! God owns everything! God is Eternity and to know Him is to have access to everything!

That I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

What I love about this passage is…I believe it reveals how God views things. Many talk about God’s holiness, justice and righteousness. He is all that…but not ONLY that! Isn’t interesting the first quality mentioned here is God’s lovingkindness. Religiosity has painted the first view of God’s face as a harsh, stern one. The Scriptures do the very opposite. Yes, there will be a Judgment Day; God is Just and Holy. Yet we must keep several things in view about this. First, the Judgment will be based on OUR choices, not God’s. Second, the Judgment is in the light that God sacrificed His own Son to pay the debt for all sin, opening the door of opportunity for all to enter through forgiveness into a relationship with Him. Judgment is based on which door WE choose. Lastly, due to the fact that God is love, even when judgment has come His attitude still reflects His heart.

Ezekiel 18:32  “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”

Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’

Consider Who our God is…and ENJOY!

Psalm 103:6–18 The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. 17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To those who keep His covenant And remember His precepts to do them.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Christian Defined! Philippians 3:3–14

Christian can mean a lot of things to different people. The question is what does it mean to God? I believe through Paul we have that answer.

Philippians 3:3–14 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things  again  is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Phil 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you

Rejoice - Notice where = IN HIM!

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Trying to find joy anywhere else is like – Having a big date night out with your husband and he takes you to the wrestling matches! The world’s idea of “joy” is based on the moment; God’s is based on eternity!

Emotional joy (happiness) remains only as long as the good circumstances remain:

Consider: You win the lotto - YES! Moments later – Knock, knock…open the door and there stands the Taxman = Boo Hoo!

Paul also makes it clear that writing the same Truth over and over is worth it. Why? Nothing is more important than a solid foundation! Remember the two men that built houses - both had houses, but different foundations

When our faith is grounded in reminders of Truth, our foundation will be Rock, not Sand.  A believer that will accomplish anything must have a solid foundation.

The word "safeguard" in the original means: Firm, sure, steady, immovable. It is used in Hebrews to describe the security of our hope.

Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one  which enters within the veil,

Phil 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision

How do we “beware”?  Know the Truth! The more you know the real thing the easier it is to spot the counterfeit

One of my favorite Preachers once said that this next verse is the best definition of what it means to be a Christian. I would agree!

3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,

Let’s unpack it!

Why the “true circumcision?” Circumcision was a sign that you belonged to God’s people. But many who had the circumcision of the flesh were part of Israel, but had no relationship with God. Much like baptism today; many get baptized claiming to belong to the Church, yet they have no relationship with God. They do belong to a religious organization, but not to the Body of Christ. All they did in God’s eyes was get wet! Those that have had their hearts circumcised by the blood of Christ have received the “true” mark of belonging to God.

Worship in the Spirit of God – well I will just let the Lord speak:

John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her,  "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.    You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.    But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.    God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Glory in Christ…what else is there to glory in. Our nature has been infected by sin, all of it. There is nothing we do that does not have the stain of sin on it…even our good works. So we find our boasting and joy in knowing what Christ has done in and through us. We feel good about ourselves, but take no credit for it. I am glad when I obey and feel good that I serve Him, yet I know it is because of His grace that I can do it.

Put no confidence in the flesh This is where the greatest difference in our thinking expresses itself in this world. We do not place our trust in governments, riches, programs or even our own selves. Yes we work with the system we live in and yes we have to make our own decisions, but we are guided by this Truth; only what God considers, and that no matter the external circumstances are, God is ultimately in control.

What a great picture of what it means to be a Christian! Why not take a moment right now and evaluate your life based on this definition. I know I always need some readjustment just because I am a sinner.

Father, open our eyes to be honest with ourselves right now. Are we Your child? If not take that step right now. If you know you belong to Him, are you living like Phil 3:3 defines a believer? If not…just admit it and repent. Our Father in Heaven is very merciful and rejoices when we turn away from sin.

