GPS for the Soul

Author: Jim Elliff

Admiral Byrd spent a six month night alone on his first Antarctic Expedition. Each day he shoveled to the surface for exercise. There was just enough light to see a dozen yards or so. In that light he walked a few steps then turned back into his hut.

Once Byrd lost sight of the hut’s stove pipe. He didn’t panic. Rather, he drove a stake in the ground and walked carefully in a circle around it, keeping his eye on the stake. Each time around, he enlarged the circle. On the third attempt he nearly lost sight of the stake altogether, but prepared to make one more try.

With his visibility strained to the limit, he circled slowly around the stake, then, as if it were planned all along, he walked directly into the hut’s tunnel entrance.

The apostle Paul wrote young Timothy concerning a stake for his life.

The culture around Timothy was dark and troubling. “In the last days difficult times will come,” Paul said. “Evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:1,13).

The veteran apostle appealed to Timothy to live a life adverse to the culture by driving down the stake of Scripture as his navigational center point. By it Timothy was to live contradistinctive to those around him, avoiding spiritual ruin. Note his appeal:

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 3:14-15)

Like Timothy, you also should keep your eyes on the stake of Scripture:

Because of the lives of those who taught you.
Timothy was trained in the Bible by his mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois. They had a “sincere faith” in God (2 Tim. 1:5). When Timothy was just a young child, they taught him the Bible truths that would change his life. Their remarkable faith speaks of the value of the Word. “Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you learned them,” Paul reminded him.

Because of the salvation that it showed you.
“From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation.”

Though salvation’s instrumental means is faith, such faith is produced through the message of salvation found in the Bible. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ,” Paul once taught in Romans 10:17.

When Bill Busshaus, freshman quarterback for the Navy football team, hit a telephone pole one evening after drinking with his friends, he didn’t know that it would change his life forever. He would never walk again.

Bill’s condition led him to despair. One night, in the room above the bar that he had purchased after leaving Annapolis, his depression drove him to attempt to end his life. On the way to the bathroom where he was to find the pills that would cause his death, he passed by the bookshelf containing the small New Testament that a college girl had given him years before. He had never read it.

For some strange reason Bill took the book in his hands and began to read. He climbed into his bed again, reading chapter after chapter. When he began to read the gospels a second time through, faith was born in his heart. This was the beginning of a new and influential life for Christ.

Because of the profit it brings you.
Paul follows his plea by listing several benefits for Timothy as a “man of God.”

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Timothy was given a full toolbox for ministry through the Bible. If a Christian worker has such benefits, surely all believers are helped in a similar fashion. Only the Bible can do that.

When author Sir Walter Scott was dying he cried out, “Bring me the book!” His nephew said, “Which book, sir?”

“Young man,” said Scott, “there is but one book, the Bible.”

Drive that stake, and keep your eye on it.

Copyright © 2009 Jim Elliff.
Permission granted for reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission.
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