Tozer Devotional

Mon, June 29, 2020

Itching Ears

In the church many are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. If you do not like what I am saying, I want to ask you something. Think about the company you run with. What do they talk about most? God and the love of God, or other things? You decide that. Many Christians today will not endure sound doctrine. Paul described these people as having "itching ears" (2 Timothy 4:3). They did not like sound doctrine, but they were Christians. They called themselves Christians, but their ears were itchy. A commentator I read some years back explained this. In Paul's day the pigs had a disease called "itching ears." The symptom was that their ears got inflamed and itched terribly. The only way they could get relief from these inflamed ears was to go to a pile of rocks and rub their ears earnestly and vigorously. The stones scratched their ears for the time being. Paul saw that, smiled a sad smile and said, "I am running into Christians here and there who are just like that. They love pleasure more than God and will not endure sound doctrine. They have itching ears so they will be eager for something else beside the sound doctrine and holy ways. They will pile up teachers everywhere and rub their ears for dear life." That is a most dramatic and colorful illustration. A lot of so-called Christians have to have piles of rocks to rub their ears. They will not endure sound doctrine. I think that is a description of the churches, Protestant and evangelical. In the light of New Testament predictions, teachings and standards, is what I just said about the prevailing religious mood untrue? Is what I have said about the prevailing religious mood uncharitable? Is it extreme? I do not think it is, but I only ask you to do one thing: Look around you and look in your own heart. See which of these pictures describes the churches you know.

Verse

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3

Thought

"Preach the Word!" Paul exhorted Timothy. These days we need the preaching and teaching of the Word. Our ears itch for a soothing "word" entertainingly presented. But we need the Word that corrects and rebukes as well as encourages.

Prayer

O Father, cure my itching ears that I may recognize and submit to Your truth.

“What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.”

A. W. Tozer, a modern day prophet, was a key figure in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. His legacy reaches through time and has impacted countless millions. A prolific author and pastor, Tozer was known for his emphasis on the deeper life movement. His message, informed as it was by A.B. Simpson the founder of The Alliance, brought the missionary call to a massive audience. A series of his sermons are available as audio files.

bookHis books have been published around the world and in many languages. This devotional was compiled from the Rut, Rot or Revival Chapter 11 - Two Portraits of the Church

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