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
Foxfire magazine began in 1966 as a quarterly publication by students in the mountains of north Georgia. The focus of the articles was on primitive Appalachian culture and lifestyles. As articles accumulated, they were gathered and published in The Foxfire Book in 1972. The book was so successful that a total of twelve volumes had been published through 2004. The books represent “the bible” for how to live and prosper in a simple, back-to-the-land lifestyle.
God’s Bible, the Holy Scriptures, is like that for the Christian life. There is hardly a question in life that God’s Word does not shed some light on. Just as skill is needed to live a simple, mountain lifestyle, so skill is needed to live wisely in this world. In fact, the Old Testament word for wisdom is actually the Hebrew word for skill. God wants to give us skill to make wise and godly choices on our journey.
Do you have a question or need direction or wisdom for a decision? Start with God’s Word—it was given to make us wise (Psalm 111:10).
The truly wise man is he who always believes the Bible against the opinion of any man. R. A. Torrey
Your Amazing Bible – 2 Timothy 3:14-17 – Skip Heitzig
Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7:3
When Johannes Gutenberg combined the printing press with moveable type in 1450, he ushered in the era of mass communications in the West, spreading learning into new social realms. Literacy increased across the globe and new ideas produced rapid transformations in social and religious contexts. Gutenberg produced the first-ever printed version of the Bible. Prior to this, Bibles were painstakingly hand-copied, taking scribes up to a year to produce.
For centuries since, the printing press has provided people like you and me the privilege of direct access to Scripture. While we also have electronic versions available to us, many of us often hold a physical Bible in our hands because of his invention. What was once inaccessible given the sheer cost and time to have a Bible copied is readily at our fingertips today.
Having access to God’s truth is an amazing privilege. The writer of Proverbs indicates we should treat His instructions to us in the Scriptures as something to be cherished, as “the apple of [our] eye” (Proverbs 7:2) and to write His words of wisdom on “the tablet of [our] heart” (v. 3). As we seek to understand the Bible and live according to its wisdom, we, like scribes, are drawing God’s truth from our “fingers” down into our hearts, to be taken with us wherever we go.
Reflect & Pray
How has having Scripture stored in your heart benefitted you? How can you begin to internalize more of God’s wisdom?
Loving God, help me to know Your Word intimately that I might live in the way You desire.
God’s sovereignty extends over all things. He is omniscient (all-knowing), so nothing is hidden from His sight. And since He is omnipotent (all-powerful), no plan of His can be thwarted. Everything in both the natural and spiritual realms—including our salvation—is under His complete control.
Since sin has darkened minds and hardened hearts, man is excluded from the life of God (Eph. 4:17-18). Therefore, we can take no credit for our salvation. Our rescue began in the heart and mind of God, who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). God is the one who opened our minds to understand the truth of the gospel, convicted us of our sin, and gave us the faith to believe in Jesus as Savior. From first to last, all of salvation is God’s gift to us.
Why did He reach out to save us? Several repeated phrases in today’s passage give the reason. It was “according to the kind intention of His will” and “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:5-6). We are the beneficiaries of God’s kindness and salvation, by which the spotlight falls on His glorious grace—not on us.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The verb “to be,” in its various forms and tenses, enjoys wide usage throughout Scripture. Verses employing it, as it relates to us, contain many of the greatest and most precious truths. Consider the following sampling.
Past tense: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God” (v. 10). “You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). “You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Colossians 1:21).
Present tense: “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven” (Romans 4:7). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Peter 1:5). “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (1 John 3:2). “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:9-10). Note also our text verse.
Future tense: “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads….and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:3-5). JDM