God-breathed | 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 | MSG
Hearing and responding to the One who is the living Word does not banish the Book to irrelevance. It enhances and underlines it’s meaning and significance. We no longer study a book trying to figure everything out or to learn and master all the rules. We read and study, reflect and meditate to know Him, to be with Him, to find ourselves in Him. Timothy had “taken in the sacred Scriptures with his mother’s milk” – which tells us something of how we most effective absorb them: relationally. In our individualistic culture, we often would like to imagine that we can retreat to our own little private cubicle and figure out the Bible, Christ and God (as well as the mark of the Beast) all on our own (with the help of a few commentaries). But the Bible is a community library meant to be heard in community – in the community of the home, the small group, the congregation. “Blessed is the one who reads and those who hear,” says the Revelator (Revelation 1:3). To read Scripture from such a vantage point is to encounter the divine breath. It is to have our hearts inflamed, our spirits quickened, our lives empowered. Truth is revealed, our darkness exposed to light, our feet and hands fitted for service, our very being shaped and unleashed for God, for Life. In a word, we are brought into salvation – a healed, whole and upright stand before God in this world. Without this vantage point, the Bible becomes just another book – or worse, actually. It becomes not an occasion for encountering the divine breath of God, but only the stale, bad breath of a religious spirit that leads us nowhere.
What has the Bible meant to you? What has been your greatest challenge in getting into it?
Lord, walk with me as you did with the two on that Emmaus road. Let me encounter your divine breath in the pages of the Book, let my heart burn within me – a fire that purges me of hatred, indifference and isolation and that, in consuming me, leaves me fully engaged with you and with your world.
If you are not in the habit of daily reading in the Bible, try starting one. Read. Today. One chapter (if you don’t know where, try the Gospel of Mark). Read aloud. Then sit quietly with it. Write what you see.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.