When we hear God’s word, it’s easy to think of how it applies to someone else – will you accept the challenge to listen to it with your whole heart instead?
2 Timothy 3:14-17
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Paul is writing to Timothy to encourage him to continue to live out his faith with integrity and wisdom. In the first part of this chapter, Paul has painted a very bleak picture of what happens when people don’t continue to walk the path of God’s mercy and truth. Now he appeals to Timothy to be different to this – “but as for you …”
As I read God’s Word, I find it all too easy to jump straight to thinking about how it applies to someone else. It’s our “natural” (fallen) response, I suppose, to be defensive about our own weaknesses and struggles – after all, it’s hard to be challenged when we’re “just doing our best”.
But what might happen if I allowed God’s Word to speak first and foremost to me? What if, as I approached his Word, I asked God to remind me first of his grace, forgiveness and love, which is able to free me from the need to be defensive? What if I listened to God’s word with my whole heart and asked him by his Spirit to challenge me through it, knowing that in his hands I am truly safe and loved? What if I spent more time sitting in and under His Word, actively stopping myself from thinking about how it applies to others and refocussing instead on allowing his light to shine even into the darkest parts of my soul?
“but as for me…”
God’s Word is useful for making me wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. It is the breath of God himself, able to teach me, rebuke me, correct me, and train me in righteousness. May he thoroughly equip me to do his work in this world through it.
Head: What parts of your life are you trying to keep closed off from allowing God’s Word to speak into?
Heart: How do you feel when these parts of your life are challenged by God’s Word? Why?
Hands: Take time out today to allow God’s Word to sink deep into your own heart and life.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me that I so quickly deflect your word from being allowed to speak to me by applying to others instead. Thank-you that you love me enough to want to do your work in me by the work of your Spirit. Please do your work in me today, that I might be better equipped for every good work you call me to. Amen.
A song to listen to: Lead Me To The Cross
Ros Cree- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina