All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NIV)

The car salesman exclaims, “This car is fully equipped. It has every option.” The car may have features you never thought you needed, but now you decide that you cannot live without heated seats with the built-in massage feature. Equipping the child of God for service may not be as glamorous as a fully loaded new car, but it is much better.

Everything that the child of God needs to be appropriately equipped for service can be found in Scripture. An automobile manufacturer cannot always provide every option that someone may desire, but God’s word is more than sufficient for us to be “thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

A car comes with an owner’s manual, but how many people take the time to read it? Many people assume that reading the manual is optional because they have driven other cars. The same thing is true with Christians; far too many consider reading and studying Scripture optional.

Every Good Work

Let us be brutally honest. How many people think that the primary purpose of Christianity is going to heaven, or perhaps more accurately, not going to hell? Raise your hand, repeat the sinner’s prayer, and you are good to go. Who needs to read the manual? “The fact is over 82% of Christian Americans only read their Bibles on Sundays while in church.”[1]

When it comes to automobiles, not everyone can afford “fully equipped.” In Christ, we have everything available to us. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV).

It is astounding how often this promise is misinterpreted or misunderstood. Some Christians see this verse and wonder why they are still struggling. After all, it doesn’t say “he will” give us everything. It says “he has” given us everything we need to live a godly life.

What is often missed is that we acquire “everything we need” through our knowledge of Him. And it is through the Scriptures we receive this revelation (John 5:39). A “fully equipped” car may have features pertaining to luxury, but a “fully equipped” child of God will be helpful to Him and others.

Powered by the Holy Spirit

Cars are now powered in many ways. We still have internal combustion engines, but there are also electric cars and hybrids. A car without an engine is useless, and so is a Christ-follower without their power source. Cars may have a choice of engines or motors, but it is the Holy Spirit who gives us power (Acts 1:8).

It is the Holy Spirit that enables us to go. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts to be productive for the Kingdom. We may try to accomplish things without the Holy Spirit, but we get no farther than a car would go without an engine. With the Word and the Holy Spirit, we are “fully equipped.”

Tune-ups

Maintenance is necessary. My car displays a message when it is time to change the oil or rotate the tires. The “check engine” indicator light will illuminate when a severe problem occurs. If we are diligent in maintenance, we can avoid many serious problems. Someone once famously said, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

A good teacher or leader is diligent in reminding their disciples concerning spiritual maintenance. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you 2 Timothy 1:6 (NLT). (1 Timothy 4:14; Hebrews 6:11; Romans 12:8, 11)

The Pastoral Epistles are excellent examples of the urgency with which we must approach the upkeep of our spiritual lives. After Paul encouraged Timothy to be an example by what he said and the way he lived his life, including the public reading of the Scripture, along with preaching and teaching, he said:

Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:15–16 (NLT)

We are called to make disciples. To be effective, we must be vigilant concerning our lives and teaching.

Replacements

You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT)

We bring our brand-new car home. We were happy until we noticed the first scratch or dent. Eventually, we come to accept the inevitable; nothing in this world lasts forever.

In God’s service, we sometimes forget or do not want to think about the fact that we will eventually wear out and need replacement. Even if we exercise and eat right, we won’t go on forever.

Everyone God sets apart for his service has a responsibility to train and equip those who can take our place. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT).

In the same way, we have been equipped; we must train others to carry on. It does not happen by accident or happenstance. We must be intentional in our efforts to prepare others to fulfill their high calling in Christ Jesus. Nobody is irreplaceable, so let’s prepare those who will replace us so that they may be “fully equipped.”

Steve Ekeroth

 

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[1] Christians Don’t Read Their Bible | The Ponce Foundation

3 Comments

  1. Rev Jeff Savage on April 22, 2022 at 6:59 am

    Thanx Bishop – good word

  2. Rev Jan Michael Nace on April 22, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Good word Steve. Just yesterday one of our members who lives and work in Merced CA asked a similar question about being equipped. The Lord gave me a simple answer (I am simple). 1. Rise up early every day and spend time in prayer. 2. Be filled regularly with the Holy Spirit. 3. Put on the whole armor of God daily before you go into your day. Hope that helps.

  3. Stan on April 22, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    A good reminder. Thanks friend.

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