When I was a new born-again Christian, I learned a principle of Scripture in a Bible Study I attended. The principle stems from our ability to hold the Word of God “captive” in our hearts.
One of the Bible Study leaders pronounced, “If you hold Scripture captive, it will never leave you … it becomes a prisoner in your heart and soul. And when you need a particular Scripture during the course of life, God will give it to you because you have held it captive.”
That lesson has stuck with me all these 30-plus years.
One Scripture I have intentionally held captive comes from the book of Titus:
“For the grace of God which gives salvation to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2:11-13)
Paul asks us a compelling question in his first letter to the Thessalonians …
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?”
And then Paul, the ultimate scribe, answers his own question …
“Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”
In the weight of today’s complexity, it’s more difficult to stay focused on those things that are truly important.
This is a mighty scheme of the devil: Distractibility.
You’ve fallen for it. I’ve fallen for it. The whole world seems to be falling for the distractions and temptations of the Evil One.
That is why, in these days of confusion, we must always return to the Word of God.
Here is one of Jesus’ most precious promises:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
One day, we will be sheltered by the most precious God. Sheltered for eternity. This is part of the blessed hope that we long for.
And not only do we know where we are going to live one day, Paul describes another eternal gift for those who believe:
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (3:20-21)
He will transform our lowly body that it might be conformed to His glorious body.
Just this morning I looked around our church congregation and was struck by the many afflictions. One dear sister is losing her sight. Another person is confined to her wheel chair. Another friend has difficulty sleeping at night.
One day, they will all receive new bodies.
And this is the Blessed Hope we will all experience one day soon.
The truth is that God’s Word will help us from becoming distracted by the darkness of the world around us. Remember, our citizenship is in heaven, not here on earth.
The Word of God contains our Blessed Hope. Our hope is not in this world, but the world which is yet to come.
Which brings me to one of my other favorite scriptures, of which I hold captive:
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)
All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.