Back in the year 2000, Hollywood made a movie called Cast Away. It’s a drama about a FedEx employee, played by Tom Hanks, who gets stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes on a flight over the South Pacific. The movie depicts his attempts to survive on the island using remnants of the plane’s cargo, as well as his eventual escape and return to society.
A number of years ago, during the Super Bowl, FedEx ran a commercial that was a spoof of the movie Cast Away. Looking like the bedraggled Hanks in the movie, the FedEx employee in the commercial goes up to the door of a suburban home with a package in his hand. When the lady comes to the door, he explains that he had survived five years on a deserted island, and during that whole time he kept a parcel that he was now delivering to her. She gives him a simple, “Thank you.” But the FedEx guy is curious about what’s in the package that he has been protecting all this time. He says, “If I may ask, what is in that package?” She opens it and shows him the contents, saying, “Oh, nothing really… just a satellite telephone, a global positioning device, a compass, a water purifier, and some seeds.”
Just like the contents in that package, the same is true about what’s contained in the Bible. The resources for growth and strength are available to everyone who takes advantage of them. That’s because the Bible is more than just an ordinary book. It is the living word of the living God!
In the New Testament book of 2 Timothy 3, verse 16, it tells us that all the very words of the Bible are inspired by God and are useful for a number of things.
First, the Bible was given to teach us. It teaches us things like who God is, about His love for us, how we can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and what our purpose in life is.
Second, the Bible reproves. It shows us what we really are like – what God sees when He looks at us. The absolute honesty of God’s word is one of the supernatural elements that proves that the Bible is the word of God.
Third, the Bible corrects us. It straightens us out when we get off the path. God corrects us so we can live His best with the result of growing and becoming mature in our relationship with Him.
Fourth, the Bible prepares us to live God’s way. It says it’s useful for training in righteousness. It trains us up from baby Christians to become strong followers of Christ.
When we turn to the standard of God’s word and allow it to do its work of teaching and reproving and correcting and instructing; when we turn away from the world’s standards and turn to the one true standard for righteous, Christ-like living – then we’ll find that it matures us so that we can do what God created and saved us to do.
But there’s one other important thing about the Bible, which is really the starting point for each one of us, and that’s its life-transforming power – the ability to change lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”
This verse tells us that when we trust Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, a life changing transformation occurs. It marks a new beginning and the promise of spending eternity in heaven. The message of this new life is a message of supreme hope for all who believe in Christ – not just a head knowledge, but a heart knowledge. Have you experienced a spiritual new beginning?
Bill MacGillivray is the pastor at Parkside Alliance Church.