Our world is filled with talking. Seldom is there a room where words are not being conveyed: radio, telephones, computers and even live chatter. But many words are not the same as communication. It is amazing how much information and misinformation is thrown at us and how much of it actually registers. Isn’t it interesting that in the Gospel of John, Jesus is called the Word. And when we talk about the Bible, we often use the title of “the Word of God.” Words are important and carry a great deal of weight, but their value is based on the authority of the one who speaks them.
I have heard it said that here in America everyone is entitled to an opinion. And most people would agree, but not all opinions have the same value. For example, if I were to tell you what was wrong with your car, you may want to get another opinion from someone who actually works on cars. If I tell you what is causing your stomach pains, you may want to actually talk to a doctor who has a medical practice, but what about the meaning of life and the life to come? All people have a right to an opinion, but are all opinions of equal value?
II Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
TEACHING – need the basics of life? Read the Word of God. It is not a book just for information, but transformation.
Question: What lesson does God want to show me about how to do life?
REBUKING – need to correct some life habits? Read the Word of God. It will challenge sick thinking.
Question – What does God want me to do differently today?
CORRECTING – need to adjust a life course? Read the Word of God. It will be a light to your path.
Question – What adjustment to my daily schedule will get me closer to God’s goals for my life?
TRAINING – need discipline for a strong inner life? Read the Word of God. Where we are weak the Word of God will make us strong.
Question – What is keeping me from doing what I know I need to do?
I recently completed a Bible study course. At the end of the study one of the women relayed the following story:
She was getting her hair styled at the salon that she always uses. She was behind on her Bible reading for the course and had her materials with her – Bible, pens and workbook. However, on this appointment everything went wrong that could go wrong. She became increasingly irritated and her impatience was about to overflow! Then she looked in her lap. She was reminded that her attitude would reflect on the book she was studying and was reminded that if she was going to carry it in public she better demonstrate what it teaches as well.
That is what the Word does. It works from the inside out.
The daily discipline of Bible study in First Place does not burn calories or build bodily muscle – but it will help create the balanced life that a simple diet will never do.
Remember: God’s Word is Wisdom for those Wise enough to read it.
Dr. Bill Heston
Bill Heston works on the staff of First Presbyterian Church of Houston