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Mar 08 2013

Prioritize the Word of Truth

I love this: “accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). When I was a kid, I memorized this verse in the King James Version as “rightly dividing the word of truth.” Actually, in the original Greek there’s just one word. It’s a compound word that means cut it straight. Don’t you love that picture? We are supposed to be cutting it straight, rightly dividing, accurately handling the Word of Truth.

We need to cut it straight in our families. When your daughter wants to date an unbeliever—but the Word of Truth says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers”—you go to her and cut it straight. When your son wants to listen to ungodly music in your house—but the Word of Truth says in Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely . . . dwell on these things”—go to him and cut it straight.

Maybe you’re thinking, Hey, to be honest with you, my marriage is not doing very well right now. It’s more work than wow, for sure! I have to be honest and tell you that some days, in my darkest moments, I wonder if I can make it. I’m just not sure I can stick it out for the rest of my life. But the Word of Truth says in Matthew 19:6, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” So put that thinking out of your mind, and cut it straight.

Maybe you’ve been having a hard time at work, and the finances aren’t what they used to be. This hasn’t been a good year; sales are down, and you’ve been tempted to cut some corners. Maybe you’ve thought about withholding your giving to your church because you think, God, I have to provide for my family and cover certain obligations. You’ve been tempted to compromise the Word of Truth. But then you remember Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” No longer will you allow yourself the luxury of wandering from what the Word of God says. You are “cutting it straight”; you are accurately handling the Word of Truth. And you are making the Word of God a priority.

A number of years ago, we had some major rainstorms in our area. Many people had their basements completely flooded. The morning after the storm, two sweet sisters who live next door to us came by and said, “We were calling you on the phone in the middle of the night. We wanted to make sure your basement didn’t flood.”

“Well, we only have cordless phones,” I said. “When the power went out, our phones didn’t ring.”

“Only a couple of cordless phones for a family your size?” the sisters answered. “We have six phones in our house: three cordless phones, and three regular phones.”

I couldn’t believe it. “Wow, you have six phones? For what?” They answered, “Well, we work for the phone company. What do you expect? Isn’t your house full of Bibles?”

I laughed out loud, “Well, yes, as a matter of fact, it is!” I walked away smiling to myself, because that’s what I want our family and our church family to be known for—full of the truth of God’s Word.

That’s almost a decade ago now. Thankfully, those sisters gave their lives to Christ—in fact I saw them in church last weekend.