1&2 Timothy: Day 16

Educated & Equipped

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Today's Text: 2 Timothy 3:10-17, Psalm 19:7-11

Text: 2 Timothy 3:10-17, Psalm 19:7-11

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV

I hate feeling unprepared. I am not completely Type A, but in the category of preparedness, I certainly am. If I have a morning meeting, I get to my desk early and make sure I have time to run over the itinerary and write down answers to potential questions or issues that will be raised.

If I’m cooking dinner for people, I have, on occasion, created a timeline on my Notes app to tell myself when to put the chicken in, when to cook the pasta, when to heat the rolls, etc., so that everything is the appropriate temperature when guests arrive.

Before a first date, I take a really long time to get ready, and then I clean my entire apartment. Even though I know I won’t be inviting him inside. “What if he asks to use my bathroom before we leave?” I ask myself. “What if there is an emergency that involves his needing to watch my television…?”

It’s over the top and weird, I know. But I feel better about life if I’m prepared for it.

Considering my need to over-prepare, it’s ironic how often I neglect the ultimate preparation guide: the Bible.

Throughout this study, we have seen Paul instruct and equip Timothy on various topics. He warns him about false teachers. He guides him on how to handle quarrels within the church community. Paul’s advice is wise and consistent, and all of it is incredibly valuable for us to put into practice today. But all that Paul has written so far seems to lead up to and hinge on the last 2 verses of Chapter 3:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).

Right here Paul makes one of the most critical claims in Christianity, that scripture is God-breathed. Yes, man wrote down the words, but those men were inspired by God to write them. Therefore, scripture can be trusted. Its words should be abided by and depended upon in order to be “equipped for every good work.”

If I prepared myself with the Word of God like I prepare myself for a dinner party or a first date, I would be much more equipped to live a godly life. But more days than not, I rely on my worldly ways of preparation over the God-breathed book sitting on my bedside table.

I love how John Piper talks about this scripture. He says, “The Creator of the universe has breathed out a book. A book. We can read the mind of God revealed in this book. We have access to knowledge that is unshakably true and infinitely valuable. Infinitely. Do you treasure and love and read and meditate and memorize and study this book in accord with its infinite worth?”

I know I often don’t. I don’t treasure the Word as the breath of God. I don’t depend on it like I do air in my lungs, but according to scripture, this is how we are to read God’s Word. As Psalm 19 says, “The rules of the Lord are true,
 and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold,
 even much fine gold; 
sweeter also than honey 
and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11, ESV).

God did not put us here on this earth and then say, “Alright, figure it out. Good luck!” He put us here with a counselor—the Holy Spirit—and with a never-failing, all-encompassing guidebook—His Word.

May we treasure it. May we savor it. May we cling to it like our life depends on it because, truly, it does.

Andrea Lucado is a freelance writer and Texas native who now calls Nashville, Tennessee, home. When she is not conducting interviews or writing stories, you can find her laughing with friends at a coffee shop, running the hills of Nashville, or creating yet another nearly edible baking creation in her kitchen. One of these days she’ll get the recipe right.

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  • Wow! That John Piper quote is such an encouragement and such a conviction all at once. Thank you, Lord, that you have given us the Bible on which we can depend! Help me treasure and love and memorize and study and meditate on your word because it is incredibly valuable!

  • I struggled with this for a while..but after making a personal decision that I wanted to get closer to my Heavenly Father, something just clicked and since doing she reads truth plans and Jesus calling.. I’m noticing such a change in my life and my relationship with the Lord.. Lord, thank you for your word ❤️

  • Derriann

    This is so true! Thank you God for your word.

