Everyone knows that in order to get the job done right, you need the right tools. Having the right tools will make the job go faster, smoother, and produce the best finish results. The same could be said for the way we live our lives. We need to be equipped with the right tools for handling all the situations life throws at us. Do you have any need for some divine tools in your life? Any loose fittings that need snugged up? Any relationships that need fixing?
In 2 Timothy 3, Paul gives his disciple Timothy the tool belt we need for every situation in life. As a young minister in a church, Timothy is going to need that tool belt because as he points out in the 1st half of the chapter, this world is full of folks with problems that need fixing! Paul begins describing the perilous times in verse 1:
“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…”
Reading through this at our Men’s Fellowship Group this last Friday morning, one of the men said, “This could’ve been written yesterday!” We all agreed. And sadly, none of it describes a full and satisfying life. Notice what word brackets both ends of that ugly list: the word love. People have misguided love of self which means that all of our relationships are going to be disastrous -- from our relationship with God, to parents, to spouse, to children, to money, and well, you name it.
So what is the answer? Where’s the handy tool belt to fix this? Well, it’s revealed in the 2nd half of the chapter. The contrast to a misguided world begins in verse 10:
“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
Paul is in essence saying to Timothy, “Timothy, if you are going to be effective and carry out your ministry in this world, you’ve got to stay committed to the Word of God. The Word of God will give you the tools you need for ministry and for life!”
Paul makes a BIG deal out of the Word of God. He calls the Bible the sacred writings. That means they are special. They are different. They are holy, meaning they're set apart from any other writings. They are anything but ordinary because God has communicated to us in them. The NIV translates “inspired by God” as “God-breathed” (theopneustos) – breathed out by God! I like that. It reminds me of 2 Peter 1:20, 21 where Peter says, “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” in writing the Scriptures. Like a ship’s sails filled with the breath of God, men were carried along by the Holy Spirit in writing them, without destroying their personalities or literary style. The technical term for this in Bibliology is inspiration. Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13 for why Paul could praise God for the Thessalonians’ reception of the doctrine of inspiration!
If the Bible really is God’s Word, how could we ignore it?! He created this world and through His Word has given us the wisdom we need to know Him and His purposes and desires for it. Paul reminds Timothy of the two-fold power of the Scriptures. They have the powerful wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. And they are powerful enough to adequately, or fully, equip us for every good work!
The fact that this Book equips us for every good work means that, like one men in our men's study said, it’s not just for the minister in the pulpit on Sunday morning. It is for everyone at all times! The reason why so many are struggling today with marriage, raising children, handling finances, and all of life’s trials, is because they’ve disregarded the Bible as an ancient, ordinary book that just isn’t relevant for them! But I would challenge everyone reading this to pick up the Bible and read it completely through this year. Read the book of Proverbs and see if it doesn’t apply to your life! I think you’ll be surprised!
The God who created you longs for you to know Him and to live a full and satisfying life, free from addictions, broken relationships, and other unnecessary hurts (John 10:10; Matthew 11:28-30). But you’ve got to use the tools that He has given you in His Word. There is no man of God without the Word of God.
Charles Stanley writes in his Life Principles Bible about this passage:
“The Bible is...profitable and nourishing. It provides us with an advantage in every department of life – family, business, and personal relationships. It is profitable because it reflects the wisdom of God; and when we abide by its teaching, we learn to live in His peace. As we meditate and consider its truth, our spirits and souls find nourishment. We become established and enriched in every experience of life by living according to God’s perspective.”
Get in God’s Word today and share God’s Word with others. Make sure they know that this is not just any ordinary book but that it is inspired by God and gives them the answers they need for every walk of life!
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