This passage is to rich…so I will be spending a few more days on it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I have 20/20 vision; why do I still have a problem seeing?

Ephesians 1:15–21

Paul has just shown believers their security of eternal life and how much their Creator, not only loves them, but also deeply desires to “lavish” on them His goodness! Now Paul moves to encourage us, based on our position of blessing that he has just enumerated, to be fervent in our life to KNOW God! How is this done?

Ephesians 1:15–21 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

First: It is very important that we, in the Body of Christ seek ways to affirm one another. Paul does that here:

Ephesians 1:15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;

When you have been working hard and feel tired, then someone pats you on the back and tells you what a great job you are doing, those words and actions are fuel to the soul. You feel reenergized, and the desire to complete the job takes hold. In an evil world that loves to tear people down, we should not move in that direction. Paul is employing the attitude he expressed when he wrote the church in Philippi:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Paul now shows us exactly what we should be looking for if we truly desire to know God intimately.

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

This is the ability to process and apply all the knowledge that we learn from our walk with God. This includes knowledge of Him, of the world and ourselves. The Holy Spirit will help us take in all Truth; whether it be from scripture, nature or life, then process it into applicable Truth. That is where the person with knowledge only misses it! They have all the data but don’t know what it means or what to do with it.

OK Nate, that sounds great, but how does it work? Good question…and Paul gives us the answer:

18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened,

Illumination! What does that mean?  This means that the Spirit of God illuminates Truth for us. To illuminate means: brightened with light, intellectually or spiritually enlightened, to make clear[1].

What’s important here is that we understand that we cannot do this on our own. This is a work of God and we need to keep a conscious connection to the Holy Spirit through all the moments of our life. He will help you see when it appears dark or dim, He will open your mind to understand the Scriptures…even if it is to simply understand that this particular issue you will never understand because it is one of God’s secrets! (Dt 29:29) He will take Truth and make it clear!

Paul’s prayer for illumination covers three specific areas of knowledge.

so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,

Hope of His calling – Paul’s desire for each believer to possess a sense of his or her destiny. God has a plan to maximize every believer’s life, not just some.

what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Riches of His glory of His inheritance – Paul’s desire is that every believer understands their real wealth! It’s not of this world; we may have many temporal blessings, because God is very generous, but our real inheritance begins with how we handle those temporal blessings. If we handle them in a way that glorifies Him we take the rewards of that to heaven with us and then we receive our greatest inheritance; Face to Face relationship with Him forever!

19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

What is the surpassing greatness of His power – Paul’s desire is for each believer to experience real victory over the enemy and this system. The War is won…Jesus already accomplished that…but now we live from battle to battle until we are with Him. God does not intend us to limp to eternity. He has supplied through the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures and the Body of Christ all that we need to live in victory! What does that look like? Victory is not happiness for that is a momentary emotion. Life will have its ups and downs…it did for Jesus, so who do we think we are that it will not also happen to us? 

Victory is made up of three intangible elements. We cannot exactly explain them, BUT we know when we have them. Joy – that deep sense that nothing can ruin your life because God is in control. Peace – that deep calm that let’s you know…no matter the circumstances you are safe in Him. Contentment – the freedom of knowing that in this life, there is only One opinion that matters, only One Person’s approval you desire – Jesus Christ! When these three possess your heart and soul – you will run home to Jesus with strength of soul…even if your body is aged and broken, the inner man will be renewed day by day until you go home!

Consider: How God sees me as a child is based on my position in Christ. I either have it or I don’t. The salvation God has brought is complete and unchangeable. It is more important that I spend time understanding what has been revealed then spending time debating about what has not been revealed. My praise and glorifying of God should be in response to Who He is and what He has done, not in order to gain His favor. That is what obedience is for. I must see my Christian life as constant growth. I will be learning more about Him and His works even when I live in heaven.

