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Thursday, April 14, 2016
"We Do Well To Pay Attention"
Message Summary: Thank God for His Word! We do well to pay attention to it "as to a lamp shining in a dark place".
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"For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:16-21).
How sure the Scriptures are, God's vital urgent Word.
As true as steel and far more sharp than any sword,
So deep and fine at His control.
They pierce where soul and spirit join.
Voddie Baucham grew up in south central Los Angeles, raised by a single mother who was a Buddhist. He never heard the Gospel till he was in college. He presently heads up a ministry, "Equipping Believers to 'Walk in Truth'". The other night I heard him speak at the Associates For Biblical Research banquet.
He was speaking to a group of Christian students at Dartmouth College and pointed out that two common responses students give, when confronted about their faith in the Bible, needs close examination:
1) "I believe the Bible because that's the way I was raised." He pointed out that this does not necessarily validate the truthfulness of faith any more than being brought up in another belief system validates that, such as him being raised by a Buddhist mother.
2) "I believe the Bible because I tried it and it works for me.” Now of course having faith does change our life and Baucham's testimony attests to that. However he shared how an alcoholic may go to AA and decide his "higher power" is a street light and then testify how his belief in a street light changed his life.
Baucham's main message was an interesting statement of faith based on our lengthy Scripture portion which he broke down point by point, forming the outline of his message. (I found a video of the message which I link to below as well as a transcript.)
"I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies, and they claim to be divine rather than human in origin."
One of the fundamental teachings of the Bible is the sufficiency of Christ and His Word. We affirm regarding the Bible, that it is the "all sufficient rule of faith and conduct". Today let us especially consider two words "all sufficient". Our daily Scripture portion is most interesting.
Peter, of course, was one of the eyewitnesses to Christ's ministry. In verse 18 he refers to what surely was among the most memorable events in his life; his eyewitness experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. Can you imagine preaching a sermon or telling your grandkids about that!
Yet he states, "we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed". The written word of the prophets was deemed "more fully confirmed" ("a more sure word of prophecy" KJV) by Peter than his own eye witness experience on the Mount of Transfiguration!
He goes on to say "you will do well to pay attention". That's right, brother and sister. Today and every day we do well to pay attention to the Word. The most certain findings of science will change (haven't they many times?) The philosophies of men will change. The pet theories and faddish experiences will come and go. Fanciful psychological theories and treatments will soon be discredited only to be followed by another. Thank God for His Word! We will do well to pay attention to it "as to a lamp shining in a dark place".
Let those who hear His voice confronting them today,
Reject the tempting choice of doubting or delay.
For God speaks still, His word is clear.
So let us hear, and do His will. *
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It shows me wrong from right, from sinfulness to forgiveness, from darkness to light and from mortality to immortality. To what other source could I find the answers that give hope, assurance, truth and light. Thank You for the Word of God which is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. I do well to read it, pay attention and heed its message. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Too Much to Gain to Lose" Video Jake Hess and Homecoming Singers
"I Believe" Video Jimmy Fortune, Dailey & Vincent Dedicated to our friends Larry and Tina.
"Why You Can Believe The Bible" Video Voddie Baucham (This is very similar to the message he shared at the banquet I attended Tuesday evening.) He is a very engaging speaker and if you are able I encourage you to take a listen or if you care to read it here is a transcript!
Associates For Biblical Research
* "How Sure the Scriptures Are" by Christopher Idle
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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