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.