Taken in

"Things start out as hopes and end up as habits." (Lillian Hellman) There are a lot of 'habits' we accumulate over the years, some of them better than others. The ones we really want to develop may be a little harder to develop, though. We developed the habit of brushing our teeth regularly - a fairly simple habit, easily adopted, but as a kiddo, we resisted it. Some of us resist the habit of reading our Bible - a fairly simple habit which could easily be adopted, but we resist it because it takes time, some of the stuff in there doesn't make sense, and we have lots of questions about the content we read. It seems to me this is the kind of habit we may actually need most in our lives - the reward being worth the effort it takes.

Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

There is nothing like the written Word of God to open one's eyes to the possibilities all around you. We may not always understand what we are reading, nor understand the reason some of the content is included (like those long geneologies), but every word has importance. All scripture is 'useful', but it must be put to 'use'! How many of us have a spare tire in our vehicle? I daresay we probably all do these days. How many times have you put it to use? If you are like me, it wasn't used in most of my vehicles, but it was there. Did it serve a purpose by being there? Yes, I had assurance I could use it to replace a flat tire if I had one. Just because I didn't use it doesn't mean it had an undesirable or meaningless purpose.

All scripture has a purpose - some we will understand right off, while others we will see in time. If we want to grow strong in our spiritual lives, we begin by taking in what God has provided. If we want to grow strong in our earthly relationships, we allow the Word of God to bring us together on common ground, helping us to grow stronger together. Truth is revealed, rebellion is exposed, and things we have no idea why we are doing them can be overcome. We don't just have a spare tire in the car and feel secure when we get a flat tire. We take it out of the tire well, undo the lug nuts of the flat one, replacing it with the spare. We don't just let the Word of God sit on a shelf - we take it off the shelf, dust it off, and open it up. Then we read it! As we take in the Word, we are taken in by it. Watch out - a habit is about to be formed! Just sayin!

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