All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
In the last devotional, I shared about the first portion of the passage that the word of God is profitable for it establishes us. When the winds of various doctrines and false teachings blow, we can be firmly rooted and grounded in the word of God through being taught the scriptural doctrine.
Paul goes on to tell Timothy in the above passage that the word of God is also beneficial for reproof and for correction.
Definition of reproof (According to Strong’s Dictionary): a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested, conviction.
Reproof and correction go hand in hand. The word of God gives us the opportunity to know the truth. His word re-calibrates our conscience and brings it into alignment with the will of God. We begin to develop greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. The Lord uses His word to speak to us personally and, at times, to convict and correct us. If we don’t know the word of God, we can easily get off course. In addition, we may think we are doing just fine, but not be in obedience to God!
I was just speaking with a relatively new believer who said that he just wants to make God smile! I asked him, “How do you know what pleases God and what makes Him smile!?” He gave an example that when we’re generous towards other people, God is pleased! I explained that being generous is an aspect of pleasing God, but the Lord has a lot to say to us in His word that we need to know and obey. The truth is that we may sincerely think that we are pleasing God, but still be clueless about what pleases Him! It is like having a vision issue but not not knowing what we can’t see. Only when we put on corrective glasses, do we find out how much we missed and how much more clearly we can see everything!
For example, Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth…” When I read that verse, it causes me to examine my words and my recent conversations with people around me. If I have allowed gossip, attitude, half-truths, or disrespect come out of my mouth, the word of God will convict and correct me. He is telling me that if I want to please Him and reflect His love to others, I need to stop behaving in that manner. Now that I know this truth, making Him smile becomes more tangible and substantive rather than offer up a sweet little prayer and walk away feeling good about myself!
We have many people who claim to know God, but they do not know His word! They are just content with a short daily prayer making them think that they have a good relationship with the Lord. Praying is definitely an important aspect of a believer’s life, but it is the word of God that sets a plumb line for our lives, and it shows us God’s way of doing life! His word corrects our course, so we won’t cause spiritual collisions for ourselves or others. Furthermore, the scripture tells us that when we pray according to the will of God that the Lord hears us, so we need to know what His will is in order to pray according to His will!
Make time for the word of God daily and allow it to build your conscience with His truth! Make room for the Holy Spirit to use the word of God to convict and correct you as you life your life!