My friend Vanessa is hosting a Link Up this month that invites us in to read the Word... to really let it roll around on our tongues and to let it nourish us as we slow down and drink it in. You can learn more about it HERE... we'd love to have you join us!
The reference we were to spend some time with this week was a familiar passage... one often quoted and therefore, often sort of brushed over. We know it... we've heard it... we get it.
But do we? Isn't this very verse part of a larger picture pointing us to the reality that this Bible is called the Living Word because it is just that? It is living and alive and active... but I am getting ahead of myself here... so first:
Our verse to ponder this week...
"Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration)
and profitable for instruction,
for reproof and conviction of sin,
for correction of error and discipline in obedience,
[and] for training in righteousness
(in holy living, in conformity to God’s will
in thought, purpose, and action),"
2 Tim 3:16 Amplified
Here's the thing... what I used to get stuck on in this portion of Scripture actually comes in the verse above it. When you read it in context, the previous verse states "from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings..." (vs15) I would get a bit stuck there because I was not raised in the faith and I did not have knowledge of nor had I been acquainted with the Word. And yet...
And yet, as I invited Him in and talked with Him about this, He showed me glimpses of my own early years... Bible stories/bed time books: gifts from relatives; Easter Sunday church services with neighbors; even a church bus that would come and pick us up from time to time... So it turns out that this Scripture IS true - even for me. He was there all along and sowing into me in ways I did not know or see or understand... but ever so slowly, seeds were planted... and a harvest was growing. I suspect the same is true for every one of us. (I've read that He is no respecter of persons... and that He so loved the world... but again, I digress.)
Back to 2 Timothy 3:16... to be honest, one of the
I have heard this quoted in judgement and self righteousness, in debate and argument... like an arsenal of weaponry going off fast... but when it has hit home and pierced the heart most effectively, it has been when I have heard it used as a tool, an aid... it's when I have heard it shared in love.
I love how it reads in The Message...
"But don’t let it faze you.
Stick with what you learned and believed,
sure of the integrity of your teachers
—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk!
There’s nothing like the written Word of God
for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed
and useful one way or another—
showing us truth, exposing our rebellion,
correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.
Through the Word we are put together
and shaped up for the tasks God has for us."
2 Tim 3:14-17 The Message
When we use this Scripture - or ANY Scripture, really - as a tool, we put to use the promises of the verse. This verse states that all Scripture is "useful one way or another - showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way."
I love how it says 'us' and not 'them'... it sort of reminds me of a story He told once about a plank...
Now, Chapter 4 does go on to say a lot of 'thems' - but it wraps it up in verse 5 when Paul brings it right on back with, "But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant."
When we put the Word of God to use as a tool on ourselves (and not as a weapon on others) - we are being trained to live His way.
What is His way?
His way is always love!
We thank You that whenever You breath out
- Life happens.
We thank you that the very Word of God
is oxygen to our souls.
Jesus, teach us and train us
to know and love Your Word.
For You are the Word...
You dwell within us and I pray that You will help us
to remember to use the Sword of the Spirit
as a weapon only against the enemy,
but with ourselves and others,
that we will use it as a tool
in equipping us for every good work!
Help us to allow Your Word
to show us truth, to reveal our hearts
and where we are missing the mark,
to correct our mistakes...
Lord, fill us up to overflowing,
so we will be able to extend
Grace and Love
outward, and inward...
Help us to remember to set
our minds and hearts
to live God's way... Your way...
and that Your way is always Love!
In Jesus' Name,
Linking up today with Vanessa over at Hearts On Guard
- See more at: http://www.heartsonguard.com/2013/08/2-timothy-316-grow-in-his-word.html#sthash.BJWOY6vO.dpuf