Instructions for Deliberately Living Life

 

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Recently I was invited to a dinner date with a few close friends one evening after work. Knowing myself and the fact that I often appear to be, “Directionally Challenged,” I decided to take the necessary time, the morning of, to chart my course.

I saved the address on my phone’s navigation device, and also printed the driving directions from MapQuest since I planned to drive directly from my place of employment versus my home. In doing so, I felt confident that I was fully equipped; so after a full day at the office, when the time came I simply grabbed my directions, my purse, my phone, and off I went. 

Well needless to say – things still did not work out as smoothly as I had planned ~

See the one thing that I did not anticipate was the possibility of road closures due to construction. There I was being instructed by my navigation system to turn left, turn right, and to continue straight on streets, which now displayed, “no access” signs!

Clearly my navigation system was not in tune with the road changes, so I was literally forced to veer off the charted course. As the sun began to set, I was still pretty confident since I knew that I had a back-up plan, the written directions which I had printed. Well that was another issue in itself… The directions were, “too and from instructions,” and I needed an area map to get out of this predicament!

Can I mention again how often times I am, “directionally challenged?” Well you can only imagine how it wasn’t too long before I was turned around in unfamiliar territory, confused, frustrated, and to make matters worse my navigation system had gone silent as it was trying to update, plus it was now night-time! Yes, I panicked ~ but in doing so I soon realized that the more I began to panic, the more it appeared that I was becoming misplaced so I decided to locate a safe place to simply park to gather my thoughts.

There I sat in my car finally calming down – and before you knew it I was going through those safety steps of assessing my surroundings; you know like verifying if I was in a lit location, making certain that my car doors were locked, quickly taking a glimpse of the other patrons in general vicinity… there I sat taking a deep breath while ex-haling slowly, and finally saying out loud, “Lord, please help me!”

Can I tell you that there is something simply un-explainable about the power of prayer! Regardless if your prayer is a long or short one, a silent one or voiced one; point being PRAYER ABSOLUTELY WORKS!

Before long all was getting better as my spirit was calming down, and I began resetting my navigation for another try. Before you knew it…Wahla my navigation system came back up, and I was off again.  This time I was hitting open roads free from construction with each turn told to me by my navigation system, I was finally heading in the right direction.

Did I make it on time? Thank the Lord, yes I made it both safe and on time!

I used this life example as an opening to ask you… have you ever thought to yourself that you were prepared in your spiritual walk yet unexpected road blocks seemingly appeared to pop up causing you to feel like you were turned around, confused, and frustrated, simply discombobulated, or in unfamiliar territory and traveling in the night time of your life?  If so what did you use to navigate the challenges?

Today I want to share with you a, “Perfect,” source of navigation for this Christian journey given to us by God, Himself.

Observation:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Background:

The Apostle Paul encourages his young protégé, Timothy to abide in the things which he had already learned from the divine revelation of Holy Scripture, for it is a sure guide to eternal life.

Interpretation:

Earlier on in chapter 2 Paul encouraged Timothy to remember his youthful experiences taught to him from Scripture by his grandmother Eunice and his mother Lois. Now we find the Apostle Paul reminding Timothy how theirs’ and his source of direction, The Word of God, is reputable (trustworthy, and sound). Let’s see what Paul states as he confirms to Timothy, that he unlike many has gone to the correct fountain of information!

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God,

The operative words that I want you to notice are, “All Scripture,” – being defined as, “All writings,” viewed as, “Scripture.” Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God intentionally sets apart, “The Word of God,” from all other writings inspired by humans. 

Paul explains that All Scripture is, “inspired of God,” By inspiration of God means that the books of the Bible are, “God-breathed,” the very breath of God. That is, they are the fruit of the breath of Almighty God, not of the inspiration of men; therefore divine in both origin and authority.

Yes it is God who directed men to write scripture – and it is also here that God is defining the product of their work as His. Scripture is, “God-breathed.” Please take your time and read (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Treasure Point:  We too can be confident that when we spend time reading and studying the Bible, our time is being well spent. We can trust that we are not simply reflecting upon the words of mere mortal men, but instead we are reading and meditating upon the very thoughts and words, “breathed out,” by our Eternal God.

And is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

In the course of a day we perform many tasks which are NOT profitable… Now I hope a little lesser and lesser as we mature on our spiritual journey! But that’s neither here nor there; my point is that STUDYING our Bible is NOT ONE of those unprofitable tasks.

Instead the benefits are limitless! 

    • Doctrine – (teaching, instruction, that which is taught, and precepts) Taken from the Greek Lexicon #G1319
    • Reproof – (a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested, conviction, evidence)  Taken from the Greek Lexicon #G1650
    • Correction – (restoration to an upright or right state, correction, improvement of life or character) Taken from the Greek Lexicon #G1882
    • Instruction in righteousness – (The whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment) It also includes the training and care of the body, whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, esp. by correcting mistakes and curbing passions. instruction which aims at increasing virtue, chastisement, chastening, (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment) Taken from the Greek Lexicon #G3809 

Now just in case you are asking yourself, “Am I saying that we should not read other forms of books for instruction?” No. I am not saying that at all. However, I am saying that in light of the Word of God, all other books those inspired by men, should be treated as purely secondary. ‘The Word of God, the Bible must be our primary source for spiritual guidance.”

Why? Well of course I am glad that you have asked, so continue on a little further.

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” 

If we the people of God, are to function in complete excellence despite all roadblocks on this journey, we must refer to THE source of instruction for guidance!

The word “perfect” mean (complete, fitted, having reference apparently to, “special aptitude for given uses.) Taken from the Greek Lexicon #G739 

Now please do not think that this means you and I will not sin, because we know that this is not the case; however the person who understands the Scripture, the one who has them at his/her disposal, is throughly furnished, to furnish perfectly, fitted appropriately, for EACH and EVERY occasion!

To appreciate the apostle’s statement of, “perfect,” consider with me for a moment that you have been invited to attend a painting class. When you arrive you notice that your chair has been placed facing an empty canvas sitting on an easel. You also notice that you have a paint palette displaying a spectrum of colors on the color chart, there’s also water in a small bowl for you to rise your paint brushes as needed and a napkin as well. But then as you are taking inventory of the set up, you notice that instead of there being paint brushes there is a spoon, fork, and a knife. Of course, this will not work…Why? Because you simply do not have the correct tools to complete the task!

What’s my point? TOOLS MATTER! 

The Word of God is the complete toolkit needed for all tasks, which we have been assigned!

Let me ask you: As you share the Gospel of Christ will you paint this world with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? 

If you answered yes that you want to perform your assignment in complete excellence, then you must learn to use the tool with which we have been supplied. How? It is simple you must carve time out of your day to read and study your Bible (the Word of God) regularly!

Application: 

The Word of God is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life. There is a Scripture appropriate for any and everything you might encounter on this journey. Discover God’s plan for your life by implementing the discipline of spending time with Him daily in His Word.

Additional Scripture References:

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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