  • faux B zero1 Bulgari

    Merci à un ami à Hingham pour Bulgari bague les étiquettes de so bague Bulgari femme upe Campbell nombreux. Je l’ai reçu de nombreuses étiquettes de mes amis et voisins,Bulgari bague, mais pour obtenir 490 anony réplique bague Bulgari prix me d’un ami à Hingham était tout à fait une surprise et un très bienvenus à cela. Je ferai en sorte que l’école évangélique

  • Kasey Summers

    The Word is God talking straight to us. It is alive and active- sharper than any two edged sword! Hebrews 4:12 Nothing is more important than time with God each day. Praying for a heart that would crave time with my Savior all the time!

  • Adriene Barra`

    Preparation is important to perform well. If you prepare well than you can definitely perform well. Students do lot of prepartion for the exam so they can perform well and get good grades. chemistry homework solver

  • Hesaved83

    ALL SCRIPTURE IS FROM GOD!!! “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (II Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭19-21‬ NKJV)

  • Peace2015

    Yes, Yes, YES LORD! Your Word IS profitable, IS perfect, IS trustworthy, IS right, IS radiant, IS reliable, IS righteous, IS desirable, IS a warning, IS a great reward! I praise you for inspiring human hands to pen your Words of Truth and thank you for gracing me with the gift of your Word and placing the desire to grow in Your Truth daily. You are truly our Awesome God!!!

  • How many times I get upset because things aren’t going my way or feel all alone without guidance. Why is it that I go to God as a last resort and not first ? This is a reminder to me that I need to put my trust and faith in the creator of the universe for his ways are higher than my ways. But I need to ask to get guidance and direction. It is really that simple. Why do I make it so hard on myself?

  • pinkandgreenprep

    I don't often comment on these devotionals, but WOW. This one really spoke to me. That John Piper quote cut straight to my heart and soul. I found myself hugging my Bible (very odd, I know), and I felt like I was physically being hugged and comforted by Jesus. Never in my life have I felt that, but I did tonight. Thank you, to the wonderful, blessed people at She Reads Truth for continuing to speak into the lives of thousands of people daily. You truly do make an impact, and I'm so blessed by this website and this community.

  • purpleslobinrecovery

    Yes! God breathed/ I needed this fresh reminder. I love that God's very breath is in my hand.
    Very powerful.

  • Love today’s reading. God told me last week that if I want things and I expect Him to do said things, I need to be prepared. He said why prayer and not have yourself ready when the blessings come. This plan was good for me in that it showed me the abundant wealth of wisdom I have in the word. It’s the breath of God! Wow!

  • In Christ I'm Found

    I have found these words to be true in my life. Especially recently, with a struggle at work. It only took a week or 2 of being out of the Word daily to turn my life upside down. Thankfully, I know where to turn (prayer and SRT!)

  • Recycled Sparks

    Great and inspiring! Thanks Andrea

  • needed this reminder! Even after years of studying scripture I can become complacent and rely on my own knowledge and neglect meeting with the Lord. I pray I need it like air!

  • I have been reflecting a lot on this post today, specifically the sentence, "Therefore, scripture can be trusted" and the corresponding passage from today's reading that states, "All scripture is breathed out by God." The question that comes to mind when I read this is, which scriptures exactly are we talking about? When Paul was writing this, the Bible as we know it today had not been carefully gathered and put together yet. At that time, the books of the Old Testament had been gathered together and were generally accepted as canonical – are those the scriptures Paul is referring to? And even if he was also referring to the future New Testament, which New Testament exactly? Especially in the early days of the church, but even throughout the world today, there are differences in what different groups of believers consider to be canonical books of the Bible (an easy example being the Apocrypha). Before any of us take this piece of scripture (which I have to keep reminding myself is a letter written by a specific person to a specific person…it is not a general commentary written for an audience of all believers) and take it to mean that every single word written in the Bible is to be taken literally or seen as infallible, I think we must consider the context of this passage.

    In the end, I personally do believe that scripture can be trusted and that God breathed these beautiful words and passages into life, but I also believe that our own human interpretations, judgments, and translations of scripture can be subject to error. I am glad I have this online group of fellow believers to join with as we prayerfully read and muddle over God's word together.

    • Laura R

      Very good point! The bible as we know it hadn't been put together yet and, like you said, different denominations "scriptures" are different… I do not have an answer to this and am a little surprised I actually haven't had this question yet (I over think everything and pick apart scriptures so interesting I hadn't thought of this question yet). I hope someone in this community can shed some light…

    • untilthesunsets621

      Hi Laura!

      I know that is 5 weeks later, but I hope that you still see this! Thank you for bringing up this question! I think so many of us, myself included, tend to generalize the word "Scriptures" in the New Testament as the whole Bible because that is our understanding of the word today. But you are right and Paul generally used the world "Scriptures" in referring to the Old Testament which he would have known almost perfectly since he was a Pharisee before converting. He uses the word "Gospel" to talk about the message that Jesus gave him (is my understanding).

      Thank you for remembering the context of the passage, but I hope that you are also encouraged by his words in the same way that he meant to encourage Timothy!

  • Sarah Martin

    Whew! Might I be a bit vulnerable with you all? This morning I sat down with my Bible, my notebook, and SRT like I do most mornings. But this morning it was only after I crawled back in bed after school drop off. My hormones are a ragin' and all kinds of wild things are flying through my mind—and I just needed to shut it all out for a bit. When I peeled myself out of bed those same thoughts still threatened my peace today. After a good cry–cause doesn't that happen when hormones are ragin'–I asked God for a WORD this morning. He is ever faithful.

    I read 2 Timothy 3 and immediately honed in on verse 16 & 17. I wrote the words down. "All Scripture is breathed out by God…" I thought, "Ok, Lord, I still need a word and I'm trusting that YOUR Word will meet my need this morning–I need some TRUTH!" I looked at my words from SRT study yesterday and noticed an unanswered question I wrote down in response to Ephesians 5:15-17: Making the best use of my time–what does that mean? You see, the untruths swirling in my mind this morning (exasperated by exhaustion and those darn hormones) were then rearranged into TRUTH as I dug into Ephesians 5 again.
    I scribbled notes, I prayed, I wrote more questions…I interacted with the Word breathed out by a holy and sovereign God. He met me right this morning and spoke to my untruths. I was seriously tempted this morning to text a friend for encouragement, call my mom, cry on my husbands shoulder–anything–but God called me to His word. Oh He is so very good.

    Thanks for the TRUTH today, Andrea!!!

  • ~B~,

    I have had a similar experiences with the Historical Christian fiction genre/authors. It has caused me to search for my books under 'Biblical Fiction' in the historical arena. And even then, errors abound. (I am an avid reader… books are an escape – if you will – from the daily pain of my disability.) A recent book about Jezebel had me running for my Bible in a frustrated frenzy… because I take to heart the statement that ALL scripture is God-Breathed.

    ALL. Not just the parts that are easily understood. Like you, I have trust in God that HE knows the whys and wherefores that we don't quite 'get' yet.

    I find myself very concerned when I come across someone or some book that has the potential to lead 'seeking believers' astray. Join me in prayer in this spiritual battle? I believe this is only a small part of the 'mishandling' of God's Word that we are warned about in the NT….

    Love In Jesus' name,
    BABS

    • ~ B ~

      Babs – Thank you for your words. Glad I'm not alone in my concerns. It's hard to decipher sometimes….this is where knowing scripture and recognizing God's voice is imperative. ~ B

  • McKenna Curlee

    “May we treasure it. May we savor it. May we cling to it like our life depends on it because, truly, it does.” Beautiful reminder this morning. It’s crazy how often I get so overwhelmed and stressed out by trying to prepare and get ready when I could read His Word and be counseled by the Holy Spirit who give me an incomprehensible peace and confidence. It happens way too much. Lord, help my unbelief and open my eyes to the instruction You have so generously given me. Guide my steps of today down Your path, no matter where it may lead. Amen

  • german_janne

    Couldn´t resist and made my favorite quote from today´s reading visible :)
    http://reutergrafik.de/Downloads/quote-07-05-15.j

  • Shannon H

    What a gift to breathe in what God has breathed out.

