Read, Live, Repeat…
(By Alban Smith-Adams)
Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I realise now that people have probably heard all the talks and read all the articles that have anything interesting to say on faith and our current pandemic so I can’t imagine that my own thoughts on the subject will add much more to the already well explored topic for you. I’m instead going to write a little bit about some thoughts I’ve been having recently on the importance of Scripture in our lives.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” When Paul says that all scripture is God-breathed he means that it is the direct word of God that has been written down by humans (divinely inspired). This is shown in the beginnings of many of the books of the Bible with the words, “Thus sayeth the Lord”. We therefore owe a similar reverence to the Scripture as we do to the Lord.
This of course presents many questions but I’ll only simply say that if you would obey the audible voice of God if you heard it then you should therefore obey the words of scripture in the same way. I find this to be at the same time both disconcerting as I know that there is plenty of the Bible which I very often do not obey, but also liberating when I consider that contained in a book is everything I need to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
That should hopefully clear up a more theological matter, but mainly what I want to write about is the more important life applications of the verse which I have found personally very useful recently.
Firstly, Scripture is useful for teaching. This is not only through sermons and Bible study but also personal study, the more I read my Bible the more I learn from it which in turn then gives me a knowledge which I can apply to my every day Christian living.
Secondly it is useful for rebuking and correcting. It is quite often when I read the Bible that certain verses will speak to certain things I have done and make me realise quite quickly that it was wrong. But also, when considering a problem in your life the Bible is useful when trying to solve a problem because it will tell you exactly what God thinks on the subject and allow you to discern the solution.
Finally, it is useful for training in righteousness; essentially, this is the most important part of it all, I think. I have found that righteousness (the state of being morally right) can be achieved in two ways. You can do what Ulysses did to resist the siren’s song in Homer’s “Odyssey”, which was to tie himself to the mast of his ship and order his men to under no circumstances let him free. In the same way we can do all in our human power to try to resist temptation. Or you can draw ever nearer to God so that you want to be righteous out of pure love for him.
By reading the Bible and hearing God speak through it every day, I have found that you can draw continuously nearer to him and build up your relationship with him to make it stronger and stronger. I now like to pray the words of Scripture (which as they’re God-breathed can only be a good thing) and allow myself to be constantly moulded by the word of God to become a person ever more like Jesus (not that I’ll ever get there).
On a more practical note, and though I recognise the majority of people who read this will be very comfortable with their Bible, for those who would like to be more so, I do recommend getting into the rhythm of reading your Bible. There are plenty of reading plans and programmes available (I recommend Nicky Gumbel’s “Bible In One Year”) and all of these are incredibly helpful in encouraging you to read your Bible and draw ever closer to God, which is after all the centre of every person’s faith.
If you have found these musings a bit too scattered then a basic summary is that the more we read our Bibles, the more we tune in to the word of God and the closer we get to God. Hopefully, this was in some way helpful for some of you; enjoy the rest of your week!