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Scripture Is Useful



2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Most mornings I use Biblegateway.com’s verse of the day for my reflections.  I love that ever since I published this blog, the daily verses have been about the importance of Scripture.  Truly there are no coincidences.  God is affirming our need to put His Word into our hearts and lives.

All Scripture is inspired by God.  We could probably have a great discussion about the authority of God’s Word.  Yes, it was written by man and a group of men decided which writings to include in our Bible.  Folks will always debate which teachings are for all time and which were specific to the particular time and culture.

However, after much Bible study, I believe God used these men to communicate His Word.   It is Truth.  If you stumble on the first phrase, try reading today’s scripture as ‘All Scripture is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.’  Yup.  It sure does.  We just don’t always like the correction part.

God uses Scripture to prepare and equip us to do every good work.  Let’s get to know God’s Word so we can base our lives in Truth and be ready for Him to use us.  Are you in?

God’s Masterpiece

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
For
we are God’s masterpiece (handiwork, workmanship).  He has created us
anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us
long ago.

 
I’ve expanded today’s verse with words from
several translations.  English words don’t always match the original
Greek so various translations attempt to capture the original meaning.  One version
can’t even describe your essence in one word.  It states  “For we are
what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (NRSV)

Here’s what I
think is so beautiful:  the word translated masterpiece, handiwork,
workmanship, or ‘what He made us to be’ comes from the Greek word poiema, where we get the English word poem.

You are God’s poem. 

What
words do you use to describe poetry?  All of those words describe your
essence – who you are in God’s eyes.  No two poems are the same.  Each
has a different personality, voice, rhythm, message, emotion, power….
yet each is crafted by God intentionally and carefully to be our way of life.

You are God’s masterpiece.

Be Wise

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
Proverbs 9:10 (NLT)

I could give many good reasons to read the Bible, but this scripture explains the logic in two short sentences. First, understand that fear of the Lord doesn’t mean being afraid. We can almost substitute awe for fear. Awe of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Remember that God is the Creator and designer of all the immense and intricate beauty surrounding us. His creation reveals His character. Do you see majesty in a snow tipped mountain range? Power in the rush of a waterfall? Glory in a sunrise? Can you see His love in the details of a butterfly?

This Proverb says standing in awe of this unimaginably awesome God is the foundation of wisdom. Why? Because this God knows your name. Your name. He loves you. In fact, He has a specific plan for you to be in His presence, in relationship with Him forever. How do we respond? By falling in love and getting to know Him. God reveals Himself to us in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, God is telling us about Himself. Through Scripture and communicating in prayer we get to know God. Not head knowledge – heart knowledge.

Why does knowledge of our awesome God result in good judgment? Because our thoughts become His thoughts. We see the world as He sees it. We are created in God’s image and therefore have the capacity for goodness, love, beauty, creativity, wisdom…… and good judgment.

 

Courage

Psalm 27:14
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (NLT)

This is a funny little verse.  Think about it.  The
psalmist says waiting takes courage.  Sometimes the bravest thing to do
is to wait for God’s instruction or action.  Hmmmm.

In my head, I’m fine with the first sentence.  Wait patiently for the
Lord.  I know the routine.  Give my trouble or request to God in prayer
and wait for His response.  But the next sentence affirms my experience
that waiting is difficult.  I want results and I want them now.  How
often do I ask God for help and then take back control of the
situation?  Abraham and Sarah did it.  We do it too.  Waiting is hard! 

It reminds me that the Israelites in the Old Testament prophesied about a
Messiah, a king to rescue them.  They pretty much begged.  They were
suffering and continued in brutal oppression for many years.  But in
God’s great timing, He sent Jesus into the world.  Our liturgy says ‘in
the fullness of time’.  That means when everything was lined up just
right.  The Romans had built roads and commerce was flowing among cities
as did news.  Hellenization had declared one official language so
everyone could communicate.  The diaspora had scattered Jews all over
the civilized world, providing a network for the gospel to spread.  Many
things were just right for God’s plan to be fulfilled.  I’m sure there
are many we don’t recognize.  His timing was perfect and yet many Jews
didn’t recognize God’s answer to their prayer for rescue.

The bravest stance was inaction.  And perhaps in our trials the bravest
action is inaction.  Trust.  Trust deeply.  Trust with all your soul
that God will answer your prayer ‘in the fullness of time’ and according
to His will.  Wait patiently, expectantly and bravely.

Spend a few minutes to plant a quick Seed. Or stay longer and plant a whole garden.

Each post is a brief scriptural thought that will grow as you let it take root in your thoughts.  If you have time, dig into one area of interest and plant a whole garden.
Each post is a brief scriptural thought that will grow as you let it take root in your thoughts. If you have time, dig into one area of interest and plant a whole garden.

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