Minister’s Message: Training in righteousness

Stay prepared for the unfortunate things life can send our direction

I was cleaning stuff out in my garage the other day and ran across something I had totally forgotten about. It was my “bug-out bag.” In case you have not heard of a bug-out bag, it is simply a bag that contains some food, water, possibly a flashlight, toothbrush or whatever you might want in the scenario if you only had time to grab one thing if your house was on fire. The contents of the bag would contain things you would not want to be without while you were searching for an alternate place to live.

I remember when I assembled that bag, a lot of thought went into it and I put it in a place that would be easy to grab “on the way out the door” should the dreaded house fire become a reality. And then, life goes on. You know, I really intended to practice or train with it once in awhile, grabbing the bag and staying familiar with the contents. It didn’t happen. The fire never came and I got complacent. Dust covered the bag, things got piled on top of the bag. I forgot about the bag. When I recently discovered it, I didn’t have any idea what I put inside.

I am a little sobered that I allowed that to happen. I never did any “training” with the bag and as a result would have lost the resource that may have helped in the event for which it was prepared.

Unfortunately, my experience with my bug-out bag is very similar to the way we treat our Bibles, or our church attendance. We have the best of intentions to stay current and we know that reading our Bibles or attending church is good for us. The Bible can give us comfort, guidance and wisdom. Attending church can give us a network of caring and helpful people. Then, COVID happens or we get “busy” or a hundred other things and soon the Bible gets covered with dust, things get piled on top of our time to attend church and soon we forget what is in that dusty Bible or why we went to church in the first place.

2 Timothy 3:16,17 reminds us of the importance of staying trained in the use of the Bible:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

That regular use of the Bible and attending church makes us ready for the pitfalls of life. When the divorce looms, the son or daughter runs away, a job is lost, or the house burns, where do we turn for comfort, help and support? Before we totally forget what is in that dusty Bible or lose our connection to our church family, it would be a good idea to do a little, “training in righteousness” to stay prepared for the unfortunate things life can send our direction.

Meanwhile, does anyone have any suggestions for updating my bug-out bag?

Rev. Stephen Brown has pastored Kenai New Life Assembly of God for the past 32 years.

• Rev. Stephen Brown, for the Peninsula Clarion

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