Breathe on Me, Breath of God
Breathe on Me, Breath of God
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
May the grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, breathed out into you as the scriptures are read, remind you that you dwell in His peace!
A Cute and False Statement about the Bible
Maybe 20 years ago I started seeing bumper stickers and tee-shirts with one of those cute Christian slogans on it. The slogan is pretty popular, and somewhat cute, but it is wrong, and spiritually, it is not just false, it is deadly.
It is wrong because it reduces the exhaled words of God into a rule book, a guide by which we could live the perfect life.
Yet many of us, including me, have used the inaccurate acronym a time or two, not thinking that it could lead people to frustration, and turn them into either hypocrites, or worse, causing them to give up on the church.
First – if you look at it as a rule book, a guidebook, it is anything but “basic”.
I mean the Old Covenants has over 613 commandments, – that doesn’t sound, “basic”.
And the summary found in the New Covenant – Love God with every part of you – heart, soul, mind and body, and to love your neighbor, not the one you like, but the other one, as you love yourself.
Does that sound like easy, simple instructions?
And do you think you can achieve that level of maturity prior to leaving earth?
So I think we need to understand what it means that God gave us His word, and what He makes it useful for.
What Paul sees as an urgent need
In the second paragraph, Paul urges Timothy and all who read this letter to announce, to proclaim, to teach others the word of God. To bear witness to it, because of the hope it gives to those who will hear it.
He is insistent on it, he urges us to do so because the need to hear it is urgent. We don’t urge people to do something that is common and simple. We urge them to do something that is critical, that is needed.
And he urges us to be ready, whether it is convenient or not, even when it requires us to patiently correct people, to even rebuke them, and to encourage them with our teaching.
Not easy tasks, but ones we are urged to do, because this is why we have scripture, and it will make a difference in their life, and ours,
A difference that God wants to bring about urgently.
Because He loves us, and He wants us with Him, to know His love, to share in His glory.
By “us” I mean us all!
All, no matter what language we speak, no matter where we were born, our what languages we speak, or what political candidate we support or criticize.
God would have them hear of His love, and Paul reminds us of this and urges us to do it, for these are people Jesus died to save.
What scripture does – Gives specific wisdom
This is the message of scripture, the message that Timothy learned, the lesson that made him wise, and that wisdom was for a purpose –
to be saved.
Saved from, but more importantly saved into a relationship where we can believe in, trust, and depend on Jesus Christ.
This is what scripture teaches that we are to remain faithful to, the very things that were passed on to us, and o which we pass on to the next generations, even if it means we suffer in order to do it.
This isn’t basic, and it isn’t just some instructions – as if you have to assemble it.
It is revelation, an unveiling of reality, that affects our lives here and now, and from this point forward into all of eternity. The Holy Spirit uses these God-breathed words to breath life into us, to give us faith.
This salvation is worth it, this being brought into the presence of God is that amazing.
Not just to be cleansed of all sin and shame
Not just to be freed from all guilt and resentment
To know we are loved
To know we will spend all eternity with our beloved Lord and Savior.
And that is guaranteed by the presence of the Holy Spirit, our comforter.
This is what scripture teaches us, this is what we rejoice in, this is the life which God reveals to us, as He breathed out the scriptures, and they breathed life into us.
This is where we remain faithful, depending on these promises. This is where we stand, whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether we prosper or suffer.
For in Him, we have found a peace that is beyond all understanding, and we are guarded, our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.