All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (3:16 NIV).
I treasure the day this verse came to life for me. I was a very young believer. My now almost thirty-six-year-old daughter was still an infant when I was invited to a Bible study at my dear friend’s home that was to be led by her eighty-six-year-old mentor in the faith.
I cannot remember this dear sweet women’s name, but I can still hear her confident voice and see her frail body engulfed in an easy chair set in the corner of that living room. Her eyes lit up as she held her Bible and spoke about His God-Breathed Word.
Then she opened her Bible, and with her face pressed close to the open pages, she tilted her head in rapture up towards the heavens, and with her eyes closed she spoke, “When you open your Bible, feel His Breath.”
I’ve never gotten over it. She went on to share how when you are close to someone, you lean in to better hear his whispers, and as you do, you feel the gentle puffs of air expelled with every word. It forever changed the way I open my Bible, with expectancy to hear His whispers and feel His gentle puffs of air as He speaks through His inspired, God-Breathed Word.
And as Paul exhorts Timothy in his call, he expounds on the many challenging matters this young pastor would have to face. And to the faint of heart, this detailed account just might make one want to head for the hills and hide. And again I wondered if Timothy was haunted by fears as he considered the demands of his call, and perhaps a need arose once again, a need to be reminded that he was to face his future in the strength and spirit of his God.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline, (2 Timothy 1:6).
But there would be no skating around the truth as Paul laid out what Timothy would face in the days ahead.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these… (3:1-5).
And Paul would remind and encourage his young son in the faith: God has given everything that Timothy, or any of us, would ever need to serve Him. He has given us His Holy Spirit’s Holy Inspired God-Breathed Word.
Consider His God-Breathed Word
Timothy would need to be prepared, equipped for all that lie ahead:
- equipped to rely upon on the power, love, and discipline of the Spirit of God (2 Timothy 1:7);
- equipped to suffer for the gospel (2 Timothy 1:8);
- equipped to retain the standard of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13);
- equipped to guard the treasure entrusted to him in his Holy Calling (2 Timothy 1:13);
- equipped to be strong in His grace (2 Timothy 2:1);
- equipped to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2);
- equipped to endure for the sake of those who are chosen (2 Timothy 2:10);
- equipped to accurately handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15);
- equipped to flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Timothy 2:22);
- equipped to serve and lead with kindness, patience, gentleness, and truth (2 Timothy 2:24-25);
- equipped to overcome through the difficult times of the last days (3:1);
- equipped to avoid the snares and lies of the enemy (3:2-5);
- equipped to endure persecution so as to live a godly life (3:1);
- equipped to continue in what he knows is true, in all he has learned from the sacred writings of His God-Breathed Word (3:14-15).
And Timothy was to be equipped for God’s call on his life through His God-Breathed Word.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, (3:16-17 NIV).
I once heard 2 Timothy 3:16 explained in four simple and understandable terms.
All Scripture is useful for:
- what is right (teaching)
- what is wrong (rebuking)
- how to get it right (correcting)
- how to keep it right (training in righteousness)
And for those who believe His Truth, for all who come to His God-Breathed Word to hear and learn what is right, what is wrong, how to get what is wrong right, and then how to keep it right, all those will be thoroughly equipped; not partially, thoroughly equipped for every good work God has prepared in advance for us to do.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them, (Ephesians 2:10).
How do we respond to His God-Breathed Word?
The truth is Timothy was in no greater need of God’s equipping than any other believer. Even Jesus, when faced with temptation and the lies of the enemy, expressed that our greatest need for this life, our greatest need to live the life God has called us to, is His God-Breathed Word.
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,’” (Matthew 4:4).
Perhaps today we can take the opportunity to review Timothy’s needs, which are in reality, our needs as well. And in those areas where we seem to be lacking or are struggling, let us seek Him in His God-Breathed Word to instruct us in what is right and what is wrong as we trust Him to lead us in how to get it right and how to keep it right.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path, (Psalm 110:105).
God has provided absolutely everything we need to be set apart and equipped through His God-Breathed Word; all we have to do is ask.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him, (James 1:5).
Oh, may we never miss a day to open His God-Breathed Word with the confident expectation that we will hear His whispers and feel His gentle puffs of air as we listen to Him speak to our heart, knowing that in everything He calls us to, we can be certain He will equip us as He sanctifies us through His God-Breathed Word.
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth,” (John 17:17).