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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
October 16, 2004

     Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another - showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
     I can't impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple.
     You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food - catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They'll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you - keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant.

2 Timothy 3:16 - 4:5 (Message*)

All of scripture is "useful one way or another." When we're looking at scripture, we must let God breathe into us as He breathed into the writers, and be open to the several ways the scripture might help us. Not only does it teach us how to understand God, but it casts its light into us - bringing our disobedience to light, correcting us, training us to live in the Spirit not in the way of the world.

God sees all that we do and say, and Christ has the final word. Living in the immediacy of this truth, we will be steadfast and determined in sharing the Good News - with our lives, not just our words. We will challenge other believers to live the life of faith. We won't weave complicated and confusing doctrinal tangles out of our own minds, but will "Just keep it simple" so it is clear to those who hear.

We can certainly see around us the "spiritual junk food" which catches popular fancy. This turns people away from the real truth of the Gospel. In the midst of this, we need to stay centered on Gospel truth no matter what the world thinks of us because we do. We need to keep this truth alive in the awareness of those who surround us.

Paul's wise advice to his brother in the work of spreading the Gospel gives us much to prayerfully consider in examination of our own lives. Are we allowing scripture to come alive in the Spirit and transform us? Are we steadfast in living and proclaiming the truth of the Gospel? Do we resist the appeal of "spiritual junk food" and expose those who are taking it in or are tempted by it to the real truth no matter how much we may be attacked for doing so?

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2004 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Friday, 22-Oct-2004 22:27:29 EDT