[1] Merriam-Webster, I. (1996). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. (10th ed.). Springfield, Mass., U.S.A.: Merriam-Webster.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered!

How sure is our salvation? How clear has God made His plan and desire for us? We live in a world that constantly blames God for its ills; "if God is loving than why is there so much suffering?" A world that does not seek Him, but demands that He proves Himself to them! Yet, when we humble our heart...quiet our mouths and listen to what God states about this salvation He offers...we will not only lose any doubt of His goodness...but will realize how unworthy we really are to have the commitment of the most powerful Person in existence!

Ephesians 1:3–14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

Our Lord bestows on us blessings, and we need to realize they are not temporal. God blesses all with temporal blessings, as He states:

Matthew 5:45 “for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Our Lord blesses us with an eternal perspective. Everything He shares with us will last forever!

in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him

Remember – we did not love Him first. Has been the One seeking – us!

1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons

He did not make us slaves as the false gods do – He made us family!

through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

His will for all is not based on egocentric intentions or dictatorial intentions...but KIND intentions! The loudest cheerleader we have in our life is the Almighty God! 

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

The very thing the world accuses God of is the very opposite of what He has done. The world acts as though God makes us earn our relationship with Him...nothing is more a lie from the pit of Hell than that! God paid it all, did it all, offered it ALL! We can do nothing but accept or reject it.

7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us.

Why in the world people believe God is stingy!? Nothing is further from the reality. Not only does He supply everything needed to be cleansed completely from our sin so we can live in heaven with Him, but He Himself indwells us and makes us His temple to guarantee our victory in our walk with Him.  

In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will,

False gods never bring their slaves in on their plans. Our Lord not only brings us into His confidence, He allows us to participate in the fulfillment of that plan!

according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance,

Consider – the gods of this world promise their followers an eternity of service to them and their needs! Our God has promised us that He will share Himself and His riches with us, He has no needs! He WANTS us...not needs us!

having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

How great it is to not have to count on our emotions to determine if we are safe and secure when it comes to eternity. God has made our salvation secured...not by our works, feelings, ministries or anything else. He is our security! So the next time you wonder what the chances are that you might not make it to heaven...ask yourself...Did I repent of my sins and trust Christ to save me. If yes than as long as God is God...your safe! If your answer is anything less than a solid “yes I have trusted Christ” than I encourage you to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and place your entire trust for your eternity in His death and resurrection.

14  who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Who is like our God? Everything and everyone else must get in line to touch us...because we are His possession! No sin, no demon, no habit, no sickness...NOTHING can demand us. He alone owns He alone has the right to all that we have and are. Start each day out remembering all of this...your day will be different!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The incredible journey - from dark to light

Luke shares a story that we all should seek to see repeated in our own life. 

Beginning with salvation into spiritual 
maturity - really knowing Him is a Journey. Let's discover what these two men discovered!

Luke 24:13-48

And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was  about seven miles from Jerusalem.  And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 

Our journey needs to include discussion of Truth. This requires deliberate thought. It will not take place on it's own. Our discussion should include the Scriptures and other godly individuals.

While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and  began  traveling with them.  But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.  And He said to them,  "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?"  And they stood still, looking sad.  One  of them,  named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?"  And He said to them,  "What things?" 

God will not always reveal what He is looking for. He desires to make us face what we believe and why. This is how He develops integrity in our Faith. Jesus knows what's in our heart, but He wants us to know also!

And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people,  and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him.  But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.  But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning,  and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive.  Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see." 

We need to remember that many times in our journey we may have SOME of the Truth, however, if it is not the WHOLE Truth, it is NOT the Truth! Many believe we need to live righteous to please God...there is truth there...but THE Truth is that first we must understand on our own we will never please God, and only after we have admitted that we are lost and need a Savior will we then receive the Power from Him to live righteous!

And He said to them,  "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!   Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"    Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.  

