All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
The longer one is a Christian, the easier it becomes to forget what it felt like to be without God. But many are without the blessings and benefits of His presence in their life. When they need knowledge, guidance, counsel, or hope, they often have nowhere to turn to except the world. And while there is helpful information available, none of it bears the trustworthiness of the words of God Himself.
Such is the Christian’s blessing—to be the recipient of the Scriptures. This Book contains the inspired record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It gives answers to the questions that mankind has asked over the ages, a timeless source of wisdom and guidance. As Paul wrote to his protégé Timothy, Scripture is useful for teaching, separating us from sin, correcting our path, and training us in godliness and righteousness. Where except the Bible is such wisdom to be found in the world?
Thank God today for the blessing of His Word in your life. And renew your commitment to meditating on it day and night.
The truly wise man is he who always believes the Bible against the opinion of any man. R. A. Torrey
What Does “Inspiration” Mean in 2 Timothy 3:16?
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
A friend gave me a houseplant she’d owned for more than forty years. The plant was equal to my height, and it produced large leaves from three separate spindly trunks. Over time, the weight of the leaves had caused all three of the stalks to curve down toward the floor. To straighten them, I put a wedge under the plant’s pot and placed it near a window so the sunlight could draw the leaves upward and help cure its bad posture.
Shortly after receiving the plant, I saw one just like it in a waiting room at a local business. It also grew from three long skinny stalks, but they’d been braided together to form a larger, more solid core. This plant stood upright without any help.
Any two people may stay in the same “pot” for years, yet grow apart and experience fewer of the benefits God wants them to enjoy. When their lives are woven together with God, however, there is a greater sense of stability and closeness. Their relationship will grow stronger. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Like houseplants, marriages and friendships require some nurturing. Tending to these relationships involves merging spiritually so that God is present at the center of each important bond. He’s an endless supply of love and grace—the things we need most to stay happily united with each other.
Reflect & Pray
What can you do to strengthen the spiritual bonds you share with the important people in your life? How might your relationships change if serving and worshiping God together became a priority?
Dear God, I welcome You into my closest relationships today.
What do you want out of life? Perhaps an even more challenging question is, What is it that consumes your thoughts, time, energy, and money? As Christians, we live in two worlds—this earthly one and a heavenly one. However, since the earthly realm is all we can see, it’s easy to become sidetracked and begin living more for it than for the spiritual realm into which we’ve been transferred by Jesus Christ.
One day we will each appear before the judgment seat of Christ as He evaluates our works (2 Corinthians 5:10). But this doesn’t mean that our eternal security is at stake—Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, and we are citizens of heaven. We could, however, lose rewards depending on our handling of earthly treasure as opposed to that of heavenly treasure.
Instead of waiting, let’s begin to pay attention now to how we’re living. We must guard against investing everything for ourselves and nothing for the life to come. When we are blinded by our own desires and personal satisfaction, it is easy to become lukewarm about spiritual matters. Then God seems far away, we have no hunger to read the Bible daily, and prayer is reserved for those occasions when we need help.
The Scriptures repeatedly warn us to be attentive to spiritual matters—the Lord is to have first place in our life and be the center of our affections. Setting our hearts on the lesser things of this world not only robs us of heavenly treasure; it also keeps us from enjoying the spiritual blessings that are available right now to those who are in Christ.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)
This verse has been a favorite of many who recognize God’s creatorship. The vastness of space “declares” His power and sovereign control over all and calls us to worship Him as not only Creator but Savior as well. In what ways do the heavens speak?
The orderly progression of day and night reminds us of God’s purpose in creating the heavenly bodies, that they should be “signs” for us to aid in telling time and the passage of time (Genesis 1:14). The sun’s light energizes Earth’s processes. From photosynthesis to tidal and atmospheric movements, the Creator can be recognized as the great Provider.
The “line” mentioned in Psalm 19:4 is that of a surveyor’s line, true and accurate. It represents the absolute standard by which our conduct is measured. Just as surely as an Earth-encircling line demarcates light and darkness, so God’s holy nature measures and evaluates our behavior.
The sun’s light extends outward in all directions, not just toward Earth. Light generates heat, thus “there is nothing hid from the heat thereof” (v. 6). This life-sustaining light can be compared to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, anxious to receive his bride, and a strong man, an athlete ready to claim the championship (v. 5). In a similar manner, God delights in supplying every need of His children. He is near and ever-powerful. We can ask Him for anything at any time, He loves us that much.
From this poetic rehearsal of some of God’s immutable attributes, we can learn much of both His nature and our relationship to Him. While Psalm 19 does not teach in a didactic fashion, it can thrill our spirits and motivate us to draw nearer to Him. JDM
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
—1 Corinthians 3:12-13
The emphasis today in Christian circles appears to be on quantity, with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality. Numbers, size and amount seem to be very nearly all that matters even among evangelicals…. The church that can show an impressive quantitative growth is frankly envied and imitated by other ambitious churches.
This is the age of the Laodiceans. The great goddess Numbers is worshiped with fervent devotion and all things religious are brought before her for examination. Her Old Testament is the financial report and her New Testament is the membership roll. To these she appeals as arbiters of all questions, the test of spiritual growth and the proof of success or failure in every Christian endeavor.
A little acquaintance with the Bible should show this up for the heresy it is. To judge anything spiritual by statistics is to judge by other than scriptural judgment. It is to admit the validity of externalism and to deny the value our Lord places upon the soul as over against the body…. Yet it is being done every day by ministers, church boards and denominational leaders. And hardly anyone notices the deep and dangerous error. SOS153
Oh Lord, convict us! Forgive us! Deliver us! Amen.
My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.—John 4:34.
They who tread the path of labor follow where
They who work without complaining do the holy will of
Henry Van Dyke.
Whence comes it that we have so many complaints, each saying that his occupation is a hindrance to him, while notwithstanding his work is of God, who hindereth no man? Whence comes this inward reproof and sense-of guilt which torment and. disquiet you? Dear children, know that it is not your work, which gives you this disquiet. No, it is your want of order in fulfilling your work. If you performed your work in the right method; with a sole aim to God, and not to yourselves, your own likes and dislikes nor sought your own gain or pleasure, but only God’s glory, in your work, it would be impossible that it should grieve your conscience. It is a shame for a man if he have not done his work properly, but so imperfectly that he has to be rebuked for it. For this is a sure sign that his works are not done in God, with a view to His glory and the good of his neighbor.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33
See how the Bible opens: “In the beginning God.” Let your life open in the same way. Seek with your whole soul, first and foremost, the kingdom of God, as the place of your citizenship, and His righteousness as the character of your life. As for the rest, it will come from the Lord Himself without your being anxious concerning it. All that is needful for this life and godliness “shall be added unto you.
What a promise this is! Food, raiment, home, and so forth, God undertakes to add to you while you seek Him. You mind His business, and He will mind yours. If you want paper and string, you get them given in when you buy more important goods; and just so all that we need of earthly things we shall have thrown in with the kingdom. He who is an heir of salvation shall not die of starvation; and he who clothes his soul with the righteousness of God cannot be left of the Lord with a naked body. Away with carking care. Set all your mind upon seeking the Lord. Covetousness is poverty, and anxiety is misery: trust in God is an estate, and likeness to God is a heavenly inheritance. Lord, I seek thee, be found of me.