19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable,and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
1. Scripture is the Word of God: Peter uses three different terms to refer to the Word of God in these verses: “prophetic message (19),” “prophecy of Scripture (20),” and “prophecy (21)”. The Greek word in verse 20 for Scripture is “graphe,” which refers to something written down. So the Word of God is an objective reality outside of us.
2. The Word of God is no less divine because it is given through human instrumentality: God used the intellect, skills, and personality of fallible men to write down what was diving and infallible. The Bible is, in one sense, both a product of humans and God. But this in no way implies any fallibility in the Scriptures.
3. The Bible is without error (20): The ideas did not spring from confused minds. No prophecy was ever produced by the “will of man (21).” Scripture did not come from the will of man; it came from God. And if it is God’s Word then it must be true, for in Him there can be no error or deceit.
James tells us that the prophet Elijah was a man “subject to like passions as we are.”
That’s encouraging! A prophet of God, yet like us. We are apt to think that those mighty men and women were different from what we are.
Elijah brought down fire on Mt. Carmel against the prophets of Baal. But the God of Elijah still lives! We have the same access to God as Elijah did. We have the same warrant to go to God and ask the fire from heaven to come down and consume our lusts and passions, to burn up our dross, and to let Christ shine through us.
God’s word, the Bible, is essential to our spiritual growth and to our understanding of our identity in Christ.
Psalm 119 gives many examples how we can use the Bible.
- sing the word (172)
- speak the word (13, 46, 79)
- study the word (15, 48, 97, 148)
- store up the word (11, 93, 141)
- obey the word (8, 44, 57, 129, 145, 167)
- praise God for the word (7, 62, 164, 171)
- pray that God would act according to his word (58, 121-23, 147, 149-52, 153-60)
How many of these are you doing? How often? These are the best indicators of what we really believe and feel about the Word.
Faith is about taking action in the moment, trusting God to guide you–not waiting for miracles to arrive fully formed.
God’s will for our lives is often revealed to us in retrospect. We take action and then look back and see how everything came together…how this person crossing our paths led to this happening, and so forth.
God’s will for us is so immense and complex that it could never be revealed to us in an e-mail. We must go out and meet it!
The Sabbath isn’t a day; it’s a person. The Sabbath is Jesus. He’s your REST.
Jesus never did any work to be accepted. Jesus did all His work BECAUSE He was accepted. He wants you to enter that rest by affirming that the Father loves you in Jesus Christ, who died for the forgiveness of your sins, including all the ways you have lived without rest and have gone to the wrong places to find rest. Jesus died so that you could rest in His work on your behalf, knowing the Father says over you in Jesus, “This is my beloved child with who I am pleased.”
Our busy-ness masks what it means to be productive. Productivity isn’t about “doing more” or even about “accomplishments.”
Does a tree “accomplish” bearing fruit? Or is the fruit merely a manifestation of what was inside the tree all along?
Fruit comes in due time, looks different in different stages, and is good to behold and eat.
Are our deeds–those produced by busy-ness–the same?
1. I ought to delight in it (vs. 14, 24, 47, 70, 77). It is sweet like honey (vs. 10b), the joy of his heart (vs. 111), and positively wonderful (vs. 129). The Bible can be dull at times, but taken as a whole it is the greatest story ever told, and those who know it best are usually those who delight in it the most.
2. I ought to desire it (vs. 5, 10, 17, 20, 40, 131). The psalmist so desired the Word of God that he considered suffering to be a blessing in his life if it helped him become more obedient to God’s commands.
3. We ought to depend on it. We are desperate for the encouragement found in God’s promises and rules (vs. 50, 52).
What we believe and feel about the Word of God are absolutely crucial, if for no other reason than that they should mirror what we believe and feel about Jesus. Jesus believed unequivocally all that was written in the Scriptures. If we are to be his disciples, we should do the same.