Scripture Reading:

2 Peter 2:1-3, 17-19

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.

2 Peter 2:17

In our lives, as in nature, some of the storms that we encounter are human-made. Yes, the Bible warns that even in the church there are greedy ­abusers who take only for themselves. How often do we hear news of church leaders lying, taking money, destroying marriages, abusing children, or seeking power and influence? Even on a smaller scale, many ministries set out to help people in need but end up exploiting them. This is not a new phenomenon, because we read about it in 2 Peter 2.

Storms and trouble in life can come to us through people who try to draw us into their stormy souls. Indeed, we must all be vigilant that we do not hurt people we claim to help. We are warned that this is like storm clouds that appear in a dry season but bring no rain, or like a spring without water. False teachers take the words and promises of God and twist them in order to control and destroy others.

We ought to be on guard against anyone who twists the Word of God for their own gain. We ought to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). Likewise, we must ask God to “deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13) so that we and the leaders of our churches may be faithful.

Dear Jesus, protect us from the storms that false teachers can create. Give us leaders who are faithful in private as well as in public. Forgive us our sins, Lord, and guide us to live for you. Amen.

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