"With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter."
In 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Paul tells those who follow Jesus to stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teachings he passed on to them in person and in written form. For Christians today, what does it mean to stand firm and keep a strong grip on Scripture?
First, we must recognize that we exist within a culture that has a strong influence over our attitudes and behaviors. This influence is ongoing and pernicious. It encourages us to prioritize on our own selfish interests above the interests of others. It also minimizes the veracity and importance of the Bible. To stand firm, therefore, means to remain committed to the faith and to pursue a love for God and for others.
Second, to keep a strong grip on Scripture means we need to hold it closely. In other words, we should spend time reading and reflecting on its teachings. If we set the Bible on a bookshelf to collect dust, we are not gripping it tightly. If you are not currently in the practice of reading your Bible on a regular basis consider subscribing to a "verse of the day" email. This can be done through Biblegateway.com or you can subscribe to my blog where each weekday I highlight a Bible verse. If you want to go a little deeper, you are welcome to join my reading group where we hold strongly to Scripture by reading five chapters of the New Testament each week. Check out this web page for more information.