Inspired or Inspiring?

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God.”

I grew up in a church that, for the most part, didn’t pay a lot of attention to the Bible. Oh, it was used. It was read. It was quoted. But, in the end, we didn’t turn to the Bible as authoritative. You might say that we viewed the Bible as inspiring rather than inspired.

The difference is this: Inspiring literature is used to help you live better. It helps to motivate you. It gives you a goal and a drive. This is how I feel the church I grew up in used the Bible. To be fair, I know that they wouldn’t say it this way. But, it is how it felt. It felt like they were looking to the Bible as inspiring them to live better.

But, inspired literature is different. Inspired means that God has spoken to us. And if God has spoken, we must pay attention to it regardless of how it makes us feel, regardless of what we may feel is right, regardless of what it might mean for our lives. Because, they are the very words of God!

Now, it’s not that if you believe the Bible to be inspired, that it isn’t inspiring. It is. An inspired Bible inspires us to live a passionate, God-filled life. In fact, I believe that viewing the Bible as inspired is the key to living a life filled with hope and joy and passion for the Lord.

God used a church filled with people who believed that the Bible was inspired to change my life. And when I stepped for the first time into a church filled with people who believed that the Bible was inspired, not merely inspiring, I could see the difference and feel the difference. They brought their Bibles to church, because they wanted to hear from and learn about God. They talked about their Bibles, because they wanted to encourage others with the Lord’s work in their life. They knew their Bibles, because they placed a priority on learning and obeying God’s word.

Stepping into that church changed my life. I wanted to be like those sorts of people who knew their Bibles and learned their Bibles and obeyed their Bibles. My wife’s testimony is the same.

I believe that much of the difference in the churches came down to the difference between inspiring and inspired. When you believe that the Bible is inspired, you believe that it has authority over your life.

How do you view the Bible? Is it inspired or do you see it as inspiring?

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