Daily Devotions: Biblical Authority

 

 

DAY ONE
It Is God's Word

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)


Have you noticed how many times we quote other people, especially if they are famous? Politicians, musicians, and Hollywood stars command our attention as we take in every word. And yet, we must remember they are esh, they are fallible... they are no different than you or me.

Read today's scripture...

Did you catch it? "All scripture." To really appreciate the full meaning of this phrase we need to look at the original language. Because of the grammatical structure and words used, this should read "Each and every part along with the whole" scripture. Please let that sink in: every word, every phrase, every verse every chapter, every book "is God-breathed."

Have you thought about the Word of God, your Bible, as being the very breath of God? It was the breath of God that spoke the world into existence. It was the breath of God that gave Moses the law. It was the breath of God that promised a Messiah. It was the breath of God that uttered the words, "It is finished." The scriptures are not the words of men or women; they are not the ideas or opinions spouted out by some fallible person. They are the Words of God, our Creator, our Savior.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 reads "...we also thank God continually because, when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the human word, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." (NIV)

We are, therefore, challenged with a question: Have I received the Word of God, not as a human word, but as it actually is, the Word of God?

 

 

 

DAY TWO
It Is God's Standard of Truth

"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."
John 17:17 (NIV)

Read today's scripture...
Yesterday we learned that all scripture is God-breathed, the breath of God. Because it is the breath of God, it is truth. The word for truth here means to be really, really real as opposed to just appearing to be so. During an election year we hear all manner of promises and statistics. But when many of those promises and statistics are put to the test, we nd they are half-truths or no truth at all.

How does it make you feel when you nd you have been misled by a half-truth?
We live in a world of confusing and con icting ideas. Because the Word of God is the real thing, you can trust it as a standard by which to live. Do you have questions concerning the activities in which your family partakes or the schedules they keep? Are you making decisions about your nances or a big purchase? Are you dealing with people who are dif cult? Every question you have, every problem you have, every decision you need to make can be taken to the Word of God to nd what God's truth is for that matter. And because it is God's really real truth and not just an appearance of truth, you can know you are doing the right thing.

Our scripture for today is part of Christ's prayer for His disciples. It was His desire that His disciples be set apart from the world's way of thinking and He knew that would be accomplished by living out the Word of God, the truth.

This challenges us to ask ourselves the following question: Am I being set apart from the world with the truth, or am I walking in the half-truths of the world?

 

 



DAY THREE
It Is To Be Obeyed

"Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey
my teaching...'"

"We know that we have come to know Him if we
keep His commands."
1 John 2:3 (NIV)


Don't you just love a good cafeteria? Do you know why? We like cafeterias because we want to pick and choose exactly what we desire to eat. We don't want a pre-designed meal because it may have something on it that is hard for us to swallow. While this is great for eating out, the concept is very dangerous when we apply it to the Word of God! All of Scripture is the Word of God. All of Scripture is Truth; therefore, All of Scripture is to be obeyed.

We love to memorize and claim scripture that speaks of our salvation by grace and forgiveness of sin, but what do we do with scripture that tells us to forgive others when they have hurt us? We love to camp out in scripture that speaks of God's love for us, but we want to ignore scripture that tells us to love our enemies. We especially love scripture that points out the "real" sins that our neighbor is committing, but we don't want to look at the scripture that speaks of our sins of our attitude or our actions.

Read today's scripture...

God's Word is a commentary for itself. Our words for keep and obey are the same word in the Greek. The word carries with it the idea of holding close to something because it is so valuable; of keeping it in obedience because it is priceless. If we love Him, we will obey His Word. If we really know Him, we will keep His Word. Why? Because it is that valuable.

Scripture, then, challenges us with questions: Does my obedience say I love Him? Does my obedience say I know Him?

 

 



DAY FOUR
It Trains And Equips

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)


There is a time in a child's life that every parent dreads. No, it is not when they start school. It is potty-training time! It can be very stressful for both child and parent. You know why? Because it involves teaching the child actions they should not do and then replacing those actions with what they should do. As believers, the Word of God does much the same thing. We come into a relationship with Christ through salvation and bring with us all sorts of habits and thought processes that need to be replaced. It is true, we are a new creation. But like a baby, we need to be trained and then we need to be equipped so we can serve Him.

Read today's scripture...

The word for training used here involves instruction and correcting. It is that part of God's work in us in which the old habits and thought patterns must be removed. The word for equipping used here involves preparing and completing. It is that part of God's work in us in which we are readied for every kind of service.

While we would love for this to be a short process, it is life-long. God is constantly removing habits and ideas that we embrace from the world and preparing us for a work He wants us to do. And He uses His God-breathed Truth to do it.

We are, therefore, challenged with a question: Am I spending enough time in His Word so that it can train and equip me? 

 

 



DAY FIVE
It Convicts And Cleanses

"For the Word of God is alive 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 the heart."
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)


When Steve was a little boy, he cut his leg. Medicine and a bandage was applied and in a week or so it appeared to have healed well. However, as
time passed it began to get red and in amed. A trip to the doctor revealed that while medicine and bandages were applied, the wound had not been thoroughly cleaned. Infection deep within the cut had continued to grow. Many times we do the same thing with our lives. We clean up what we can see on the surface, but we neglect what is deep within because we aren't aware of it. We need the Word of God. It goes deep to convict and then to cleanse us of sin.

Read today's scripture...

There is a good reason why we tend to clean up what is on the outside. We clean up what others would notice. We compare our lives to those around us and then clean up enough so we feel good about ourselves. But when we apply the Word of God it slices through our entire being. It exposes thoughts and feelings and hidden actions. It pierces and judges so that it convicts us. And then if we confess and repent, it washes us. It gives us a cleaning from the inside out as it restores and set us right again with instruction. A daily time in the Word of God will keep us from festering with infection if we apply it well.

This challenges us to ask ourselves the following question: What is lurking below the surface of my life that I need to let the Word of God clean out? 

 

 

 

DAY SIX
It Endures Forever

"...The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord endures forever..."
1 Peter 1:24-25 (NIV)


"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words
will never pass away."
Matthew 24:35 (NIV)

In school, I learned that Pluto was a planet. I had to memorize all the planets and facts about them. Imagine my frustration when it was announced years later that Pluto was not a planet. All that wasted memorization. How could they have gotten it wrong? Well, they got it wrong because they are human. Whether it is medicine, science, history, or a score of other subjects, truth is constantly changing as new information is discovered. The old truths are simply discarded. But not the truth of the Word of God.

Let's do a little recap. All Scripture is God-breathed. Because it is God- breathed, it is the standard of truth we are to obey. As we obey, it trains and equips, convicts and cleanses. It endures forever. It will not change with time or public opinion. It will always be truth.

Read todays scripture...

What do you think of when you hear the word "enduring?" Does strength come to mind? Does dependability come to mind? Does security come to mind?

Because the Word of God endures forever:
We can know it can be depended on to make us strong in the faith. We can know it will always be there to instruct us, to convict us, to bring us peace. We can know that for every problem, and for every decision, the truth we learned yesterday will be the same truth we need for today.

We are, therefore, challenged with a question: If God's Word is truth that endures forever, why do I keep living according to the world's ideas?

 

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