Don’t Forget the “So That”
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 119:17-24 | Jeremiah 44:24-47:7 | 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17 | Proverbs 26:6-8
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).
Why did God give us the Bible? Why should we be diligent students of it? The phrase “so that” points us to the reason: “So that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God gave us his word so that we could be prepared and equipped to do ministry–to minister to one another in the body, as well as reaching out to share the good news with others. Head knowledge is good—but it is not the ultimate reason God has revealed his truth to us in Scripture.
So how do we move from the text to putting it into practice? The process begins by teaching. As students of the word, we make good observations, we read, we dig, we ask questions, and we seek to understand. Observation lays the foundation for interpretation.
As we interpret, we begin the process of application. Through our study of the word, God rebukes us showing us areas where we need to change. He corrects us and helps us to see areas where we need to change our way of thinking and living.
Then we begin to live out the truths and are trained in righteousness. We take the truth as the Holy Spirit has applied it to our hearts, and we begin to obey that truth. As we obey we are being trained in righteousness.
The reason for the teaching and application and living out the truth, is so that we are fully equipped to do ministry — both ministering to one another and also reaching out to the world around us with his good news.
Each of us is a part of a mission to take the good news to the ends of the world. Each of us has a part in that. God has given us his inspired word so that we can be trained in righteousness and equipped for service. This is true for all of us–not just pastors and missionaries (Ephesians 4:11-16). If we are not being equipped for service and using what we know in ministry, then we have missed the point of Bible Study. We have forgotten the “so that” of this passage.
Allow God to transform your life through his word, to teach you, rebuke you, correct you, train you in righteousness and equip you for his service. That is what he desires to do in you and through you as you diligently study his word.
Father, thank you for your word. May it teach, rebuke, correct, train and equip me for service. Help to move beyond understanding to application and then to obedient service. Help me put it into practice in such a way that it touches not only my life, but others as well. Amen.