The Firsthand Source - Encouragement for Today - January 7, 2022
January 7, 2022
The Firsthand Source
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“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
I am a true foodie. From the messy and greasy burger to the organic and fancy salad, I don’t discriminate — I love it all! And the accompanying experience? Well, that’s just the cherry on top.
So obviously if a new eatery were to open anywhere near me, I would want to check it out for myself. I would want to see the location with my own eyes. I would want to smell and taste the food with my own senses. I would want to ponder and discuss the best items to order.
And if the spot were worth it, then I would definitely want to spread the word! I might look up a few reviews or lend an ear to the talk of the street, but these sources would all be “extras.” And my foodie-loving heart would never be satisfied until experiencing the food for myself, firsthand.
But what about my Jesus-loving heart?
In recent weeks, I’ve been pondering if my heart has pursued my faith with the same level of conviction. And the truth is … there’s room for improvement.
While I manage to set aside a daily quiet time (at least, most days), much of that time has been spent consuming all the “extras” in my faith-filled collection. From books to podcasts, praise music playlists, online sermons and daily devotions, my shelves are stacked with resources that are encouraging and insightful, lifelines of hope, beautiful works of art, no doubt created by people who love the Lord.
But at the end of the day, all of the “extras” are inspired by, singing about and attesting to our firsthand source — the Bible. Now, am I saying all the “extras” are bad? Absolutely not! But I do believe that if we want to grow our relationship with the Lord, then we need to be in the Word, just as Paul tells us.
In the second book of Timothy, Paul is writing a letter to his mentee, Timothy, and the church in Ephesus to share his final thoughts and encouragement before he dies. Paul reminds Timothy to find his strength and power in the Word of God and implores him to continue preaching with boldness.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Paul understood that Scripture was not just a nice collection of stories and rules to share for informational purposes only. He knew that Scripture is the very Word of God, alive and active, (Hebrews 4:12) with the power to be transformational in a believer’s life. And Paul desperately wanted others to understand this truth, too.
Friends, we are those “others”! The Good News of the Bible then is the Good News of the Bible today. Throughout the chapters, the Lord graciously provides wisdom and direction for our daily lives — rebuking, correcting and training us in righteousness. He clearly lays out His redemption plan for our broken world through the sacrifice of His Son. And He reveals His heart to us so we may know our true identity in Him.
The Bible is personal. God’s message of love is powerful! But if we are using it only as a reference to get our Bible study questions right, then sadly we are missing out on the divine gift it truly is.
And I don’t want to miss out.
So in this new year, my hope for us all is to rediscover the wonder of the Bible with a renewed desire to experience it for ourselves. I hope we will intentionally pursue God’s Word daily, ponder the truths revealed and discuss our findings with friends.
But above all else, I hope we will fully embrace our heavenly Father’s personal invitation to hear His voice and know His heart.
Dear heavenly Father, I pray You would give us a renewed hunger to pursue Your Word. Open our eyes to Your truths within Scripture so we can follow Your ways in all we do today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV)
How can you re-engage with the Bible today? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
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