ďAll scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God will be equipped for every good work.Ē 2 Timothy 3:16
A compass is a useful item. Ships use them for navigation. Hikers use them for positioning. Explorers keep them as directional headings. But with all of our technology today, do we really need a compass to tell us where to go?
I have friends who sailed a small boat up the inner coastal waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Lawrence River. One of the things they needed most was a compass. Learning to read and follow its guidance was a major challenge. Courses had to be taken, tests passed in order to navigate the ocean. A compass was a necessity for uncharted waters, a potential life saver that one would not leave home without.
Today more than ever, we need to pack our compasses when we leave home. Not only do we need our physical compass, but we also need our moral compass to keep our feet grounded. With so many self-proclaimed philosophers, prophets, teachers, and leaders, what is a person to do? Bombarded with opposing codes, contradictory messages, and self-reliant leaders we donít know whether we should follow the leader, lead the follower, rebel against the bystander, or just hide in a cave.
God was no dummy. He knew that deep inside we are all like Icabod Crane, scared and alone on a dark road. At any moment we might encounter a headless horseman galloping in the night to parts unknown. Thatís why he gave us his inspired word, to set us in the right direction, to protect us against the unseen enemy.
Think about it - 66 books written by approximately 40 men over 1500 years. What are the odds? It just boggles the mind. Timothy tells us that the Bible was God-breathed. Man was just the instrument. From tentmaker to shepherd, fisherman to tax-collector God used any and all who were willing and obedient. Different voices, same message. Amazingly, without benefit of written hand-book or Zerox machine, these men proclaimed the same message: there is one true God; there is one way to salvation. It would serve us well to heed their tome.
We know that the Bible is a book of truth and wisdom. It is there for the asking. But we must not be headless on this one. Applying Biblical principals to our lives is a puzzle that often challenges even the most ardent follower. If we need a code for family values, the bible is our answer. It guides us in the areas of healthy relationships and unfriendly neighbors, good Samaritans and bad leaders, prodigal sons and forgiving fathers, lost sheep and faithful shepherds. It also offers principals for financial management, marital relationships, parenting skills, and fairness in business practices. It inspires us to reverence, for God, his people, and his creation.
Over the next few months we will explore family values in the context of Godís word. What is right? What is wrong? Do we have an obligation and responsibility to one another? What is our responsibility to our neighbor?
A disturbing news-video a few weeks ago showed a man in the process of being run over by a hit and run driver. The car didnít stop. No one stopped - not a one. People walked or drove passed him as he lay in the middle of the road? I donít know what I would have done. I would like to think that I would have stopped and rendered aid. There were no good Samaritans that day.
I donít know about you, but I want my children and grandchildren to lead a life worthy of Godís calling. I want them to do good unto their neighbor and be sure of their direction and calling. I want them to walk forward with confidence.
One of my favorite movies as a child was ďShowboatĒ with Gordon McRae. At the end of the movie he dies but thatís not the end of the story. Singing at the top of his lungs he marches toward heaven holding his head up high while exhorting us to not be afraid of the dark. He reminds us that we will never walk alone.
Thatís how it is with the Bible in our lives. With heads held high and hearts filled with hope, we march forward in confidence that the promises of God are true. ďLo I am with you always,Ē Jesus tells us, ďeven unto the end of the ageĒ. True to his word his compass leads us as his son walks with us every step of the way.
Iím sure that Icabod Crane would welcome such a companion. No more Sleepy Hollows for him. Counting on the end of the story to sustain us, we are rest assured that God is preparing us for every good work for we are not alone. And thatís a good thing.