Scripture; April 2, 2020

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Some people might try to discount this passage, saying that the Bible is praising itself. However, when Paul wrote this to Timothy, He didn’t know he was writing the Bible! Though actually, by this point others who had read Paul’s letters were already putting them on a par with the Old Testament. (2 Peter 3:16 At the time Peter wrote that, probably some people considered it scandalous, or downright blasphemous, but time has borne out his judgment.) We don’t have the same commission Paul did of recording what God was saying, but we too can and should speak and write what He says to us. We have the same Holy Spirit, and God wants to make His heart known through all of His children. That isn’t to say that we are to get all puffed up and think that our every word is “Gospel truth,” because it isn’t. For that matter, not everything Paul said had the same weight. We need to weigh our words, and allow others to weigh them, to see whether they agree with what is already recorded in the Bible. If they don’t agree, guess which one is right! There have been many writers down through the centuries who have indeed recorded things God was saying. C. S. Lewis comes to mind, as do Augustine and many others. However, all of those are to be judged on the basis of the Bible, and we are to seek the help of the Holy Spirit in keeping it all straight. As C. S. Lewis wrote, one thing we can be sure of is that when we get to heaven, every one of us is going to discover that we were wrong somewhere! We are to operate in all humility, but recognize that God hasn’t changed, and He is just as capable of speaking through us as through someone else. After all, He even spoke through a donkey! (Numbers 22:21-33)

Just last night at prayer meeting I was talking about how we are to be God’s agents in our everyday lives, recognizing and making full use of every opportunity He gives us (Colossians 4:5) and speaking out His truth in love. To do that, it certainly helps to have a lot of the Bible stored up in our hearts and minds. I was greatly blessed to be raised in a home that was immersed in Scripture, so verse 15 could have been written about me. However, I have learned the hard way that there is a huge difference between knowing Scripture intellectually and putting it into practice, applying it in every detail of life. I often think James 1:22 was written especially for me! (I also feel Proverbs 3:5-7 was written for me.) Regardless of my IQ, I have demonstrated my stupidity more times and in more ways than I could possibly count! I need to let the Word continue to operate in and through me, correcting and shaping and growing, and I need to be available for God to use me however He chooses, speaking or not speaking as He directs, and not just out of my own head, as I am so prone to do. If I will do that, He will breathe through me, and many will be blessed.

Father, Thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the reminder last night as I lay there in bed and realized my throat hurt a bit, as it does now, that I am not personally immune to COVID-19, and acting as though I were benefits no one. Japan has not stressed social distancing, and I find myself sharply aware of just how many people I come in contact with. I ask for Your wisdom and clear guidance, that I would not be an agent of harm to anyone, and that Your life and peace would prevail. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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