Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. -2 Timothy 3:15 MSG

The Greek word rendered "God-breathed" is theopneustos and is most often translated "inspired by God". This verse is the only place in the bible that this Greek word is used. Even so, I love the image of God breathing on the writers of holy writ and inspiring them. Yet I think that the imagery gives room for differing views on what it means.

Some suggest that this solitary word indicates that God breathed every word written in the scriptures. I do not see it that way but see it much in the same way that God has breathed on his followers throughout history. I have experienced such moments. The veil between heaven and earth seems to compress. Those times are precious and very inspirational. In the moment I seem to be hearing God so clearly. Then time passes and my understanding of the inspiration deepens.

Breathe on us O Spirit of God that we might be inspired to help your kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; -Proverbs 3:5 NiV

These words echo in my soul every time I am challenged with pain. When my brain, body and emotions are overwhelmed with torment these words echo in every fiber of my being. Trusting the Lord only matters when nothing else matters. Yet trusting God can be so hard when we are tempted to lean on our 'logical' brains instead of our trusting hearts.

Isaac Watts once wrote: "Learning to trust is one of life's most difficult tasks." The key word there is 'learning'. In reality trusting God is a learning process. And like many learned things, trusting takes time and is often fraught with failed learning experiences. Even so, trusting God takes us places that nothing else can. It is why it requires all of our hearts.

I trust you Lord. Teach me to trust you more.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.


So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. -Luke 15:20 NIV

Some of the most moving images in all of scripture is the ones of Jesus being moved by compassion when he saw the many needs of his Jewish brothers and sisters. What do you think that looked like? How did the disciples know that he was being moved by compassion. My thinking is that they saw the Lord crying. And as he wept they watched him heal.

In this passage we see such an image of the heavenly Father. His prodigal son is returning from years of raucous living and wasted resources. The temptation to anger and disappointment is great. Yet the Father is filled with compassion for his son. It is a true reminder of how we must react towards those who have disappointed us and let us down.

Lord, please give us compassionate feet that run with weeping towards those who need us the most.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.

Royal Law

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. -James 2:8

The royal law of love, not the Law of Moses, is the divine standard of life. This law, unlike all other laws, reflects the timeless will of God. Moses' commands display something that is not timeless therefore cannot be a reflection of a timeless God who never changes. In truth, if everyone chose to love then no civil law (like Mosaic law) would be required.

I have found that loving God and loving each other is the plumbline of life. Obeying civil law focuses on externals like not stealing or murdering. It pales in comparison to the law of love which speaks to inner issues like not coveting or hating in your heart. Would that this divine law be embraced, instead of laws that are more arbitrary in flavor, by all humans.

Help us Lord to obey the spirit of the law and love each other as you love us.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.


This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. -1 John 1:5-7 NIV

Do you find it interesting how John describes God? I have heard it said that darkness is defined as the absence of light. Evil as the absence of good, Sin as the absence of righteousness. In a real sense spiritual darkness, sin and evil can be summed up as the absence of God in one's life. These things cannot exist when God is present.

So what does it mean to walk in the light? Is it a matter of following external rules? The truth is that rules themselves can be a form of darkness placing us in bondage instead of making us free, I think that walking in the light is allowing our darkness to be exposed by the light of God's Spirit. We find freedom to follow Jesus when we do.

We need to be purified each day Lord. Teach is what it means to walk in the light as you are in the light.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.