Listen to this message on your audio player. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
One of the greatest joys in ministry is staying connected and observing the Lord’s continuing work in the lives of those we have associated, whether it’s in churches we have served, our chaplaincy role or in various other associations. As a Bible teacher I am so gratified when I hear, “You really taught us the Bible.” Any pastor or Bible teacher reading this surely knows what I mean.
The apostle John stated, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). In this context John is not speaking of his biological children (although that is also true!), but his spiritual children, those he had taught, ministered to, and with whom he had broken bread.We heard yesterday from Marvin, one of the children from Guatemala we had in our home 30 years ago for medical care when he was six years old. For several years he has wanted to bring his family up from Guatemala to meet us and finally he was in the process of doing so but hit a snafu when his visa application was denied.
He’s very disappointed, as are we, but he sent us this email by using an online translator to translate his Spanish text:
Undoubtedly, like Marvin, some of you reading this message are in a season of setbacks or face a discouraging situation. May this brief word of exposition of the daily text bring you endurance and encouragement!
“Everything that was written in the past.” Paul here acknowledges the truth of what he later expounded on to Timothy when he wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). We can be assured that the divine Editor has provided in His Word all we need and we should diligently seek the Bible in its entirety for His teaching. If we faithfully study we find that even the harder passages, where the meaning and value are not as apparent, are rich with truth. This week Rick, a reader from North Carolina, called me. He and his wife Debbie have been bombarded with troubles. He shared how a rather obscure verse from Job had ministered to them during their devotions. Often life’s experiences will bring added meaning and understanding to these difficult passages over one’s lifetime.
“Was written to teach us.” The purpose of that which was written in Holy Scripture is that we might be taught. Significantly, Jesus’ followers are called disciples (Greek “mathetes” which primarily means a learner). The great commission was and is to make disciples. Are you learning today? Are you growing in Christ? Specifically can you remember the central truths your pastor shared in his last sermon? What about the Word you read this morning? The Word is always an effective teacher, but we have a responsibility as learners. Most learning takes place by constant exposure, experience and familiarity. (See the Bible knowledge test below.)
“So that through endurance.” This is a great and vitally necessary truth. A quality so lacking in our world, even among many Christ-followers is endurance. The Greek word that is used here (hupomone) conveys, “to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere, abide”. In our world of vacillation and instability we need maturing followers of Christ to demonstrate the character quality of endurance! By God’s grace let us demonstrate it today. Even and especially when the going is tough.
“And the encouragement of the Scriptures.” God’s Word applied to our lives develops this endurance and richly encourages us. Feed on it today, all day. Hide it in your heart. Memorize it. Sing it.
as true as steel, and far more sharp than any sword:
So deep and fine, at his control they pierce where soul and spirit join.
“We might have hope.” Do you need hope today? Sure you do. Some more acutely then others. Hear from this Scripture and be encouraged: “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:5).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, I’m so thankful for the hope You give us that is far more than just wishful thinking. It is based upon the unshakable foundation of the inspired Word of God. It is through the enduring Word that we find encouragement and needed strength to stand firm during the times of testing and when others scoff or try to revise Your instruction for our lives. Our hope is in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth! Amen.
Knowing the answers to many of these questions indicates your overall familiarity with the Bible. I would not expect a newer Christian who has only recently started reading and studying the Bible to know as many answers as a long-time student of Scripture.
This test will take awhile so take it when you are able to concentrate for an extended period of time.
I suggest you initially take it with your Bible closed and then do so with an open Bible by going back over it.
You may also print the test out and share it with others if you would like.
This test is completely anonymous and collects no personally identifying information.
Click here to get started with the test. If you’d like to leave the test at any time, just click“Exit this test”. Your answers will be saved.