How many times have you heard this verse?
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 (2 Timothy 3:16).
This verse is used often to confirm that the Bible is God’s word, and validates the divine revelation of all of Scripture, including the Old Testament. But the context for this verse makes it even more powerful.
Remember, Paul is writing his final words to Timothy. These are his final thoughts, his last instructions. In this chapter, he warns Timothy that there will be false teachers in the “last days,” and that he is to continue in what he has learned. In other words, he is to study God’s word… so that he is so familiar with the truth that he will not be lured away from God by a counterfeit gospel.
In my early days as a Christian, I would look to Scripture to help guide me in life’s major decisions. What should my college major be? Should I go to graduate school? Should I take this job? When will I get married? And as I searched the Scriptures for “God’s will” in these decisions, I would come away frustrated. Scripture didn’t give me any direct answers. Nevertheless, I prayed the words of Psalm 25 & 27 often.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long (Psalm 25:4-5).
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path (Psalm 27:11).
I found myself coming back to these Psalms over and over again, praying for direction. And as time passed, other parts of these Psalms began to be more meaningful to me…
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek” (Psalm 27:8).
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust (Psalm 25:1).
I never heard directly from God on what job I should take or what my college degree should be, but I learned something more precious. As I spent consistent time in His word, praying His word and meditating on His word, God changed me. I became more concerned about seeking Him than seeking answers. And as I sought to stay faithful in the small daily decisions, the major decisions seemed to fall into place – in ways that were obviously from God.
Later in life, when tragedy struck, the years of studying God’s word prepared me to face hardship with a deep assurance of God’s goodness and care.
The world offers a cornucopia of distractions to entice us away from the consistent study of God’s word. But in the pages of the Bible, we find God. What could be more enticing than that?
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14).