2 Timothy 3:15-17 - How To Use The Sword.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 (NLT) You have been taught
the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they
have given you the wisdom to receive the
salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful
to teach us what is true and to make us realize
what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when
we are wrong and teaches us to do what is
right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his
people to do every good work.
During a bus tour along the coast of
Spain a few years ago, our guide told us to watch
for flamingos. I searched the landscape and saw
nothing but a flock of white, long-legged birds in
the distance. They looked like the egrets we
have around Sonoma County, which stand like
elegant, slender statues along the roads as they
watch for frogs or lizards to come close enough to
snatch in their spear-like beaks.
Well, those white, long-legged birds in
the distance were flamingos. They weren't at all
like the bright-pink birds I've seen in zoos or
the plastic version someone might buy to stick
on the front lawn. Why? Because flamingos are
what they eat. While most flamingos eat (pink)
shrimp, these lovely white flamingos dined on small
fish and frogs.
That got me thinking. We are what we eat,
When we eat junk food, we often lack
energy because we're not giving ourselves the best
fuel. The same is true of what we feed ourselves
spiritually. What do we read and watch and listen to?
Whose ideas influence our thinking? What's the
first thing on our minds when we wake up, or the
last thing we think about before we go to sleep?
We have choices about what we focus on each
day, and those choices affect us deeply.
Scripture is clear that the Word of God
is powerful. Second Timothy 3 tells us that
Scripture can teach us truth and help us discern what
we need to change in our lives. It turns us in
the right direction and prepares us for the
service God has in store for us. What a wonderful
When we dine on God's Word, we are being
transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. As we
nourish ourselves in the Scriptures, we're filling
ourselves up with His truth and learning how to live a
life that pleases Him. And just as the flamingos'
diet has a visible effect that's evident to all
who see them, saturating ourselves in God's Word
will change the way others see us, too - because
they will see Him shining through.
Lord God, forgive me for listening too
closely to other voices when I have Your very Word
in front of me. May I always remember that I am
affected by what I feed my mind and heart. Thank You
for giving me Your powerful Word, which can
teach me, change me, and equip me. [Earth Psalms
by Francine Rivers]
God's Book is a veritable storehouse of
promises - over seven thousand of them. Not just
eloquently worded thoughts that make you feel warm all
over, but verbal guarantees in writing, signed by
the Creator Himself, in which He declares He
will do or will refrain from doing specific
But, are all seven-thousand-plus promises
ours to claim? I mean, am I free to choose any
one of them and believe it's for me here in my
Many - dare I say most? - of the
scriptural promises are ours to claim. But all? Hardly.
To claim "every promise in the Book" could be
disillusioning at best, disastrous at worst.
To begin with, some promises are uniquely
historical in nature. They were made to specific
individuals in a particular era and fit only that unique
combination. Take this one for example: "Your wife shall
have a son." I can just see some well-meaning
husband "claiming the promise" of Genesis 18:10.
After all, "it's in the Book!"
At the risk of being a party pooper, I
recommend a closer look at that promise. It was given
specifically to Abraham, and it came as a direct
fulfillment of God's earlier covenant with Abraham (Gen.
12:1"3) in which He promised to make of him "a great
nation." That promise of a son was uniquely Abraham
and Sarah's to claim.
There are also conditional promises
words of assurance offered to those who first
fulfill their part of the arrangement. The promise
is absolutely reliable, but it is linked to a
condition. An example? You claim God's promise to
direct your steps to lead you clearly into His
will. After all, Proverbs 3:6 says, "He will make
your paths straight," plain and simple.
Wait a minute. Check out the context:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart do not
lean on your own understanding. In all your ways
acknowledge Him [our part], and He will make your paths
straight [God's promise]."
Why do I make such a big deal of all
this? Because there are numerous, pure-hearted,
trusting people in the Body who latch on to such
promises and build their hopes high, only to suffer
great pain later in the backwash of
In case all this is making you feel a
little shaky, I need to reaffirm that most of those
seven thousand promises are still ours to count
on. Need a few classic examples? Isaiah
26:3"4; Romans 8:32, 38"39; Galatians 6:9; Psalm
37:7, 23, 28; 2 Corinthians 4:16"18; Hebrews
6:10. Look 'em up.
Take your stand on the promises of God.
Thousands of 'em are right there, waiting to be used.
Make sure you're standing on the promises
and not outside the premises. [Chuck Swindoll
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
4th of 28: Cared For:
5th of 28: Saved:
6th of 28: You Can Change:
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains:
8th of 28 Our Holy Father:
9th of 28 Gifts of Service:
10th of 28 The Holy Spirit:
11th of 28 The Law of God:
12th of 28 The Sabbath:
13th of 28 The Church:
14th of 28 The Gift of Prophecy:
15th of 28 Stewardship:
16th of 28 Marriage and the Family:
Live ongoing series in progress.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred