Today's Lectionary Text
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
But don’t let it faze you. 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.
I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
After reading these verses from 2 Timothy I got to thinking about the Bibles of my life. My first Bible I’m sure was a children’s Bible. I remember a picture of Jesus holding a lamb on the cover. I received a beautiful leather covered Bible with my name embossed when I reached 3rd or 4th grade and studied from the gold Good News Bible through my middle school years.
I received a CEB translation Bible from a week at United Methodist Institute at Baker University during my high school years, and that Bible has stayed with me through high school, college and some years of my marriage. A few years ago, I bought my husband the Quest study Bible and have used it on a number of occasions when I want to cross reference translations or look at the excellent maps or notations.
I recently purchased a cultural background studies Bible that has both deepened and challenged my understanding of the scriptures. It provides more context to the stories I know well and the footnotes provide more information than I ever dreamed available to me before.
With each version, translation, and with age I find I get different and new observations about this important text. And the words become dearer to me as the years progress. Seeing highlighted verses from my teenage angst remind me that nothing is permanent and tough seasons come and go. Reading about what was happening at the time the scriptures was written has opened history up and made the faith of our forefathers more wondrous.
Different stories and verses speak to me in different ways, at different times and for different reasons. Perhaps that is why faith has endured through the ages. The Bible is both a history of our faith and a guide. It tells stories of adventure, stories of woe, stories of triumph and stories of defeat. But at its core, at least to me, it’s a story of love. Of how much our God loves us and the lengths he will go to bring us back to him.
Communications Administrative Assistant
Prayer for Reflection
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the bible and all the translations that are available to us to speak to us in different ways. Help us to turn away from spiritual junk food and seek the truth in you.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color