  • My desire is to need the word of God like air. Like water. Like food. Amen
    After many years of not reading the word daily and going through life and trials as they came along – I have come to the point that when I read the word now, I read it with passion and want more of it! I actually look forward to spending time with God. I also think it’s age – by that I mean is – I am getting older & wiser through God. I realize how much MORE I need of Jesus and less of the worldly things in my life. Such a sweet reminder of this day! Amen

  • Jenny Raymond

    Wow. So I’ll confess I’ve always thought about this verse as how to deal with, to teach, others – like my children, the young adult class I lead, or even how to win an argument with my husband. I never internalized it for myself, even though I’ve memorized it. Other verses I have, like the one from Psalm, but not this one. All scripture has the power to teach ME, reproof ME, correct ME, instruct ME, so that I am made complete and ready in righteousness. So simple and intuitive, and I’m so glad I finally saw it. Thank you Andrea! What a beautiful truth to start my day with.

  • Carley Miller

    My true desire is to need the Word like air and water but so often I let the worries of the day take over! God give me a passion for you and your word!

  • Such beautiful news to hear on this National Day of Prayer!
    "May we cling to it like our life depends on it because, truly, it does."- Amen!

  • Ecoughlin

    After many years of painful trials and tribulations, I have come to the point where the Bible is my food and drink every morning. There is nothing on this earth that satisfies my soul as much as time in His word and prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. I am not boasting at how spiritual I am. Rather, admitting how broken I am and how much I need Him every minute of the day.

  • My prayer as well Tina. May God bless you today

  • Beautifully said Candacejo, thank you for sharing the inspirational video this morning! Have a blessed day

  • Oh how often when I’m frustrated with this life thing I forget that our Lord has left us with his word. I beg and plead for him to show his face and yet I don’t search the scripture and pour out to the lord as I should. Help me Lord to truly seek your face by using and knowing you word, write your words on my heart so I may not sin against you!

  • Oh what a beautiful morning where I am! The studies this week have given me a lot to ponder on. My guide book is God breathed. He has allowed my humanness to understand this. He loves me. What a awesome God we have .

  • It’s great to start the day with the book that will get me through! Today the verse that said “the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” is my verse of the day. I am thankful that He revives me each and every day. Today is a new day so let’s get started! :)

  • Jennifer C.

    This is a critical truth in Christianity. Scripture is the Word of God. Inspired, Infallible, Inerrant. Powerful and capable of changing us. We can't get this particular doctrine wrong and then expect anything else to be right. If the Bible is written by fallible men I might as well throw it out the window. As a Christian community we have to be firm in this. I love the clarity of Paul's words (well, GOD'S Words, really!) It's not a tricky passage. I don't see how you could interpret it any other way. Scripture=God's Word. Thanks for the reminder today to focus on what is true!

  • This reminds me of something I wrestled with. A couple of years ago I was reading a new book by a popular christian author. Her writing is beautiful and she speaks greatly to the world we are in. I was looking forward to reading more of her words, as I dove into the book, the very first chapter stopped me in my tracks. I was stunned at what I was reading. The opinion of a particular topic was, to me, completely against God's word, but as we all often encounter differing opinions in this world, I read on. Many chapters later it came again. Words I did not expect and ones that stunned me for a woman with her following. In explaining her assessment of something that she felt we humanly get wrong, she elaborated that the Bible was written by man and therefore fallible. That while, some of it was spot on God's heart, much of it is also not. The author felt that certain portions were interpreted incorrectly by man's own failings and opinions, not God's guidance. Again, stopped me in my tracks. I actually put the book down and spent time over it in prayer for a few days. I honestly didn't know what to feel about it. I was frustrated that this best selling book is inspiring erroneous instruction to so many women seeking God, seeking answers, seeking support … someone that gets them. I, over time, would ask God, "How am I to receive this? What am I do think about it, Could I be wrong when so many believe this way?" But 2 Timothy 3 reminds us that God's Word, all of it, is absolute. "Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way." … THIS is one very reason I love these SRT studies, they are rooted in truth. I want to breathe in and out scripture … the outright word of God, our Father, our Savior. I want to know with my core that I am living Truth.

