We all know how important God’s Word is to the believer … we hear it all the time. We must be in God’s Word … reading it, dissecting it, and making it the authority in our lives. In a sermon that I will one day preach at the church I attend, (the pastor lets me preach occasionally, isn’t that great?) I will talk about these seven values I extracted from 2 Timothy 3:16 to 4:3. Here is that text:
2 Timothy 3 16All 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. 17God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
But it doesn’t stop there. Even though it goes into a new Chapter, I think it continues the same thought:
2 Timothy 4 1I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
Here are the seven values I see in these Verses:
1. Scriptures teach us truth.
2. Scriptures teach us what is wrong in our lives.
3. Scriptures correct us and teach us to do right.
4. Scriptures prepare us and equip us to do good works.
5. Scriptures equip us to preach the Word.
6. Scriptures prepare us to be ready in seasons that can be favorable or unfavorable.
7. Scriptures patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage with good teaching.
Now, Timothy goes on to tell us that unless we prepare people now to believe in God and His Word, we may not get a chance to do it one day. Even now, it’s hard to get people to think Biblically … except when they are in church on Sunday morning. It seems that then it is appropriate to think about God because we sing to God, we preach about God, and we pray to God. Can’t go wrong with thinking about God on Sunday morning in church.
However, that’s not where real life is lived … is it? Perhaps, every Monday we face a job we hate, but we know we need to maintain it because we are getting paid to do it. Friendships are shallow at best, and our spouse isn’t as young as they once were, and so on. Life has its moments and church on Sunday morning isn’t enough to get me grounded and connected to God as it once did. Sound familiar? I know the feeling … I’ve been there.
I saw a great cartoon the other day that makes my next point. It showed a man driving a brand-new red BMW convertible with a sign on it that read, ‘Just Married.’ A passer-by said, “Well, where is the bride?” The man proudly responded; “I’m driving her!” God wants us to enjoy the things life can give, but it is all very temporary. What I enjoyed doing when I was younger is very different than the things I enjoy today. There comes a point in your life when you have to decide what you are going to spend your life doing. When you are young, you can create who you want to be and become in life what you give yourself to and your interests become everything. As you age, you begin to teach others what your interests have taught you. If you gave yourself to hunting and fishing, you will teach others, primarily your children, to do the same. If your interests were sports, you will become an avid sports enthusiast and you will surround yourself with others who have those same interests. Now, I point this out not because your interests are bad, they just don’t go far enough to bring satisfaction into your life. Time spent doing your interests doesn’t make you more fulfilled … it just fulfills your time with your interest. Make sense? Adding God’s Word to your interests brings another dimension into play. It teaches you about truth and about how to improve your life by living according to what God’s Word teaches you. It helps you do good works for others, and it keeps you having the right perspective on how to live your life, no matter your age.
We do become what we give ourselves to, and if wisdom is a goal to achieve you have to spend time pursuing it. That is why it is so important to pursue God’s Word because it brings you into a dimension that is not from this world. It helps you to discern that life has an eternal component to it, and only God’s Word can tell you how it all works.
Don’t shortchange yourself. Be wise and pursue an interest in God’s Word. Remember, you become what you pursue. Don’t take your life for granted … it’s the only one you’ve got.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler