“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” – Deuteronomy 11:18, 19
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” – Psalm 119:9
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105
“Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” – Jeremiah 23:28, 29
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.” – 2 Timothy 3:16; 4:2-4
The letters to Timothy are written by the Apostle Paul to a young preacher named Timothy. Paul was writing as a mentor (and father figure) to give this young leader some important advice about leading the church in Ephesus. Throughout both letters (1 & 2 Timothy) Paul emphasizes the importance of being grounded in the Scriptures. In the first century, and also today, people were fine with religion or spirituality as long as they could define it for themselves. Much like a child who is playing a game and constantly changing the rules to his advantage the whole time, we are often trying to redefine God’s plan for this world. Both the early church and churches of today are tempted to change the principles set by God for us to experience life as He, the Creator, intended. This often starts by down playing the importance of God’s Word, the Bible, and its relevance for us today.
This directive from Paul is not a new idea. We find the study and following of Scripture to be encouraged and taught from the very beginning. It is seen as a “plumb line”, a “firm foundation”, a source of wisdom, and a “light” to keep us on the right path. Paul says that it is sufficient for building us up in the faith, equipping us for life, and keeping us from being carried away by any wind of doctrine. In Hebrews it says this about the Word,
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
What does this reveal to us about God? God has not only created and designed this world but He has provided clear instruction in how to live an abundant life in it. He does not send us into the world with no guidelines to wander about and find our own way. He has revealed these principles to us through the written word and illustrated it through the living Word, Jesus Christ!
The Bible is not just a religious book. It is a written revelation of God and how He interacts with His people. It is the source of peace and understanding in this world. It enlightens us on how to relate to God and to each other. We must study it ourselves and teach it to our children! Too many, however, in the first century and today, have walked away from the principles in God’s word and have opted to follow their own desires and the whims of the world around us. We are tempted to sacrifice our convictions on the altar of comfort and conformity. The result is confusion when it comes to who we are…what we are…and why we are. Sound familiar?
Today, hear the words of Paul to young Timothy and make the Scripture a regular part of your spiritual diet!