Life is a never-ending class in “how to.” Thankfully, reference materials and how-to and self-improvement materials exist in greater quantities than we could ever work through. The challenge is not finding help, but choosing among the plethora of options.
But that creates a different problem: a little thing called trust. If you are looking for help, where do you go? If your question is in the objective realm, then almost anyone’s advice will work. There are some areas in which the beliefs, character, and reputation of a person are not critical. But what if you need help with your marriage, with knowing God, or with raising children—more subjective areas of life? Then, the beliefs, character, and reputation of a teacher are much more critical. It would be wonderful if there were a reference source that was totally trustworthy in everything it discussed. There is such a book—the Word of God.
A Trustworthy Source
Not all truth is in the Bible, but all that’s in the Bible is true. “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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). When you need practical and profitable guidance in life, the Bible is the first source you should check. The guidance you find there is guidance you can depend on.
The book of Proverbs is a good indication of God’s heart when it comes to the practical side of life. Proverbs is the “wisdom” book of the Bible. The Hebrew word for wisdom is the word for “skill.” Wise people in the Old Testament were people who knew the answers to life’s how-to questions. The first ten chapters of Proverbs are the instructions of a father to his son about how to live life skillfully (Proverbs 1:1-9). The rest of the chapters are collections of short how-to statements on money, work, relationships, fearing God, raising children, leadership, emotions, and more. Proverbs is a treasure-trove for those seeking answers and wisdom from God, and it is just one book! There are sixty-five more books in the Bible filled with trustworthy answers for those seeking answers.
The very nature of biblical revelation is epitomized by the “What?” question asked by the Philippian jailer: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) The apostle Paul provided a succinct and sufficient answer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (verse 31).
If we add the other questions to the What? we most often ask in life, we find the Bible providing plenty of answers and guidance.
Who? Think of all the questions pertaining to people that arise in life! Relationships, marriage, family, leaders, saved people, lost people, people to imitate, and people to be on guard against. The Bible will provide principles to help you make skillful choices.
What? This word begins more how-to questions than perhaps any other: What should I do (in a myriad of situations)? What is God’s will? These and more are addressed in Scripture.
When? Time factors into all of life: When was I saved? When will Christ return to earth? When is it right to speak to a friend about a matter of sin? Answers are in the Bible.
Where? Where will I spend eternity? Where should I go to college, live, or work? Where should I make an impact for Christ in the world? God cares about all these questions.
Why? Why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? Why does God seem not to answer my prayers? Why can’t I conquer this troubling area in my life? “Why” questions are hard, but the Bible doesn’t shy away from them.
How? This is a task-oriented question: How do I love my spouse? How can I be sure I will go to heaven? How many times must I forgive another person? God has the answers you seek.
God’s answers for some of these questions will differ from one person to another, so, you won’t find specific answers—names, dates, places—in Scripture. But the Bible provides “how to” answers for many of life’s most important questions and guidance regarding “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). It is the most trusted and reliable reference Book you will ever read—begin researching its riches today—and you will learn “how to” live for Christ in the world today.
David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about David Jeremiah and Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.
As you read Christ Above All, Dr. Jeremiah’s study of Colossians, you’ll come to better know who Jesus is theologically. In other words, the truth about Him—the whole truth and nothing but the truth—will thrill you. Our minds need solid doctrine so we’ll have a solid relationship with Christ, built on personal reverence for Him and friendship with Him.