Profitable for You
Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
I’m writing this on the day after the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It is heart-breaking to think of the terror directed towards those young children and teachers, and the unimaginable grief that has confronted the parents and families in that small Texas town. Pray for those folks!
Our passage relates to the matter. We live in difficult times. We were warned of such things. Read through 2 Timothy 3:1-5 in the light of what you see and hear about in the news. The attitudes and behaviors spoken of are common fare in our country these days. They typify the kinds of things that are to be expected in any time or place where God’s Word has lost its influence in the suppression and abandonment of truth (2 Timothy 3:7-8; Romans 1:18-32). We are rightly horrified by school shootings and many acts of violence we hear about. Where can we look for hope and direction?
Paul warned Timothy about the difficult times that were to come. He likewise exhorted Timothy to purpose to live in a contrary manner, saying “You, however” and “But as for you” (2 Timothy 3:10, 14). Timothy was to look to Paul’s godly example and to the “sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:10-11, 15). In a time of apostasy, it is incumbent on the follower of Jesus to purpose to cleave to the Word if he is to navigate the myriad of challenges that accompany a society’s rejection of God and truth.
God’s inspired word is profitable. Its profit lies in its ability to work such that “the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). We cannot expect to be equipped to serve Jesus in such a manner apart from devotion to the Word. We are pilgrims on a journey on the narrow way. The narrow way is filled with twists and turns and obstacles and unexpected challenges. We need a guide to lead us if we are to stay on the path and proceed safely to our destination. The Bible is that guide, a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Using this analogy, look at what God’s Word can do: 1) in teaching the Bible marks out for us the path of righteousness. God’s word teaches us how to walk in a manner consistent to who God is and what He expects from us. It shows us what is right and what is wrong. 2) in reproof the Bible alerts us when we’ve wandered from the path. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9), but the Word is able to discern “the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). 3) in correction the Bible can get us back on the path. The Greek term translated correction means literally to make straight again. After exposing and condemning false beliefs and practices, the Bible works to restore us, setting us back on our feet on the path. 4) In training the Bible works to keep us on the path. The Greek term used here is a term that was used in the training of a child. Training takes time and involves the repeated hearing and studying of the truth such that a person is “trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). Throughout the process the Spirit of God works to apply the Word of God to the heart of the believer so that he’s made useful and is progressively matured into Christlikeness!
John MacArthur has commented on the profitability of God’s Word: “This is the way; walk you in it. This is how you go through life’s maze. This is how you navigate the world. You wander through this dangerous world, this deadly world, this deceptive world, this confused world with all its pitfalls, all the horrors that are out there, and you navigate this thing; and in the process, you do it with a joyful heart because you stay on the right path. Scripture, the doctrines of Scripture, create a right path, a way to think, and a way to walk.” There’s bad news in the world. But God has condescended to our need. He’s graciously provisioned us with His Word, that we might know the truth about Him and His will for us, and so that we might safely proceed and progress along His path amidst the difficult times in which we live.
With God’s Word as your map and His Spirit as your compass, you’re sure to stay on course.Anonymous
TEACH ME THY WAY, O LORD
Teach me thy way, O Lord; teach me thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford; teach me thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
lead me with heav’nly light; teach me thy way!
When I am sad at heart, teach me thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
in failure or success, teach me thy way!
When doubts and fears arise, teach me thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me thy way!
Shine thro’ the cloud and rain, thro’ sorrow, toil, and pain;
make thou my pathway plain; teach me thy way!
Long as my life shall last, teach me thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
until the crown is won, teach me thy way!