Monday, November 28, 2016

keep the light on

The Word for today:
2 Peter 1:1-11
mark this: 2 Peter 1:19 --
We have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place –- until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts.
Imagine, if you will, that you are writing what is certain to be your last letter.
What would you write? What would you emphasize? What would be the last thought you would want to impart to those you care about the most?
Two towering New Testament writers -- the Apostles Paul and Peter -- were in that situation. We can read their last letters. We know them as the "books" of 2 Timothy and 2 Peter.
These infinitely influential men wrote essentially the same last letter. They both stressed the primacy of the Word of God -- that there is nothing as precious, as essential, as the Bible.
Why? What's so essential about the Bible? I could go on and on (and if you regularly read these articles, you know I do...) about the crucial part the Bible plays in history, in the world today, and in individual lives. But instead of telling with words, I'll show it with a picture.
Way back in the beginning of your Bible is a remarkable scene. Located in the last verse of Genesis 3, we see Churubim (think "angels") surrounding the Tree of Life.
We don't know how many Cherubim were there. The word is plural, so we know that there were more than one. Paintings of this scene often show two Cherubim, but the Bible doesn't give any specific number.
So, maybe there were two cherubim. And maybe there were three, or three thousand, or a gazillion.
However many were there, we know this: all of them, put together, wielded but one weapon--a single sword:
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.  (Genesis 3:24/KJV)
They were commissioned by God for a single mission -- to keep (or guard) the way to eternal life. That "Way," of course, is none other than Jesus:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
And their weapon, the "sword" God gave them to guard the Way to life, was none other than the Bible:
The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12; see also Revelation 1:16, 2:12; 2:16.)

Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 (Ephesians 6:16-17)
The Bible is the flaming Sword that lights and guards the Way, through this sin-darkened world, back to God.  We do not know if Adam and Eve ever, through faith, took the Way back to eternal life with God.  But we do know that God "kept the light on," so that lost men and women will be able to find the Way back home.

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