S63P2 – The qualities of God’s word: our preparation
2 Tim. 3:14-17
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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.
I would like to say that the interns were excited to spend a day doing a good deed, but they were really looking forward to having a day off of work. One of them questioned why they were asked to arrive so early if the soup kitchen did not start serving until three o’clock. It certainly would not take all day to prepare the meal. That question was answered when they walked in the center and were given their training materials. The day of service would not be about simply making food and serving it. They would need to learn about the people they would serve and the proper way to interact with them. It was about giving them more than a meal, but the interns had to be shown how to do that. They would not be able to do the work effectively without understanding why it was so necessary and what its true purpose was.
I am sure it is not uncommon for many believers to approach God-inspired scripture from an internal perspective. They might focus primarily on their individual relationships with God and their sanctification as if that is the only goal. While God surely wants to develop and change his children, we cannot forget that one of the main reasons behind that transformation is effective evangelism. Our Father has work for us to do, but we must be equipped to do it. As He does a good work in us, we then are able to do a good work for him. Our time of training is not just about the experiences we have, but it is about letting the word of God serve its many functions in us. It teaches and chastises in a way that only it can do. God allows us to see not only him but also ourselves in that same word so that we may recognize where we need development.
The purpose of the Christian is to live for God and yield to his purposes. In order to do that, we must allow him through his word to shape and teach us however necessary so that we would be equipped to do every good work He has for us. Reading scripture is not merely about reading stories, but it is an opportunity for God to speak to us through those words written centuries ago. He inspired men to write and preserve his word so that we would be able to visit it and be prepared for this time. When we open that book, it should be because we are serious about training for his work. Father, give us the proper perspective that we would turn to your word for growth and development, and allow it to do its work in preparing us for your work.