daily Broadcast

All Scripture is God-Breathed

From the series Less is More

Is reading the Bible challenging for you? Do you have a hard time understanding it or knowing how to apply it to your life? In this program, Chip picks up in his series, Less is More: Decluttering Your Time with God. He will highlight four purposes of God’s Word laid out in 2 Timothy chapter 3 and further explain how the Bible gives meaning to our lives.

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Message Transcript

Well, thanks so much, Dave. Yes, we are in part two of Less is More: And we are going to take one verse like we did in our last time together and I just want to push all the noise away, I want to remind you that today you don’t have to read a lot of chapters, you don’t have to pray for a long time. We are going to simplify, simplify, simplify. And less is more, we are going to declutter for just a little season our time with God.

We are only going to look at one verse. We are going to go deep with this one verse like we did in our prior broadcast. And I’m going to help you ponder and think on that one verse and make it real to you throughout today. And we’ll talk about some practical ways to remember what it is and to think about it maybe three or four times throughout the day. We’ll even talk about maybe just before you go to bed thinking on this just one verse.

And all I want to tell you is that God wants to speak to you. And He loves you and He understands. And I think we are bombarded with so much, honestly, really good information and podcasts and reading programs and on and on and on and on that sometimes it just gets to be a lot of noise. And I want to help you declutter.

But I want to tell you a story, because I had a very unusual experience. Now, this was somewhere six and a half, seven years ago. And I was pastoring a church here in the Silicon Valley, so, busy lives and a lot of tech guys, a lot of demands.

I mean, this is a very fast paced, high-pressure place to live. And so, about every year and a half or two years I would go to our staff and then I would go to the elders and I would say, “You know, every organization and the Church is absolutely no exception, we will never be healthy, we will never grow deep or grow wide unless we are always developing the next generation of leaders.

So, I would ask them, “Will you all give me a list of people that you see are leaders? They are actively serving, they come to church regularly, you think that maybe in a year or two or three they might even be people that could become elders.” And I’m not going to say I’m recruiting elders. I just want to find out who the leaders are and I want to invest in them. And so, I would get a list from the elders, I’d get a list from our staff, and usually had, you know, fifteen, sometimes twenty names. Some people I knew; some I didn’t really know.

And I would just send out a little memo and pretty informal and say, “Hey, you know, it has come to my attention that, you know, you’re one of the leaders in our church and I don’t know you,” and in this case it was a very large church, “and I would love to get to know you better and, you know, as we are serving together we have this dream of reaching the Silicon Valley. Would you be willing to meet with me, like, every other Sunday afternoon around four o’clock for about four months? And just get to know each other, share the philosophy of ministry, anything I could do to just help you in your spiritual life, family life, etcetera.”

And so, I would send that out and I was always surprised but excited with their busy lives that a number of them would sign up. And so, I’m sitting there and there’s, you know, about eight or nine leaders, I mean, on my left there’s a doctor and there’s a guy that runs, you know, some big thing for some company. And there’s a guy that owns his own small business and there’s a person who is a software developer and another person that works for a finance company. And all different levels, high and low, but godly men sitting around a table.

And so, I went around and I said, “Why don’t you just, you know, tell me a little bit about your life, your family, and how did you get connected to the church here?” So, each one went around and did that. And great time of sharing.

Then I said, tell me a little bit about your dream. You know, five, ten, fifteen, twenty years from now when you think about your family or your future, your career, your walk with God – what would you love to see your life look like?” And then they each went around and shared deeply and here are your dreams, etcetera, etcetera.

And then the third question I asked was, “Tell me about your relationship with God’s Word.” And, you know, we were going around the room again and the doctor was on my left, he says, “Well, yeah. I,” he pulled out his phone and, you know, he pulled up the YouVersion app and he goes, “You see that verse? A verse comes up every day and I read that verse.” And then I was kind of waiting for, “Okay, that’s a good start but…” that was it. And I didn’t say anything but it was like, I mean that’s your relationship with God’s Word? And I would come to find out, yep.

