a parable... or is it a metaphor . . . maybe an analogy . . .
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17 - KJV)
Miss Ophelia S. Graff – what a woman! She was Principal / Head Administrator at the local prep school, Kurious Academy. This select student seedbed was known for its products – trained, capable, ready young men and women. They were fit to face the challenges of life, yet life long learners; the fruit of the work of Head School Mistress Ophelia S. Graff.
Her secret? She had assembled a staff like none other. Her unequaled teachers were the toast of the county, the state in fact; a truly inspired lot. Not only did they know their stuff, had mastery of their material, they were gifted in delivery as well. Not content to use one approach, they sought creative means and methods to develop their disciples.
Miss Graff knew there was a difference between being exposed to information and being taught. Make no mistake about it, Kurious Academy’s graduates were well schooled. They had a solid core of fundamentals, knowing the basics and beyond.
Discipline issues? Sure, she had them. Her kids were still human. Nevertheless, she was ready for them, having assembled a top-notch team of "enforcers". They were skilled at fair and honest critiques of erring pupils. When a learner stepped out of line, Graff’s "Pupil Police" pointed it out, yet in always-appropriate ways.
Her philosophy: she knew that the student’s self esteem was helped best by not being allowed to continue in error, mistakes or malady. Fully aware that correction stung, she knew that life’s sting was far more potent, if not deadly, to those who were allowed to continue in folly. Miss Graff would have none of that; she loved here kids too much.
Yet, not one to just "bust" a student, catch them at their worst, she had a remedial education program that was specially designed for each student. No mere "Gotcha Granny", she loved showing the correct path, the right way. Aware that "any old mule can kick down a barn," she reveled in barn raisings – building up her students.
Funny thing: she noticed through the years that caught-and-corrected students – when treated with love and grace – were her best alumni, prized pedagogues. They - now even more ready to learn - could be trained for life, equipped for service to others. No teacher’s pets, these eager beavers saw that data had daily implications.
Diplomas were not exit documents, get out of jail passes. Indeed, rather they were contracts to commence and use what each had learned. If they thought she expected much from them while her students, her expectations of her trained and tutored ones was even higher. Having been shown the way, they were expected to walk it – living a life of service, giving back.
Seemingly omnipresent, she was known to show up in former student’s homes, work places, and family gatherings just to remind them of their duty to be and to do. "Use what you learned" she cried out. "Come back any time for further classes" she offered, sincerely inviting them back for continuing education programs that rivaled any place of higher learning.
Miss Ophelia S. Graff – what a woman! And what a name: Greek was the rumored heritage. Ophelia was from a Greek word that meant "profitable, useful". Graff was Greek for "writings" (heard the word graphic?). The "S": why that is for scripture, silly. And Kurious means "the Lord’s".
With her name spelled out for you, see if you can make decode my little parable by reading its source: 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, here given in a variety of translations:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)
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. (The Message)
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (New Living Translation)
God’s multifaceted, hard working Word
an outline of 2 Tim. 3:16, 17
God – ever orderly - uses His word in a powerful process to repair and prepare us for service. His beneficial Writings are "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16). Why? He has in mind a prized product: "so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (vs. 17 - NIV). As times get harder before Jesus’ return, we must stay faithful to God’s singularly sufficient word. As The Message puts it: "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." Let’s learn more about it from 2 Timothy 3.
Paul warned Timothy: 1 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days… 13…evil men & impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving…"
An Ounce of Prevention: 14 "You, however, continue in the things you have learned & become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them"
The Scriptures we are to abide in are (vs. 15-17)
* To be taught to Children: "…from childhood you have known…" 15
* Sacred, holy, different, unique: "…the sacred writings" 15
* Wisdom-giving: "…are able to give you the wisdom… (Ps. 19; 119)
* The only source of the knowledge of Salvation: "…wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
* God-breathed: "inspired by God…" (1 Pet. 1:23, 2 Pet. 1:20, 21; 3:14-16)
* Beneficial to the soul: "profitable…" (see Psalms 19; 119; Prov. 1)
* Part of God’s process of preparing us to Serve: "
2. Doctrine. It is the source of our theology & world view reproof:
3. Rebuke, revealing where our lives do not match the Word correction:
4. Straightens out our crooked places;
shows a new way training in righteousness
practical readiness to live holy lives
Disciple (Gk.: paideia): Heb. 12:5, 7, 8, 11; Eph. 6:4
* Producing Prized Products:
17 "…so that the man of God"
"may be adequate" proficient, competent, capable
"equipped for every good work" (NASV) stocked, furnished
* Are you continuing in God’s Word, relying on its truth, heeding its corrections?
* God has trained you to serve others. Do you trust your readiness (2 Cor. :4-6)?
* Are you a spiritual anorexic? Wanna grow? Ya gotta eat (see 1 Peter 2:1-3)!
* You are in God’s employ. What kind of worker are you (Col. 3:23-25)?