Day 297: October 24, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

2 Peter 3:14-18
14 Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him without spot or blemish. 15 Also, regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. 16 He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Studying the Word to Understand Truth and Not Distort It
by Susan Hill, Member of Brentwood Baptist, Brentwood Campus

Recently my husband was out of town when my car broke down, so I took it to the repair shop to get it worked on. The mechanic claimed I needed extensive repairs and the bill would be several hundred dollars. I know little about car repairs so I called my husband to tell him what the mechanic had said. He was skeptical about the mechanic’s diagnosis and told me to wait to get the work done until he got home.

When he arrived home later that week, he took the car to another shop where the repairs were less than half of the original estimate. Obviously, the first mechanic had sensed that I know little about car repairs and had attempted to take advantage of me. My lack of mechanical understanding could have cost me several hundred dollars for unnecessary repairs.

As unfortunate as that would have been, it is far more tragic when Christians are misled in their relationship with God because they don’t understand basic biblical truth. While it’s OK to rely on others for mechanical advice, we are all responsible for our own biblical knowledge and spiritual growth.

Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:17, “Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stability.” Peter is warning us in this passage to be mindful of the fact that there will be lawless people who mishandle the Word of God, and we could potentially be led astray by false teaching.

As Christians, it is our responsibility and privilege to understand God’s Word and to know how to apply it to our lives. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.

We will increase our knowledge and understanding of Scripture by intentionally spending time daily in God’s Word. When we engage in Bible study we begin to develop an understanding of the character of God and how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible is the primary way God speaks to His people, and through the study of Scripture we will mature in our spiritual development and become more like Christ.

Praxis

  1. If you don’t have a method for reading Scripture, choose a Bible reading plan that will map your reading plan for you. There are several options online and many that will take you through the entire Bible in a year.
  2. Consider joining a LIFE Group where you can study the Bible with other believers.
  3. Participate in a Focus Study where you can study a topic or book of the Bible for several weeks.

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.