And then, the next person was, “Well, um, I really want to read the Bible, I try and read the Bible, I have really worked hard at trying to form the habit, I just have not done very well. About maybe once a week, you know, I read, a little bit and, of course, you know, I come to church regularly and I read there.” And we go to the next person and, you know, I get to the fourth person and he goes, “Well, when I work out regularly, I do really well or if I try to read the Bible regularly, but I never do both very well and just to be honest, my life is kind of a mess right now,” and he said, “I know we are supposed to talk about, God’s Word, but I just need to tell you guys I think I’m losing my marriage.” And he began to talk about a life that was unraveling.

And so, I went around the whole room, all eight people, and I think one out of the eight was meeting regularly with God in some systematic way. And they were all really good answers, like, “Well, it’s a super high-tech company and there’s huge demand so I get up at six and I get a workout and I’m gone before my kids even get up and, I rarely get home before, seven or seven thirty,” so, he doesn’t eat with his kids. “But I try and make sure I can at least tuck them in bed.”

And I’m hearing all of this and I’m thinking, These are the leaders in the Church. And I’m the pastor. Or, you know, I’m one of them. And I’m thinking, Wow. I mean, these are leaders and they want to be in God’s Word, but their relationship with God’s Word is like somewhere between minimal to almost non-existent.

And it ties into some research that was done by the American Bible Society that basically said there is one thing that very sincere, I mean, Christians who really love God, Christians who may go to church regularly, that are trying hard, one thing is missing in the vast majority of Christians that is negatively impacting everything in their life: their work, their family, their relationships, their mental health, etcetera, etcetera. And they talk about unless people are in the Word at least four times a week at a significant level, rarely little or no life change happens.

And so, with that in view, I’m thinking, Wow, if this is our leaders, no wonder people are struggling. And so, you know, we went around and I waited and I listened and then I had this real prompting from God and I said, “Men, you guys are faithful to the Church, you obviously have leadership gift, you’re serving in different ways. But when you all shared all your dreams that you have for you, your…” all of these were married men. “…your marriage, your families, your career – can I just go on record and tell you something?”

And they all got real quiet. I said, “At the current level of your relationship with God’s Word, I will guarantee the trajectory of your life a hundred percent accurate, you will not fulfill what you told me you’re dreaming about. You will not have that kind of marriage, you will not be that kind of parent, you will not see these things happen in your life.” I said, “It is impossible.”

And I said, “Guys,” and I went into a couple passages and we talked about them and I gave them, you know, a pretty strong pep talk and I thought, Boy, the next time we meet, these guys are really going to be digging in.
And so, the next time we met I said, “Okay, tell me about your relationship with God’s Word.” And, I mean, it was, we had, like, a five percent increase. I think one guy did a little bit better. And I remember coming home and saying, “I’m going to cancel that group, honey.” And she said, “Why?” I said, “I can’t believe this,” you know? And I’m, my standards are really high and she goes, “Chip, have you ever thought that maybe no one has really helped them? And maybe they don’t see the connection. And I think you just need to love them and…” Thank you, Theresa.

And so, I did. I continued and I just paused on all the philosophy of ministry and all this stuff and I said, “Men, we’re just going to learn to get into God’s Word for ourselves and we are going to start really simple. Jesus said if we seek first His kingdom, all these other things are going to get taken care of. And Jesus said that, heaven and earth is going to pass away, but His Word isn’t going to pass away. And Jesus said that, if we hear God’s Word, and you’re hearing me teach each week, but if we’re not putting it into practice, we are deluding ourselves.

I mean, we are going to go back to the very basics.” And so, we did. And fast forward about six and a half, seven years. I just wish I could just tell each man’s story. The guy with the huge marriage problems, I mean, he is doing fantastic now. The guy that was getting up at six and never seeing his kids, never eating dinner, priorities really, really whacked out and would have huge pains down the road – I mean, all those things changed in radical ways because they all began to really get into God’s Word. And we started simple, we started small, I taught them how, just, you know, one verse at a time.

And so, it starts with: Jesus has to be the center. And that’s both a decision and an event and an ongoing process where we are crucified with Christ, nevertheless, we live. Yet not us but Christ lives within us. And this new life that we live, we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. And you live by faith by putting your faith in the promises of God and the character of God and that is in His Word.

