“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:14-19
I did not have the advantage of learning from my parents the truths of Scripture that I adhere to today. However, God used people around me to witness to the truth so that I eventually began to study God’s Word for myself.
Regardless of how we grew up, once we read God’s Word, it is able to make us “wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.” Scripture, rightly appropriated, has saving power. Again and again, Scripture has opened for many the way to God, like this one I read many years ago.
“One dark night in a forest in Sicily, a brigand held up a colporteur at the point of a revolver. He was ordered to light a bonfire and burn his books. He lit the fire, and then he asked if he might read a little from each book before he dropped it in the flames. He read the Twenty-Third Psalm from one; the story of the Good Samaritan from another; from another the Sermon on the Mount. At the end of each reading, the brigand said: ‘That’s a good book; we won’t burn that one; give it to me.’ In the end not a book was burned; the brigand left the colporteur and went off into the darkness with the books. Years later that same brigand turned up again. This time he was a Christian minister, and it was to the reading of the books that he attributed his change. “
It goes without saying that the Bible is like no other book. It convinces, convicts and calls us to believe and live a different way. It takes great faith and courage to remain true to the things we learned in church or at the feet of Christian parents when the common culture is being deceived. We can gain qualities that God is calling us to through prayer, worshiping together in a community of believers, and the studying of Scriptures to make us wise.
I have been prompted lately to ask myself some questions after my Bible reading. These are some I hope will be of value to you as well:
- What is the focus of Paul’s words to Timothy?
- How can you obey what you have learned?
- What is one way you can show a deeper respect for the Scriptures?
- How can you keep from being deceived?