Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11
…Onesimus,whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.)
Paul wrote to two different pastors, referring to men who were “useful” to him in ministry: both Mark and Onesimus went from being useless (traitor was a word Paul used about John Mark earlier in his life) to being useful to the apostle. I want people to use that word concerning me, don’t you? That Perry, or your name, is so useful to me. Consider this: 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“All Scripture is inspired and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully equipped, ready for every good work.”
To focus briefly on two aspects of the Bible’s usefulness:
1) It is useful to rebuke—a regular reading and thinking through Scripture results in rebuke: stop that, start this, don’t go there, and so on. Some thoughts and behaviors are rebuked in Scripture, clearly pointed out as wrong. God speaks loving rebukes to attentive children via His Word.
2) Scripture is wonderful in that it doesn’t leave us rebuked, quivering with guilt. It also is useful for correction: get back over here, this is the right road, stay here, go that way instead, and so on.
If perusing the Bible hasn’t brought about a personal rebuke–correction confrontation lately, you aren’t reading it right, or you’re a far greater saint than I. It’s one of the things a loving Father does, as the Spirit of God opens our eyes to His Words – and that is useful.
Wanting to be useful, ready for loving rebuke, Perry Floyd