And so, our verse today, our one verse and all we are going to look at is 2 Timothy 3:16. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.” That’s all I want you to think about today. And like our last time I’m going to ask you to either print that out on your phone or get a 3x5 card and, you know, open your Bible and literally write that out because we are going to be thinking about this one verse today. We are going to meditate on this one verse. And I want to break down the verse for you and help you and me see why it is so, so very important.

The context here, Paul is talking to his son in the faith, Timothy, who is now a young pastor in Ephesus. And he talks about his background and he talks about, in verse 15 that the sacred Scriptures, God’s living, powerful Word, actually provides the wisdom in order for Timothy to become a follower of Jesus. Salvation comes as we respond to the Word of God. And then the other verse that is after this says that, you know, it’s profitable for this teaching and reproof, correction and training in righteousness so that the man or the woman of God can be adequate or equipped for every good work. In other words, this is our food. This is what we need.

And so, let’s talk about what this means and what it means to you and just one verse today. And so, he says, “All Scripture.” So, that’s Old Testament, New Testament. Jesus would quote Old Testament passages and literally say every word of the original text is God- breathed. That’s what the word “inspiration” means.

And Dr. Charles Ryrie, in terms of inspiration, writes this in the Ryrie Study Bible. “All Scripture is inspired,” or literally, “God breathed. The Bible came from God through men who wrote it. God superintended these human authors so that using their individual personalities they composed and recorded without error God’s Word to man. Christ attested to the fact that inspiration extends to the very words in Matthew 5:18, John 10:35. And then in the same way Paul quoted Deuteronomy and Luke, talking about the Word of God as Scripture. This is not mechanical dictation, but accurately recording God’s Word as He inspired these men and women to speak on His behalf.”

And so, if you want to know God’s mind, God’s heart, what He says, what life is all about, how to live your life, what the future holds, what matters, what doesn’t matter, who God really is, who you really are, he says the Bible is God breathed or inspired.

And there are four things that it does.

Number one, it’s good for teaching. And what this means is God’s Word tells you His way, His path. It says it’s a light. It’s a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path. You want to know: how do relationships work? God’s Word tells you. What about the future? God’s Word tells you. Who is God really? God’s Word tells you. Who am I and what has grace done for me? God’s Word tells you. How does a marriage work? How do I parent? How do I use my money wisely? How do I forgive someone who has betrayed and hurt me?

God’s Word is the teaching, the instruction, the path for: this is how to live. This is what is true, this is what is right, this is what the future will hold, this is who you are, this is the problem that we all have. Sin. This is the forgiveness that is in Christ, this is what God has done, this is when He will be coming back, this is… In other words, if you are not in God’s Word, you will not know the path.

And if you don’t know His path, you will listen to lots of other paths.

And even though the men in this Bible study were good men and moral men and church-going men, they didn’t know the teaching about God’s Word for their good. Every command of God is designed to help you. In other words, the teaching is because He loves you and He wants the best for you. He made you, He has died in your place, He thinks about a future that is wonderful and good and for your very best interest.

But it would be like, getting a car or getting the most fabulous computer in the world but not reading the owner’s manual and as a result, you might tool around a little bit, but you would miss all the features of what it has. And so, he says, first and foremost, it’s profitable for teaching.

But second, it’s profitable for reproof. And all that word means is that we all get off the path. I mean, we all drift in our relationships. We drift or we are tempted. And we, little by little by little, sometimes so subtly we don’t even know it…

If we are not in God’s Word – and I don’t mean just listening to it and hearing podcasts or predigested. I’m talking about in the Bible for ourselves, the Spirit of God will take the written Word and He will make it the living Word. And He will actually speak to you in your mind and in your heart. And you’ll feel this sense of conviction, not condemnation.

And He’ll say, Chip, you need to apologize to your wife. Chip, your priorities are out of whack. Chip, you’re… I mean, I hear this all the time. But the reproof is from a Father. The reproof is, I want you back on My path. There’s some bitterness in your heart, Chip. And how did I, become aware of that? Because I was reading in the Scripture about someone else’s bitterness and the Scripture was telling me, Don’t let any bitterness grow up. And so, I said, “Lord, is there any in my heart?” And He said, Yes, there is. And so, I had to own that, confess it, and then go make it right. And what it does is gets me back on the path.

