Text: 2 Timothy 3:16-17††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† January 8, 2012.
1) A book never read: A dust covered large book was on the top shelf of a bookcase by a young boy. His curiosity was aroused and he asked his mother about it. Embarrassed, she sheepishly explained, ďThis is a Bible. Itís Godís book.Ē The boy pondered for a little while and then said, ďWell, if thatís is Godís book, why donít we return it to him? Nobody here had every read it anyway.Ē
2) A book seldom used: In a regular Christian home, the Bibles is not a popular book either used or read. The only time someone will pick it up to read may be when there is some trouble, sickness or death in the family. And even then the people may not know where to look for help that is needed. When was the last time you pick up the Bible, sit down and read it for your spiritual needs?
WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
1) It is the word of God: God gave the Ten Commandment to Moses on Mt. Sinai, He used His power to write the words on tablets of stone so the people of Israel could read and understand from generation to generation. The idea of God gave his word in the Bible was further illustrated when Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16, ďAll Scripture is God-breathed.Ē The compound word ďGod-breathedĒ, theopneustos, in Greek, means ďfrom the breath of GodĒ or ďGodís speech.Ē This is the most important essence of the Bible. It separates the Bible from all other books written by men, including those by religious founders. No matter which language or version of the Bible we read, the essential messages are from God.
2) It opens the path to God: Throughout human history, man has been seeking to find a way to reach God, to meet manís thirst of spiritual needs. That spiritual vacuum helped men to create many religions, philosophy, ethics, morality, etc. and none of them has achieved anything for man. So, through the Bible God reveals His nature, attributes, works, laws and love, a frame work through which man may get a glimpse of God. It is when Jesus came to earth, He revealed all about him to man through the life and work of His Son.
3) It helps build relationship: The last six Commandments lay down the foundation for the betterment of human relationship in family, to neighbors on property and personal actions. Many books had been written and millions of hours had been spent to teach human beings on how to live peacefully, properly with one another. Yet men had waged wars, big and small, through out history at home, at work, in societies and between nations. The real way to solve human conflicts is to study and obey the Bible to achieve peace among men.
4) It improves personal conduct: The last part of 1 Timothy 3:16 reads: And is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.Ē This is about how man may learn to improve himself on his thoughts and actions. The result of improving personal conduct is: ďSo that men of God may be thoroughly equipped for all good works.Ē (3:17) Why did man do wrong and how can he learn to do right? All is in the Bible. The Bible is the word of God who is the creator of all men. He knows what we need and how we function.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE BIBLE: The little boyís answer to return the Bible to God may sound funny and innocent, but God doesnít want us to return the Bible to Him. He wants us to keep His Book at homes, in offices, in schools, hospitals, hotels, camps and all other places so anyone wants to read it, it is there.
1) We need to read the Bible: If God only wanted Moses to know His Commandments, He may not need to write them on stone tabs. He did that so Israelis may read them from generation to generation. The is the most important requirement of God on His word: Read them. Besides your Sunday School class time and the morning worship hours, how often do you read the Bible? We spent many hours reading newspaper, news on TV and the internet and commercial material, even fliers. Why donít we read the most important book God has given us?
2) We need to know the Bible: Reading the Bible without knowing the meaning, teaching doesnít help us anything. There are ways we can get to know the Bible better: Find time to read, to meditate, to pray for Godís guidance and illumination. Join the Bible class in Sunday School and discipleship, attend worship to listen to preachers who expound the deeper meaning of the Bible. Read commentatorís exposition may help us know more about the Bible.
3) We need to believe the Bible: In our everyday life, we believe the words of many people: doctors, pharmacists, auto mechanics and computer instructions to solve problems we face everyday. This is the fact of life: you canít live well without believing some people and we all do. How about believing the word of God to handle all problems and challenges of or life? Too often, we trust people more than trusting God whom we know is much more intelligent, loving, kind, wise and capable to help us live a better life. So, when we read the Bible, we need to truly believe the words God put in there for our own good.
4) We need to follow the Bible: If you have read, understood and believed all that is in the Bible but never really want to practice it, what is the point of doing all those reading, knowing and believing? Suppose you are sick, and had seen a doctor and obtained the prescription and got your medicine. You totally believe the doctor and the pharmacist, trust the instruction of the medication, but you never take that medicine, you will never receive the benefits of the medication. It is the following of the word of God, the Bible, that we will receive the benefits of the Bible. Apostle James says in his book: ďDo not merely listen to the word but do what it says.Ē (James 1:20-25) Doing Godís word benefits you, not anyone else.
DIG DEEP INTO THE TREASURES: (Psalm 119:89-96) The Bible is like a treasure-island God has kept for us. There are so much waiting for us to dig out. In Psalm 119:89-96, part of the longest chapter in the Bible, the writer shows us how much Godís word is waiting for us to find and enjoy:
1) Godís word is eternal: (119:89) The word of God stands firmly forever in heaven and on earth and will never fade or change. All human words are subjected to change from time to time and we can never know if they are true or not. Godís word in the Bible is eternally true.
2) Godís word is faithful: (119:90) God can never lie and He always keeps His promises. He will always do what he said.
3) Godís word is invincible: (119:91) Nothing in this world may defeat or destroy Godís word. Jesus confirmed this in Matt 24:25, ďHeaven and earth may pass away, but my words will never pass away.Ē
4) Godís word is delightful: (119:92) Godís word brings hope in time of despair and joy in time of sorrow. His word is the source of comfort and strength in time of pain and suffering.
5) Godís word preserves life: (119:93) If we follow Godís word leadership, we can avoid traps and snares to preserve and protect our life.
6) Godís word keeps us safe: (119:94)We face dangers everyday and everywhere. By following Godís word, we keep ourselves safe from temptations and their consequences.
7) Godís word protects us: Wickedness and evil are everywhere in this world. By meditating and obey Godís word, we will be protected from the wicked and the evil ones.
8) Godís word is boundless: Boundless means no boundary, no limit. Nothing and nowhere God cannot reach to lead us and protect us from danger, harm, temptation and trouble. His presence is unlimited and his power will never cease.
1) Renew your respect of the Bible: Many people left their bibles in the church or other places and never remembered that. No one leave their handbag or wallet without searching for them. The Bible is lot more important than any handbag or wallet in saving our life and delivers us from trouble. We need to renew our love for the Word of God and respect of the Bible. Keep them close to heart.
2) Renew your interest in the Bible: Have a set time and place each day to read the Bible. Meditate on its meaning, Draw wisdom and principles of life from Godís word at the start of each day. Learn from Godís word to enrich your spiritual life.
3) Receive salvation from the Bible: In John 5:39, Jesus said, ďYou delight study the Scriptures because you know that by them you possess eternal life.Ē Read Godís word, open your heart and you will come to know the true source of life by believing Jesus as Lord and Savior and receive from Him eternal life.