This is one of the greatest foundations of our journey! We are not tossed about by the "flavor of the week"! Our journey is guided by the Scriptures...objective not subjective! The Word states what it states! We either accept it or reject it...there is no third option!  Even Christ limited Himself to the standard of the Scriptures. This is what makes our journey so safe. We are not at the mercy of the latest fade or the most popular "prophet" at the moment. Our journey is guided by the Scriptures, which are written down for all to see.

And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther.  But they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is  getting  toward evening, and the day is now nearly over."

This is where we see the greatest portion of our participation in the Journey. We need to sense the urgency of keeping Christ close to us!

So He went in to stay with them.  When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it  to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.  They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?" 

The most exciting part of our journey is when our Lord engages us and we sense His presence! What an appropriate description it is to call it “burning” in our heart! Whether it be when we entered into a relationship with Him and received salvation or as we mature and experience His presence and guidance in our life on a daily basis.

And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, "The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon."  They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you."    But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.  And He said to them,  "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?    See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."    And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.  While they still could not believe it  because of their joy and amazement, He said to them,  "Have you anything here to eat?"  They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate  it  before them.  Now He said to them,  "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them,  "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,  and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.    You are witnesses of these things.

The last two aspects of our journey are what solidifies why we continue on the journey. First, we have the joy of sharing our experience with those that we care for and watch them join in the joy of the journey. Second, we have the promise of continued illumination form our Lord and the great Hope that one day we will be face to face with Him forever!  

Monday, January 7, 2013

What is a "great lover" really?

Many people believe that a great lover is found in the person that is "doing" the loving. I believe scripture has a different standard. A person may be a faithful lover, a skilled lover, a focused lover or even a selfish lover. When we use the term "great" we employ a word that carries a lot of weight. Great is defined as: "of an extent, amount or intensity considerably above the normal or average." Since we are all sinners, though having different gifts in life, when it comes to our abilities to produce moral qualities, no one is above what we call " normal" on their own. All of us live with a fallen nature. So is it possible to be a "great lover"? I believe the answer is yes. However, as Timothy shows us it is based not on the individual, but the object the individual is expressing love to. To be "great" we must love something or someone greater than ourselves. Since "things" are less than human, it cannot be a thing. Since, in comparison to what God would call “the norm”, it cannot be another human...not even ourselves! God’s “norm” is based on perfection – therefore there is only one Person that we can love that is Great. Notice what Timothy states:

2 Timothy 3:1–7 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

First, why in the “last days”? The reason is as time goes by; it is normal to just pass on the data not focusing on the “experience” of transformation. This is what happened to Israel as the generation of Joshua died out: 

Judges 2:6-10 When Joshua had dismissed the people, the sons of Israel went each to his inheritance to possess the land. The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel. Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred and ten… All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.

Obviously the average Jew had the data on Jehovah...the sea...Jericho...etc. Still, there was no intimate relationship with the Lord.

When that happens the soul, led by the flesh, seeks something or someone to love. Timothy shows us the range...from haters of lovers of self and pleasure. Love is very much like “Faith” in its range. Think about it, there are those that believe in God so much that they dedicate their entire life and energy into sharing His message to people that have not heard it. Yet, there are those that have such firm faith that God does not exist they spend all their life and energy trying to disprove something they claim cannot be proven! What faith they have! There are those that love pleasure and themselves so much that they “only have eyes for the mirror”!

Sadder still, as Timothy points out, many continue to try and “look” as though they are lovers of God...which exposes their intensity of their love for themselves. They want to be appreciated by all...the world and the Church. The tragedy is they try to appear to be godly...imitating what the data states to do...yet, deny the One that does the true transformation. Some of these are so skilled at deception they even deceive themselves – and their end is a catastrophe!

 Matthew 7:20–23 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Do not be content with only the data of Who God is! Grab a hold of God and refuse to let go...He will honor your faith and open Himself up to you and you will Know Him, and knowing Him will set you free!