God’s Word is the teaching about how to do life, about what matters and who God is and who I am. And then when I get off that path that is for my good and for His glory – I mean, it tells me: This is your purpose. Chip, I have got a purpose for you. And He’s got a purpose for you and He wants you on that path so you get the best, but so that you fulfill what He made you to do.

And then the third thing it does, it says not just for teaching or reproof, but for correction. It’s one thing to know you are off the path, but it’s another thing to know, well, how do I get back on? How do I restore that relationship? I’ve got piles and piles of debt, maybe. How do I get out of debt? I’ve found myself giving into temptation over time and now I have got an addiction. How do you get back where I need to be?

And for some of us, we have had seasons where unknowingly and sometimes even very knowingly, we have lived a double life. And we know that we are not on the right path and we keep denying it and denying it and then the consequences just keep growing. You see it in one of your children if you have kids. Or you see it in your finances or see it in your relationships or you see it at work. And, you know, we develop habits where we take them into relationships and places and pretty soon, negative consequences keep happening and we are saying, “Lord, what’s the problem?”

And what He says to us is, I want you to do life My way – teaching. When you get off, I want to reprove you, not because I’m mad at you. In fact, Scripture says He disciplines each son or each daughter that He loves. But that I want, you to learn how to get back on track, how to make restitution, how to get reconciled, how to come back to a loving, heavenly Father. How to let the power of the Holy Spirit work in you.

And then finally it says, “Training in righteousness.” Training is what you do over and over in a process to develop the kind of habits that create capacity. And what I mean by that is most all of us, unless you have a physical impairment, if you would get a good coach and guard your nutrition and go through a process for about six or seven months. You could run 26.2 miles without stopping. That’s a marathon. And I know some of you are thinking, No way. No, this is true; I have seen it happen. But, you would have to go into training.

Now, you try and do that today, I mean, some of us, maybe you couldn’t even run a mile without stopping. But there’s a process where you start doing it every day, so many miles, you get so much sleep, you start eating these kind of foods, some of you would have to start just with walking.

I worked with a young lady many, many years ago, completely non-athletic, had never done anything ever. Probably couldn’t run a mile without stopping. And she had a friend who challenged her to go into training and do a marathon. And about six or seven months later, she did it. And it was absolutely amazing. But she had not just accountability but there was a process and a training.

And God has a training through His Word that He wants you to go into and me to go into where, over time, getting into His Word goes from maybe some drudgery and, “I know I ought to and I’m going to do it, but I don’t feel like it,” to a bit of a habit and I just do it and it’s good. It’s not always super wonderful but I know it’s a priority. And then, over time, in training, it becomes a delight.

And then for some of us that have done this for quite a while, you’re eager and you get up and there’s just this sense that God is going to speak to you. And what I want you to do today is write down 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable,” in other words, it is going to bring good. It produces success in everything. It’s profitable for – what? Teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. And I want you to write that down on a card, I want you to put it in the notes in your phone, whatever.

And then I want you to, like we did last time, remember? I want you just to meditate on this. Sometime driving in the car, don’t turn on the radio. Don’t listen to a podcast. Not even music. I mean, at least once today when you get in your car, I want you just to try and think through, it’s pretty short and easy to memorize, and ponder it. And then during lunchtime. If you’re hearing this at lunch, then do it at dinner. And then before you go to bed. I just want you to think on this one verse.

And this is what I am going to tell you. If you will make God’s Word at the core of your time and your energy and your focus, the promises are it’s living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword. And it will begin to help you and direct you and empower you. Jesus said, “Man can’t live by bread alone,” but according to Jesus, “but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” So, this isn’t a duty, this isn’t: get with the program. This isn’t just read the Bible more. Less is more.

This one verse all day today. And if it really keeps speaking to you, you can even do it the next day. But what I want to do in this series is give you permission to stop with the really high expectations and to take one verse a day or one verse every couple days and begin to go deep and let the Spirit of God do something deep in you and through you. When your soul gets decluttered, you’re going to hear God’s voice. He loves you, He is for you, and He wants to help you. See you next time.