In one sense, I’m really not a fan of reproof. It is hard to have your eyes opened to ugly blind spots; to see some real selfishness that you didn’t even realize existed in the crevices of your heart; to have the “light turned on” and expose some gruesome realities that were hiding in the shadows. But at the same time, I love reproof.
I don’t want to continue operating with the corrupting junk in my heart that I’ve overlooked.
That’s what God’s Word is faithful to do, it brings loving reproof to our lives:
[box]“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness . . .” (2 Timothy 3:16)[/box]
The Greek Word for “reproof” is from a root word that has the idea of exposing shameful behavior by bringing it into the light. One definition of this word is: “to call to account, show one his fault and demand an explanation.”
Does that make you tremble to consider that?
Yesterday, we considered approaching God’s Word as more than just a “student” of the Word. Studying God’s Word without reverence will only puff me up with knowledge. Awe and holy trembling is an aspect of studying God’s Word that is missing when I’m not reverent in my approach. If I set out to study the Word with a cold and non-responsive heart, I’ll miss the reproof that God desires to bring into my life. The reproof I so desperately need!
How about the word: “correction?”
As a child, did you ever hear these words: “You need to straighten up!”?
The Greek word that is translated “correction” in this verse has that idea. It refers to something that has grown crooked, or become disfigured in some manner, and needs to be restored to its original condition. It needs to be corrected, straightened.
I need that.
I need the Word to correct me, to take my sinful disfigurement and graciously “straighten me out.”
But what really brings me to a place of awe, a place of holy trembling, of sincere humility and reverence, is when I remember this:
The Word I am studying is the breath of God.
God breathed out His Word as a fresh wind of living truth, igniting a fire of understanding within the human authors who carefully penned down words breathed through their hearts by His Spirit.
And amazingly, now I’m breathing in that Word as I study.
Realizing that I’m actually receiving what was breathed out by God—brings me to a place of reverence.
If I’m oblivious to that truth when I approach His Word, I miss the point. This is His breath, His living message to the reader, to me. This is not ink on paper, or digital images on screen, this is organic communication from my Father.
If I come to the Scriptures as an expert, if my heart is hardened, ears and eyes closed to my own need, I will not tremble. I will not stand in awe. I will not be reverencing God.
And I will not be changed.
I must come as a child. As a needy child, I must humbly come to feed on the Word and allow it to not only nourish me, but expose me. I must come willing to be taught. I must come trembling at His Word.
When I live my life reverencing God, I will joyfully tremble as I feed on His Word, and that will affect how I relate to others.
How are you approaching God’s Word?
Are you trembling?
How are you reverencing God as you relate to others?
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