Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3356

Jump Start # 3356

2 Peter 2:14 “having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children”

  Our verse today reads like a pitiful spiritual medical chart. The patient is sick, very sick. There are so many things wrong. The previous verse states that they were suffering wrong as the wages of wrong doing. The next verse ends with, “who loved the wages of unrighteousness.”

  But here in our verse, there stands four major problems. Eyes that only see adultery. They never stop sinning. They encourage others to do wrong. Their heart is trained in greed. It would be hard to know where to start with all of those issues and problems. It’s not just one thing, it’s many. It’s the way they are treating others. It’s their heart. It’s what they are looking for. Inside, outside, what a mess.

  This is the description that Peter gives of false prophets. It’s wasn’t that just their message was false, their whole lives were false. Everything about them was false. They were a cancer among the people of God. Arrogant, lacking knowledge and daring, these false prophets were ruining themselves and anyone else who would give them an ear.

  So many layers of lessons here, but let us focus upon one specific expression, “trained in greed.”

  First, some people spend a lot of effort, energy and money learning to do wrong. I’ve known guys like this at school. The time they put into writing answers that were hidden in a watch or on the bottom of a shoe, could have been spent learning the assignments for the test. Instead of learning how to be content, these false prophets were trained in greed. They may well have been milking the audiences for money. Some people spend a lifetime learning how to be wrong, rather than how to be right.

  Second, one is trained in greed by someone who understands greed. A greedy person creates other greedy people. Where does a drug user learn about drugs? From other drug uses. And, immediately we ought to see red flags and problems. Had these people been influenced by generous people, they may have been generous. Had they learned how to be wise and benevolent with finances, they may have turned out that way themselves. But hang with greedy people and you’ll learn the trade. You’ll catch their spirit. You’ll become like them. And, what does this tell us about the people in our lives?

  If I want to learn something about losing weight, I’m not going to listen to a fat guy. If I want to know more about finances, I’m not listening to a broke person. If I want to understand mechanics, I’m not asking a guy who doesn’t know how to screw a light bulb in. If I want to know something about the Bible, I’m not asking someone who has never read it and especially never follows it. And, if I want to go to Heaven, I’m learning from those who are headed that direction.

  Where does a greed person learn greed? From another greedy person.

Third, as messed up and wrong as these false prophets were, they could be forgiven, changed and even Heaven bound one day. They’d have to stop what they were doing. They’d have to no longer be influenced by those who were heading rapidly away from Heaven. They’d have to humble themselves, be penitent and allow God’s word to work on them. But, even these corrupt false prophets could be saved.

  One has to wonder how many weak, misguided, and uninformed hearts were swayed the direction of error. Slick and smooth talking is all it takes. Scramble a few verses here and there to make things seem right and those that do not know any better, will soon be caught in their trap and likely many lose their souls. Peter is warning God’s people. Truth never fears error. Put the facts on the table. Are they consistent? Are they changing the meaning of words? Are they leaning heavily upon emotions? Are they saying, “You can trust me?”

  The Bereans had it right when they searched the Scriptures to see if what they were was true. They knew that God’s word was the standard. If there was a conflict between what they heard and what the Scriptures taught, it was what they heard that was wrong.

  Fourth, consider the person who instead of being trained in greed, is trained in righteousness. His heart is pure. He is kind and gentle toward others. He walks with the Savior. He is a joy to be around. Helpful. Considerate. Compassionate. Thankful. He doesn’t brag. He doesn’t seek anything other than glorifying the Lord.

  If a greedy person learns greed from another greedy person, then, a righteous person learns righteousness from another righteous person. A person must want to be trained. A person must have a heart that is open to learning. Put a righteous example before our eyes and with the right heart, we’ll be trained in righteousness.

  What an interesting expression, “trained in greed.” What have you been trained in? Who are you training?