    I continue to be prayerful over this book, over the understanding it is bringing, over the sweet author. My hope is that God corrects any trite thinking and aligns hearts and the movement of her readers with Him. I know we are ALL imperfect. There are times, we pick out of the Word what we want, we want to credit ourselves and believe that the harshness we feel biblically couldn't really be intended to be love, but I know otherwise. I know and rely on the word and know that what doesn't make sense to me, what confuses me, makes absolute sense to God and that there is reason beyond my understanding for it….that my charge, my job is to follow instruction. In addition, my prayer is that I walk out His actual Word. That when something doesn't sit right with me, I examine it with a keen eye and a heart for God, for goodness, for truth.

    Prayer that I move through each day focused on God, that to paraphrase the Message, I stick with what I have learned and believed, sure of the integrity of my teachers…..sure of God's word as instruction, sure of God's word as truth, undeceived by this world. ~ B

    • Laura

      While the scriptures are certainly inspired by God, I think the author you mention IS right that scripture can be interpreted by humans wrongly. Scripture is very mysterious at times and is not always outright clear in meaning – of course we are going to get it wrong sometimes. That doesn't make scripture wrong, it makes our interpretation wrong. Also keep in mind that we, as English speakers, are reading a translation of the original scriptures. Whenever you translate a sentence from one language to another, there is room for error or a loss in meaning. Many Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew words don't even have English counterparts, so we just do the best we can do in our translation. Ultimately though, there is room for error, making it very possible that the meanings we take from our Bibles are not what the original intended meaning was.

      • ~ B ~

        Hi there Laura. Thanks for your comment. I completely agree that we humans misinterpret scriptures often. That will be a forever challenge. They can easily be taken out of context, misconstrued, used in inappropriate and hurtful ways….you name it…. That's not my issue with the book. It was that the belief that the Bible is wrong. Written by man under his own movement, adding his own opinion. The chapter covered a difficult subject and reiterated that there are some things in the Bible we are to believe and others that we are not to believe. That certain harsh things came from judgements within the men that wrote the words….not that it's a God breathed book. This is where I vehemently disagree. Hope that my explanation clears up any confusion. I completely get all that you shared. There are so many versions of the Word, we have to be careful that we aren't missing the mark and that we aren't reading misinterpreted ideas or even reading Bibles that are missing scriptures. Thanks again. ~ B

  • Candacejo

    That breathed-out Word from Almighty God makes us "complete, equipped for every good work". That stuck out to me too this afternoon (it's siesta time in Malta!) I will NOT be complete, I will NOT be equipped for any good work if I have not breathed in the Word of God that He breathed out!

    I am not as regimented as our wonderful guest writer today. I am a "wing it" kind of gal, not always a good thing. The precious missionary that I am privileged to stay with right now is very organized and follows a list and itinerary. I have found that she makes the most of every day that way, it is not wasted because she has PLANNED.

    It is the same with time with God, when we plan it out, make an appointment to be there at the same time every day if at all possible, we can then depend on Him to guide us through that Word that we have taken the time to breathe. It is a beautiful thing because it works!

    It's HIS breath, in our lungs, and we pour out our praise to Him! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHz0w-HG4iU&l

  • . …. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the woman of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

    This is my prayer today…that every God breathed word I read, hear, I will learn and store in my heart, ready, complete and equipped for every good work I am called to do…Amen..

    Happy Thursday…BE Blessed….xx

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