... (God's Word) is able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15b-17
I was recently blessed to spend some time with my wife Yvette on the beach in Southern California, very close to where we used to live before coming to St. Louis. We were enjoying the late afternoon sun together. I don't think there's anything like feeling the warmth of those rays while hearing the crashing of the waves on the beach. Well, maybe it's also pretty great to jump into that water, to feel its refreshing relief and energizing power. Yeah, that's pretty good too. Well, suddenly, while we were sitting there enjoying the moment, someone seemed to be carried away by the strong current and seemed to be in trouble. And just at that very time, this young lifeguard jumped from his perch on the beach, ran into the surf, dove into the water, and swam out to rescue this frightened swimmer. It was cool to see the lifeguard in action. Now this rescue wasn't all that dramatic, but there are some where the lifeguard has to drag the person to shore and then literally breathe life back into a person; they call that CPR.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: it is an emergency procedure that combines chest compression often with artificial ventilation in an effort to get someone's heart going again, to get someone breathing again. If you've ever seen that happen or have been privileged to do that for someone, it's pretty amazing. Someone literally comes back to life because a person breathed life back into them.
Well, if you think that is amazing, wait until you hear what the Bible does to you when you open its pages and receive its words. The apostle Paul says the Bible is God-breathed: that means it is already full of the power and presence of God, and when it enters your mind and heart through your eyes, through your ears, it's like God is performing spiritual CPR on your life. That's the picture Paul wants you to have for the Bible. The Bible is not so much a rule book or a book of principles and truths -- though there are truths contained in it, for sure. The Bible ultimately is a book that is alive with the love, the grace, and the mercy of God for you. It is God-breathed so you can spiritually breathe again in Him. It is full of God's Spirit and life so that you can truly be alive by His Spirit.
You know, it was pretty amazing to see that lifeguard in action that day. When he saw that a person was in trouble, overwhelmed by the power of the water, he jumped right in -- without hesitation. Well, that's what Jesus did for you and me, and more. The Bible says we are drowning in our sins (see Psalm 38:4), unable to overcome our guilt and shame, but Jesus dove right in, overcame our trouble by living, dying and rising again so that we might live again in Him. Today, He wants to breathe that life right into your hearts and minds and make you "wise for salvation," to make you sure you are truly ready to face the challenges that await you and make the most of the opportunities that are set before you. Open up the Bible, take a look. Who knows? It might be the breath of fresh air that you really need.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to see Your Word not as a rule book of "dos and don'ts," but a love letter from You to me, a life letter that doesn't just talk about life, it grants it. And with that perspective, give me courage to open it and see for myself who You are, and who I am in You! Amen!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries