"Handle with care"

Various vacations have taught me that jet skis and boulders don't go together. Neither do 3-wheelers and thin ice.

My motorized mishaps began when, as a kid, my family spent the afternoon visiting friends. Willing to accommodate my need for speed, their son let me use his go-cart. He showed me the gas pedal but assumed I would find the brake. So when my friend and I realized we were headed for the highway at full throttle, we jumped off to avoid crashing into any cars. Ouch! It's so important to be properly trained in how to use expensive recreation vehicles!

Much more important than just a means of entertainment, the Word of God is both a weapon and a tool. Just as a soldier is trained to use his weapons in battle and a builder learns how to use his tools, believers in Jesus must be trained in how to handle the Word.

In recounting the temptation of Jesus, Matthew demonstrates how even Satan used Scripture (4:1-11). Manipulative, the enemy was interested in his own selfish purposes and not in truth. Because God is serious about His Word, we need to understand:

• Keeping our hearts pure before the Lord enables us to receive instruction from the Holy Spirit (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 5:8). • Wielding the sword includes accepting our inability to know everything, while being willing to learn (1 Timothy 4:12-16). • Learning how to handle the Word develops us as people who are unashamed and ready to share it (2 Timothy 2:15, 4:2-4).

Scripture tells us that in the end days, deception will grow stronger (Mark 13:22). God wants us to be master swordsmen, trained and ready to communicate His truth. Let's do what it takes to learn. , Regina Franklin, Our Daily Journey

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