Summary: I heard a slogan six years ago that I have tried to adopt as a personal slogan. NO BIBLE, NO BREAKFAST. It’s amazing what a man will do when he can’t eat!
We’re on the eve of a new year. It’s that time where we think about resolutions. Some of us hesitate to make resolutionssince the most important issues that come up involve things like weight loss programs and breaking bad habits. For me that will last as long as a cake doesn’t come into our home or I can get past the restaurant’s desert tray to my seat and the desert menu on the table is hidden behind the salt and pepper. I’m sure the staff see me coming and scramble, "Quick, Dale’s coming! Get the desert menu on the table!"
In the last few weeks of 2007 I have been reflecting. I don’t know if it happens to everyone when a new year is approaching or if it’s a sign of my aging. I’ve been assessing the past year and my life’s experiences and ambitions. I wonder if I should be making resolutions and if so what types of resolutions deserve my attention. In searching God’s heart for me, my reading and study of different materials kept drawing me to 2 Peter 1:19...
Eventually, I was captured by the words of minister, moderator and theologian, Bishop Lesslie Newbigin. He was quoted as saying, "The key focus of the church’s mission is not the church but the world."
I believe that very much. Therefore, I am faced with a question. How can I maintain that focus? I am after all, the church. For some people, their only exposure to the message that Jesus is the Way to God is the evidence of Him they see in me. So I wonder how I can be faithful to that responsibility.
You must of course move the question beyond me to yourself and we all should evaluate the question within the context of the corporate expression of the Body of Christ which we call the church. Then we need to take that a step further to consider more especially what kind of Salvation Army Community Church God needs and desires for Kitchener/Waterloo.
To answer the question we turn to the text. I am first impressed with the attention I need to give to
1. THE PREVIOUS WITNESS
"And we have the word of the prophets made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it." (v19)
Many of us have had an experience, at least one in our lives, that has changed us forever. It could have been a tragedy as a child, or a particular failure, or an experience that affected us very deeply. Its impact was so strong that it altered our lives and the person we are today is largely related to that moment in time. When Glenys was 15 years of age, she had an accident whereby a young boy threw a rock, striking her in the eye and eventually resulted in the lost of sight in her right eye and a prosthesis followed. It is not my place to tell Glenys’ story, other than to note that it shaped her life and faith in a very significant way.
The same was true for Peter. In our text we find Peter reflecting on the transfiguration on the mountain (v18 of Matthew 17). it’s the story of the time when he, James and John stood with Jesus on a mountain. Moses, the guardian of God’s Ten Commandments to humanity and the leader of 2 million or so Israelites from Egyptian bondage, appeared to Jesus as did Elijah, the Prophet, also a powerful spokesman for God during an Old Testament time. As Peter witnessed that moment, it changed his life forever. It not only provided evidence to the truth of Scripture and prophecies past but it spoke clearly to him that Jesus would return again - ADVENT! It was this knowledge that energized him, that inspired him to powerful work and ministry life.
We’re all familiar with the annual experience of Remembrance held on November 11 every yar. We know the history of attempted oppressions on the world. We know very well that had our forefathers not taken up arms and fought for the basic, God-given gift of life and choice, we would be an oppressed people, subject to dictators and iron rule. It is clear to us that because they fought - and won, we are free! That experience has left many veterans with painful, post-war trauma. That experience bridges the gulf between generations as children sit riveted in a classroom, eyes fized on the veteran telling his story.
Simlarly, Peter is telling us in this text that we must pay attention to "the word of the Prophets". Is is for no small reason that he says in verse 12, "I will always remind you of these things" and again in verse 13, "i think it is right to refresh your memory." Why Peter? It is necessary to be reminded because we tend to forget. But more than that I am drawn to realize that I must make room and give careful attention to the witness of the Scriptures. It is my attention to the Scriptures as the challenged, but undefeated Word of God that I will overcome the flood of doubts and opposition to my faith that will come in 2008. I need an anchor and that anchor is the Word of God. I must live the stated conviction of my soldier covenant that I believe the Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God. I must give it more than a passing glance every day. It must become my food, my meat, my drink. It is the Voice that must guide my priorities, my decisions and my living. I may as well read a comic book and be inspired by a superhero myth, as read the Word and not obey. We must REMEMBER and determine to know the WITNESS of the truth of God in the Word because it is the voice of God who calls us into relationship with Him. That Word is going to face increased opposition and criticism so we would do well to decide how important it is. I heard a slogan six years ago that I have tried to adopt as a personal slogan. NO BIBLE, NO BREAKFAST. It’s amazing what a man will do when he can’t eat!