But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know who taught you, and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 HCSB
I was enjoying some authentic Turkish food while listening to a former Muslim – now Christian – speak on how to engage and witness to Muslims. About ten minutes into his presentation he said something that stopped me in my tracks. Addressing the crowd of Christians, the speaker said: “You are all people of the Book.” This statement may have seemed trivial to most, but for me it struck a very large chord in my heart.
Memories flooded my mind… Memories from when I had lived with a group of Muslims in Africa for over two months. I had watched “people of the book” live day to day life. Their devotion was unlike anything I had seen. Their devotion to the Koran and Muhammad dwarfed my own devotion to the Bible and Jesus. I felt a chasm in my heart between the devotion of these African Muslims to a false prophet and my own devotion to Jesus, the Son of God… a chasm God was about to erase. This speaker was not offering pious lip service by telling the audience they were “people of the Book.” No, this speaker meant it. He knew something I could never understand because of his upbringing as a Muslim. He knew what it was like to be on the opposite side of the chasm. He revealed that this chasm, in fact, does not exist. Christians are very much “people of the Book” – and this Book should define everything about us. The apostle Paul understood what it meant to be a “person of the Book.”
From childhood, he was trained in the sacred writings known as the Torah. Paul was fervently devoted to these sacred writings and followed every word meticulously. His zeal for following all of God’s laws drove Paul to kill Christians because he believed Christians were a threat to God’s laws. Devotion would be an understatement for Paul’s adherence to the Torah. Yes, Paul was most certainly a “person of the Book.” Paul wanted Timothy to understand that he too was a “person of the Book,” that he too was handed a sacred text (The Torah) that revealed the Truth about Jesus Christ. Paul exhorted Timothy to continue in the Truth that had been passed down to him, to cling to what he learned from these sacred writings. Timothy was to be different from the world and false teachers… He was to be a “person of the Book” – fiercely devoted to every letter of God’s Word.
Challenge: As “people of the Book,” may we be fiercely devoted to every letter of God’s Word.
Note: This devotional was written by guest writer Jonathan Moore.