ďRECALCULATINGĒ†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† By Pastor YAU

Text: 2 Timothy 3:14-17†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† August 28, 2011.

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   Using an electronic navigation: On a road trip to visit someone, we used the GPS navigation device to guide us. After entering our destination on the screen, a voice told us which street to follow as well as when and where to make a turn. When we drove away from the route, whether accidentally or deliberately, the voice would say, ďRecalculating.Ē Then it would tell us how to get back on the right road so we could get to where we wanted to go.

2)   Using a spiritual navigation: In 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible is described as spiritual navigation system for our journey through life, particularly when we make wrong turns either willfully or by roadside distractions. We should not take it lightly the mistakes and choices that got us detour from the path God has designated for our life. Failures like detours are seldom fatal if we know where and how to come back to the right way. The moment we veer off on our own, the Holy Spirit is recalculating and urging us to return to the right path.

 

WHY DO WE NEED A GPS?

1)   There are unknowns: No one needs any GPS to drive to work in the morning and come home at night because we all know where these places are and we have traveled on it many times. It is when we need to go to a place where we seldom or have never traveled before, then we need the GPS to help us find direction. Life is pretty much like that: we donít know it all, so we need help. Donít you think you are smart to know it all.

2)   We donít want to get lost: No one likes to get lost in a strange place. Getting lost makes us anxious, wasting time and makes us feel like a fool. We want to know where we are going and how to get there with the sense of confidence. A navigation system helps to achieve these purposes. How many times you feel you are lost in life direction, lost in making the best choices and lost in trying to make sense and meaning of your life?

3)   We canít see it all: One of the best advantages of GPS compares to human eyes is it receives signals from settle-lite which can see far bigger pictures of roads and streets no human eyes can even imagine to cover. The GPS enables you to choose the best, the shortest or the fastest route to get to your destination. Many of us have experience of wasting time, energy and efforts in a new place because we are unable to see through a vast area to choose the best routes. Many times, life is too big and too complicated and we just canít see it all. We need some thing or someone who can see bigger and farther to help us out.

4)   We want to get there: When we travel, either to a store on the other side of town or a city in another state, we all want to get there safely. No one wants to be late or get lost on his trip. Any thing or anyone who may help us to get there, most of us will be happy to use that. For all normal people, we want to use any help that is available to us. If you can afford a GPS, why not?

 

WHAT CAN THE SPIRITUAL GPS DO? (2 Timothy 3:16)

1)    It sets the standard: The first Greek word didaskalian is from didaskw that means speaking in an assembly of people to set the precept or law or standard governing the behavior of the people. In this case God is the speaker in His inspired word, the Bible. The Bible, our spiritual GPS, serves to set the standard or the law by which we all need to follow, obey or abide. God has set all his laws, doctrine or precept in the Bible for all the people in this world. We are to read, know and abide with all the laws God has set in it so we will not violate Godís standard. Just as in a GPS, engineers installed programs, maps and instruction of operation we need to follow, God set His law in the Bible.

2)    It sets the discipline: The second Greek word elermon is from elerxo that means to reprove or to discipline. Just like in all law books, besides giving the definition of the law, they also give the terms of punishment on violators. In the Bible, God gives us law we need to follow. He also gives us guidelines of discipline on those who violate His law. This is seen in the Old Testament law and in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The apostles also write on the need of discipline to bring Godís people back to Him. If we disobey His instructions in His word, we will suffer discipline for our violation.

3)    It points a way back: The third Greek word epanorthosin comes from 2 words, epi and anothow that means to set it upright again or back to the right way. This is the part of recalculation of the GPS when we veer off the direction it tells us how to come back. Just as the GPS tries to finger out how it may redirect us back on the right track, the Bible also helps us to find our way back when we are way off from the path God sets for our life. For whatever reason if you run away from God, He is ready to show you the way to come back. You donít have to wonder around or hesitate to find your way home. Your Heavenly Father is waiting with the lights on, wanting to see you back home.

4)    It provides instructions: The last Greek word paideian, a verb that means to train, is from pais, a noun that means a child. To put both together, it means to give instruction or teaching to a child for his/her growing needs. This is exactly the purpose of the Bible, to give instruction or teaching to anyone who needs to grow in his/her spiritual understanding of Godís word. If you have strayed away from the correct path and you want to come back, here is the instruction book, the Bible you can go to.

 

HOW TO GET THERE FROM HERE? (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

1)    Continue to learn and believe: ďAs for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.Ē (3:14) In RSV, it renders ďhave firmly believed.Ē The first step to secure your correct path is to learn more about God word. Participating in group study and personal time are good ways to increase the learning results. You have to have deep faith in God and His word as your guide through life. Learning and building faith is a life long growth that lay a strong foundation for your journey.

2)    Connected with Jesus Christ: ďAnd how from infancy you have know the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ,Ē (3:15) Years back, Jesus has already declared the importance of getting connected with him, ďApart from me you can do nothing.Ē (John 15:5) The first step to connect with Jesus is to place your faith in Him as your Lord and Savior. This comes from the wisdom you gain in learning the Holy Scriptures. This is a life relationship that will bear fruit to eternity, eternal life with Jesus forever in heaven.

3)    Respect the word of God: ďAll scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.Ē (3:16a) Two things in this sentence need our special attention: respect the scripture because it is from the inspiration or breath of God. The Bible is not just a book, it is from Godís life or spirit. Second, we need to know it is profitable to learn and live by Godís word. Many Christians fail in their life because they donít understand the true value of learning and doing Godís word. They mistaken the Bible as too restrictive to their freedom and dignity, so they either ignore it or willfully disobey Godís command. Any negligence or willful disobedience of Godís word will leave us on our own in this wicked world to render us useless for His kingdom.

4)    Ready to do His good work: ďSo that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for all kinds of good work.Ē (3:17) Godís purpose in His word is to equip all men so they can do all kinds of good work to glorify Him and to benefit others. Paul models the life of Jesus to fulfill Godís purpose and to do good work to fellow men. How do we know if we are on the right track? One way to know is if we are doing things God considers as good work for Him and for others. Is your life producing good work to glorify God and benefit others? Or your life is only for your own purpose and benefits? Are they good work in Godís eyes?

 

CONCLUSION:

1)   Checking your path: The journey of life is like driving, you have to be alert and know where you are going. If you are distracted by roadside attraction or if you are just absent minded, it is highly possible that you may be on the wrong path and you wonít get to the destination you want to. This is very true particularly with your spiritual journey. If you truly care where you are going in your spiritual direction, you need to check with your spiritual GPS, the Bible to find out.

2)   Listen to recalculation: If you have veer off the path God wants you to travel for whatever reason, He is recalculating your path and tries to steer you back to the right track. Turn your heart toward God, and tune your spiritual ear to His voice to lead you back to His way. Any one more day you resist Godís call, you are doubling the distance between you and God. When you know in your heart you are in the wrong direction, why are you so stubborn not to make a U-turn? You need to listen to Jesus: Apart from me, you can do nothing. Heed the warning.

3)   Donít know where you are going? Life without a purpose or meaning? Donít know what you want and where you are going? Come to Jesus for He knows where you should go and will go with you. You donít have to wander in this world aimlessly or meaningless. Seek his guidance. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and submit to His leadership and He will lead you back to the right path with brighter future on higher ground.