All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
— 2 Timothy 3:16
Would you be interested in getting plugged into a power source that will permeate you with extraordinary energy, vitality, strength, and wisdom to assist you in overcoming any challenge that comes against you? Of course you would like to have that kind of help! The amazing thing is that you already have it at your disposal! However, you may not have learned yet how to tap into this power source to receive its full benefits.
Right there in your home or apartment is a source of power beyond your wildest imagination. It’s probably sitting on a shelf, situated nicely on a table, or perhaps even kept in the magazine rack in the bathroom. Or maybe you keep this source of power in the drawer of your desk at work or on the back seat of your car.
You may have guessed by now that I’m talking about your Bible, which is one of the greatest sources of power on earth! If you learn how to tap into God’s Word and let its power flow into you, it will equip you with wisdom, answers, and the power to overcome in every single situation in life.
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When Timothy felt attacked on every side by difficult situations he was facing in the city of Ephesus, he wrote to Paul, seeking answers and help to his various dilemmas. Expecting counsel and advice from Paul, he received a letter from Paul that contained these precious words: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Especially notice the word “inspiration” in this verse, for this word is a powerhouse when you really understand what it means! It comes from the Greek word theopneustos, a compound of the words theos and pneuma. The Greek word theos is the word for God; however, the real secret to this powerhouse is the second half of the word, pneuma, which comes from the Greek root pneu.
The root pneu communicates the idea of the dynamic movement of air. For instance, it can mean to blow, as to blow air or to blow air through an instrument to produce a distinct musical sound. There are also places where it is translated to breathe or to emit a fragrance. Finally, this root word can be used to denote the projection of emotions, such as anger, courage, or goodwill.
But when the root pneu becomes pneuma, as in this verse, it carries a more profound range of meanings, including life, force, life-force, energy, dynamism, and power. The Jews considered the pneuma to be the powerful force of God that created the universe and all living things, and the force that continues to sustain creation. In the Old Testament, the pneuma of God would sometimes move mightily upon a person, enabling him to do supernatural feats.
When this word pneuma is compounded together with the word theos, it forms the word theopneustos, which is where we get the word inspiration. Together, these words literally mean God-breathed. The word theopneustos — or “inspiration” — is the picture of God breathing or emitting His own substance into something. Just as a musician would blow on an instrument to produce a distinct sound, God mightily moved on those who wrote the Scriptures, and they temporarily became the instrument through whom God expressed His heart and will. They were the writers, but God was the Great Musician who breathed upon them, His instruments. Thus, the Bible is God’s message delivered through human writers to you and me.
Just as the word pneuma can carry the idea of a fragrance, the Word was breathed out from God and thus carries His very essence and fragrance within it. Since the word pneuma can also portray the projection of emotions, this tells us that God projected the totality of His emotion into the written Word when He inspired its writing. Therefore, the Word not only conveys an intellectual message, but it has God’s heart in it as well.
It’s important to understand that the pneuma of God didn’t create the Scripture and then depart from it. This power — the same pneuma power that originally created and continues to sustain the universe — is still working inside the Word, upholding and empowering it to be just as strong as it was the day it was penned by “God-breathed” writers.
Let me give you this very simple example of the word theopneustos. If I hold a deflated balloon that is without form to my lips and breathe into it, the balloon will inflate. The blowing of my breath into that deflated little piece of rubber causes it to fill up so that its true form becomes visible. When the balloon is fully inflated, I tie a knot at the base to trap the air within. Now the air that filled up the balloon and caused it to take form is the same substance that empowers it to sustain its form. It was my breath that created its form, and it is my breath that now sustains it. And if the molecules inside the balloon were analyzed, it would be found that a part of me is held inside in the form of the air I breathed into it.
Now let’s apply this to the Bible. When God was ready to speak to mankind, He held up human language to His mouth and breathed into it. After breathing His pneuma power into the language to produce life-giving words, God moved upon the hearts of those He had called to write His Book, and men began to write under divine inspiration. As God continued to breathe on words and phrases and sentences, His Word began to form and take shape until finally it had become the Bible as we know it today.
Today the same breath of God that caused the Word to materialize in written form is now held inside the Bible. It was God’s own breath that caused this Word to manifest in the first place, and now His own Presence, His breath — His “molecules,” if you will — are permanently held inside the Word of God itself. In other words, God didn’t just inspire the writing of the Bible. God Himself — His life, His life-force, His essence, power, energy, dynamism, and power — is contained inside the Word.
Think about it — the Bible you own that is sitting on a shelf, stored away in your desk drawer, sitting on the back seat of your automobile, situated nicely on your coffee table, or placed on the nightstand next to your bed contains the very life, essence, energy, and dynamism of God Himself! If you’ll get hungry for more of God and determine to meditate on this truth long enough to tap into it, God Himself will come pouring out of the Bible into your life and situation. The pneuma held inside the Word will blow mightily upon you and upon the situations that surround you — and when that happens, everything will change!
Because of the word theopneustos, Second Timothy 3:16 carries this idea:
“All scripture came into existence because God Himself breathed upon men, who then wrote as this divine breath moved upon them — and thus, the Word took shape and came into existence.…”
The supernatural breath and life of God that is held within His written Word is the reason Paul went on to say that the Word is “profitable.” The word “profitable” is the Greek word ophelimos, and it means helpful, profitable, useful, beneficial, or something that is to one’s advantage. Paul goes on to list all the ways that God’s Word brings benefit to the one who reads it, meditates on it, and taps into its pneuma.
So when Paul wrote to Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…,” he was reminding the younger man that because Timothy had the Word, he possessed the greatest source of power and energy that exists! If he would get into the Word — tapping deeply into its internal resource and allowing the life of God in that Word to flow up, out, and into his life — enough power would be released to change every difficult situation he was facing.
That is why Paul said the Word is “profitable.” Wouldn’t you agree that this kind of power operating in your life would be to your advantage as well?
Once you understand the meaning of this word “inspiration,” you realize that the Bible is not just a Book about God; it is a Book that actually contains God. His own breath and Spirit are contained within it. That’s a very good reason why you should spend time studying and meditating on God’s Word. By studying and meditating on the Word, you will learn to unlock the power contained within it. And when you have unlocked that door, the power of God will come pouring into your life and into the situations you are facing. Believe me when I tell you that when this power begins to operate, it will definitely be to your advantage!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I’ve been asking You for power and strength, not realizing that I have the source of Your power and strength sitting right in my house. Forgive me for not spending enough time in my Bible to tap into the power that is held within it. Starting today, I want to make Your Word a priority in my life. When I am tempted to be lazy and to put off reading my Bible, please help me say no to my flesh. Help me choose to pick up my Bible and read it whether I feel like it or not, taking it deep into my heart and letting the power inside the Word begin to work in me and in my situation.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that I have determined to read and meditate on the Word of God on a regular basis. The power of the Word works mightily inside me because I take it deeply into my heart. It transforms my thinking, renews my vision, forces darkness out of my mind, and blows like a mighty force into every part of my life. There is nothing stronger at my disposal than God’s Word, so I make it a priority in my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Can you think of an instance in your life when you literally felt the power of God’s Word flow into you and energize you to deal with a situation you were facing? If so, when was that and what was the end result of the power you felt so strongly that day?
2. Does God’s Word have a say-so in your life, or is the Bible just a book you carry to church and read only when you hear a sermon being preached?
3. How much time do you spend reading your Bible in a given week? Do your Bible-reading habits reveal that you are digging deep to get everything out of the Word you possibly can? Or are you reading just enough to barely get by — certainly not enough for its power to be released inside you?