God’s Word: Inspirational and Instructional
II Timothy 3:16-17, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
There are many books in the world today that are based on man's opinion of something. Whether the topic is politics, sports, the weather, self-help, or society, sometimes not everything published in a book is true. But there is one book we can trust.
We know God's Word is true because it comes from God. In a day when so many things are based on opinion, God's Word is based on truth. All 66 books; 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. Every one of 1,189 chapters. All 41,173 verses and 3,566,480 letters--all Scripture is God-breathed.
The greatest verse about Biblical inspiration is also a great verse about Biblical application. II Timothy 3:16-17 not only tells us who gave us the Bible, but also why it was given. God breathed out His Word for our benefit. Every part of it is profitable. Waiting in its pages is a wealth of blessings ready to teach, reprove, correct, and train us in righteousness.
We call the Bible “God’s Word” because it contains what He wants to say. He speaks into our lives through it. Each verse and every word accomplish at least one of the purposes listed in today’s passage. No matter what our need, God has provided a response in His Word.
1. The Bible teaches us.
The word doctrine means that which is correct and right (core teaching). Whatever we find in Scripture is truth that's worth being taught. Every time we read it, we should be asking, what is God teaching me in this passage?
2. God’s Word reproves us.
The word reprove means what is wrong. It is the precision instrument of the Holy Spirit, often stopping us in our tracks through the conviction of sin. When the Lord says “Don’t” in Scripture, He always means, “Don’t hurt yourself.” He graciously reprimands us.
3. God’s Word also corrects us.
The word correction means how to get (it) right. A sincere Child of God wants to stay right with the Scriptures. Notice: It is we, not the Bible, that needs correcting. The Scriptures never need adding to, correcting, nor updating. It not only points out the wrong, it also provides the right response. The Bible straightens out our lives like nothing else. On our own we steer in wrong directions, but God consistently directs us in the way we should go.
4. Scripture trains us in righteousness.
The phrase “instruction in righteousness” speaks of how to keep it right. It is an absolute guide for the lifelong process of discipleship God wants to bring about. We will never outgrow our need for His guidance.
Truth, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness are all ways God brings light to our lives by His Word. When we need to see where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going, we have a trustworthy source of guidance in the book God wrote. This is the picture described in Psalm 119:105, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
But there’s a catch in this great promise about the benefits found in Scripture. Note the last phrase in the verse: “. . . That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” All that God has for you in His Word may come to you if you dig into it. But if your Bible remains closed, though the benefits are all there, you have not accessed them. Amazing things can happen when you open your Bible. Get familiar with it. Figure out how to find your way around. Ask for help. The spiritual maturity you long for will never be a reality until you practice regular, careful study of Scripture.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus—one who is equipped to carry out the tasks He places before you—will always involve His Word. When you are reading His inspired thoughts, the Lord is breathing into you His truth, loving reproofs, gracious correction, and the guidance you need.
Questions to Consider:
What parts of Scripture do you gravitate to most often?
Which ones do you tend to avoid?
Since it’s all profitable, how do you think you could benefit by taking time to familiarize yourself with books and chapters in the Bible you have rarely visited?
Prayer, Lord, thank You for breathing out Your Word and using faithful servants to record it for the rest of us. Thank You that I can hold it in my hands, open it at will, and anticipate that the words my eyes fall on are for my benefit, to teach, rebuke, correct, and train me. I desire that every time I read the book You wrote I would delight myself in it. I thank You today, for the precious gift of Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.