Sunday, December 11, 2011

Inspired communique

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

TO CHEW ON: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We toss around the word "inspired" almost as loosely as we do the word "love." We describe a variety of things as inspired from ways of preparing food to how we feel when we experience an aha moment. So we are not to be blamed when we ask, what does Paul mean, here, when he says, "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God"?

[Of the nine shades of meaning my dictionary gives for "inspire" three seem related to the kind of inspiration Paul is talking about: * to impart or suggest by divine intervention, *to breathe or blow upon, and * to breathe in or inhale.]

In a sidebar article about our focus verse, Jack Hayford explains the method and extent of divine inspiration:

1. It (the Word of God, the Bible) is the word of the Holy Spirit. "Theopneustos" (Greek, meaning inspiration of God) literally means "God breathed." This describes the source of the whole Bible's derivation...the Bible is not the product of elevated human consciousness or enlightened human intellect but is directly "breathed" from God Himself.
2. 2 Peter 1:20-21 elaborates this truth and adds that none of what was given was merely the private opinion of the writer and that each writer involved... was 'moved by' (literally "being borne along") the Holy Spirit ...
3. 1 Corinthians 2:10-13...says that even the words used in the giving of the Bible (not just the ideas but the precise terminology) were planned by the Holy Spirit, who deployed the respective authors of the Bible books to write "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (literally "matching spiritual words to spiritual ideas"). This biblical view of the Bible's derivation is called the plenary verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, meaning every word is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God." - Jack Hayford, "The Divine Inspiration of the Bible," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, pp. 1714-15.

Have you not felt awe and amazement as you have seen evidence of this divine inspiration yourself? Take for example, how various Bible writers expound on similar ideas, using similar images in passages that were written centuries apart. They do it about:
  • Sheep - Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 53:6; John 10:11
  • Water - Isaiah 41:18; John 7:37; Revelation 7:17
  • Bread - Exodus 16:4; John 6:32-35; Matthew 26:26, and many others.

Let's view God's word as the miracle communique it is, and let it speak into our lives as doctrine, reproof and instruction, equipping us for "every good work."

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the Bible. Help me to apply its teachings and truths in my everyday life. Amen.

MORE: Only 14 more sleeps

Advent Calendar - December 11

Christmas Fact:

The earliest known Christmas tree ornaments were apples. Medieval actors used them to decorate the paradise tree, the central prop of the paradise play, a medieval European mystery play often performed on December 24th. The apples represented the temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Later, unconsecrated communion wafers were added to the tree, representing the salvation offered to humankind by Jesus Christ.

Encyclopedia of Christmas, p. 439

Directions to make homemade Christmas ornaments here.

Bible Drive-Thru

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