All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The US Army is excellent at creating Field Manuals for almost every situation. Field Manuals contain detailed information and how-tos for procedures that are important for soldiers serving in the field. Because it contains tested and proven instructions, following a Field Manual can often make the difference between mission success and mission failure.
When it comes to our Christian mission in the world, and how to live the Christian life, the Bible is our one and only Field Manual. In our passage for today, Paul reminds us that even though humans physically wrote the books of the Bible, they were inspired by God himself. Therefore we profit by studying and applying the Word of God in our lives.
In our passage, Paul actually tells us at least four ways that the Word of God can be used. They are stacked in a kind of order.
- We should use the bible to teach or share with others about Jesus Christ.
- If people push back against those teachings, we reproof them, that is, we lovingly remind them of what the Bible calls sin or wrong behavior.
- We then help them do a course correction by using the bible to show them what right looks like.
- Finally, we use the bible to train and strengthen them in the ways of righteousness, so they can now stay on a true Christian azimuth.
It is worth learning as much as we can from God’s Field Manual. Evangelist Dr. Billy Graham once said, “If you are ignorant of God’s Word, you will always be ignorant of God’s will.”
It is time to get smart by living God’s Word and sharing God’s Word. It is a Field Manual that we can trust.
God Almighty, thank you for your Word which is a light for my path. May I walk in ways that honor you, and may I boldly share you Word with others that they too may follow you. Amen.