How many pockets is enough? A workman may find it helpful to have lots of tools handy. When working in tight spaces it is frustrating to have to crawl out and go back to the toolbox to pick up what you need to get the job done. There’s a moral in that, isn’t there?
Some Bible verses deal with this issue directly. Paul writes to Timothy: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim.4:2). Be prepared, he says. Good advice. How many times have we found ourselves saying: “If only I’d…”?
Paul had already explained how we can prepare to be helpful to others in what we say. He told Timothy: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim.2:15). If we do not know “the word of truth” we will not be able to use it effectively.
When writing to Christians in Ephesus, Paul taught them: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph.4:11-13).
So now we know that as Christians our equipment needs have been provided. We can be taught! And if we commit to memory the instructions given by our Teacher, and learn correctly how to use them, we can be prepared to bring helpful messages to others. It is not the Bible in one of your pockets, but the word of God in your mind and heart that will be the tool God can use so you can reason with and persuade others. But if we think of our minds as having many pockets, we can fill them in an orderly way so that we are able to retrieve the information we need, when we don’t have the time to go back to the toolbox! The Holy Spirit delights to remind us, but to do that we must first have put the word of truth safely in our hearts, prepared and ready for His use (Jn 14:26).
In the late 1800s, some serious Bible students got together and tried to figure out what vital teaching was missing from the practices of the churches at that time. The result was the production of a magazine called “Needed Truth”, which was intended to supply information that would fill the identified gaps. The magazine is still going strong, and you can review the current issue and the archives (for free!) at this link: NT. Use it to fill your “pockets” and fully equip your service.