"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I thought that maybe this morning I could keep it a little brief with this gentle reminder. We'll see if I can keep it short or not. As I read this verse this morning, I just couldn't help but think of all the times we talk about books. Specifically, not the Bible, but other books, whether they be study guides, non-fiction, fiction, even magazine or blog articles. We read these words that have been written and often times they become great words of encouragement to us. Then we share these with other people, and other people read them and also are encouraged, or say they enjoyed what they read.
But at the same time, (and this is where I've been struggling a bit), these words are not the Bible. Nor should they be a substitute for reading the Bible. I'll do that. I'll have a few minutes of free time, so I'll pick up a book I've had sitting on the shelf, and read it instead of doing what I should be doing- and that's picking up my Bible.
The thing is, all these other books may very well be inspired by the Bible- they may be chock full of Bible verses even, but the commentary given is not from the Bible. All those words that are not scripture are not God-Breathed, and I think that's important to remember. They may be someone's interpretation of certain scripture, or events surrounding scripture, and they may be very great words indeed, but when all these words are taking the place of reading what I should be reading, perhaps they should all be put on hold for awhile.
As I read this verse in 2 Timothy I am also reminded that it is not the words of man that are going to equip me up to do His work here on earth. Now, it could be the words of man will encourage me and help give me some confidence, but without the Word of God, I will not be prepared to show Heaven on earth to all those around me. It's the God-breathed scripture that is going to do the actual equipping- that will give me the actual tools that I need.
So I guess the point today is that if I need to make a choice, if I'm sitting here with a stack of books written by wonderful people, but I have not been in the Word like I should be, that I need to let that pile of books just sit there while I spend time with the words that come from God Himself. Those are the written words that are going to build me up the most, and that are going to prepare me for the days that lie ahead.