Words To Live By
Hi, This is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Words To Live By
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) in the New Living Translation read as follows…All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
These two verses say it all. They give us every reason to spend time daily in the Word of God. I would be both saddened and surprised by the number of people I know to be Christians, good people of God, who do not spend daily time in His Word…except that I have a past. There was a time when I had my set of excuses for why I couldn’t find the time, or the energy, or the right translation, or the…you fill in the blank. The problem with that thought process though is summed up here in these two little verses.
First of all, it is God’s inspired, infallible, perfect, and as I mentioned a few weeks ago, LIVING WORD. If I am going to claim a growing relationship with God, I have to be in relationship with God. That means we must be talking to each other on a regular basis. I cannot have weekly conversations with my wife and claim we are in a growing relationship…she would beg to differ! Yes, prayer is a form of communication with God…a vital one, but how am I to discern His voice if I don’t know the kinds of things He would say? I get it, there are those who have access to no other form of communicating with God…but if you are reading this…you’re not one of them.
All scripture is inspired by God. All of it? Yes, all of it. So to really know what God would say and have me do in the various situations of life I encounter, I need to be able to draw from the whole counsel of the Word of God. That means as I mature in my relationship with Him, I have to move from milk to meat. I take no issue with daily devotionals, they are very useful tools, but at some point if we want to make the most of this relationship, if we want it to deepen and grow in stature and strength, we must start digesting greater portions than what comes neatly packaged in those pre-portioned daily doses. At some point, it’s time to reach for the real thing, and start gaining a working knowledge of all of it.
Secondly, God’s Word is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. We cannot separate our daily lives from our spiritual lives. God intends for the two to be one. We need His Word to indicate to us what is true, what is righteous, what is of value to our walk with Him. Without this instruction we are vulnerable to accepting things that are untrue, unrighteous, and will hinder our growth as Christ followers. As far as our spiritual walk is concerned, there are only two gears, forward and reverse…neutral is not an option. Furthermore, His word sheds light into the darker recesses of our lives and illuminates problematic action and thinking that comes through in our words, actions and responses to the people and situations we encounter each day.
It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. It is a shame that in our society correction is seen as a negative. An airline pilot given a corrective heading from Air Traffic Control to avoid a mid-air collision with another plane does not resent the correction, he is grateful for the lifesaving information. God’s Word does much the same thing for us, and our response to it should be one of thanksgiving. God is not trying to take from us with His correction…He is trying desperately to give us something…the abundant life! We ought to be thankful for this action of His living Word. Learning what we are doing wrong, and how to do it right is as good as leaving the cold uncertainty of a totally dark cave and finding ourselves warmed by the light of the sun in an open meadow.
God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. If it were not for His Word, we would fail to be ready to do the good things He has planned ahead of time for us to do. (Eph 2:10) These things He is attempting to prepare us for are what give our lives purpose. Essentially God’s Word brings purpose and meaning to our lives, and readies us to take hold of that life giving purpose and meaning.
We are busy…I get it, and although our busyness may cause us to skip a meal from time to time, no one claims to be so busy they stop eating altogether. As Christians we can no more afford to avoid God’s word daily than we can afford to stop eating to get more done. We would soon weaken, tire, and eventually stop living. So, sit down at the table of plenty, take your Bible in hand and eat and drink in His wondrous word. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8
So now…sampling from all of the goodness found in His Word…Go be awesome!