Christ’s Disciples Pay Close Attention To God’s Word

Cultures are defined by what they value. The value of various things shape culture. What we ascribe value to here at MIDTOWN Church guides the way we live. More than anything else we value Christ Jesus, His Body & His Word.

In the opening of this letter, Peter stresses how important it is for every follower of Christ to value the gift of eternity by actively and constantly growing spiritually. And in today’s passage he is going to tell us how valuable our instruction manual for that growth is. In order to grow in Christ we need an objective source of guidance & context. We need Scripture. Left to our own devices we will value what makes us feel good and comfortable. God’s perspective is different, often opposite of ours. But we have to trust Scripture in order to make it the standard for our lives

Always consider Scripture to be the voice of your Creator, and honor the gift of His communication.

Peter is going to make a case for why we should have confidence that Scripture is truly ‘God’s Words’. He is going to remind us that He has seen Christ’s Glory and it aligns with what the prophets of Scripture foretold…and that we should pay close attention to God’s Word

2nd Peter 1:12-21(NLT)

12 Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.

  • Since entrance into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ is at stake…
  • ‘I’ is both Peter & The Holy Spirit
  • It is not enough to know God’s will & ways and be practicing them…
  • WE NEED REMINDERS…constant, specific reminders…
  • What are the ‘These Things’ being referenced?

‘These Things’ / 2nd Peter 1:1-11

Having received ‘Biblical / Apostolic / Christ-Given Faith’, we ask for grace & peace to grow in Christ.

By calling us & indwelling us with HIS Spirit, we receive everything we need to live for Christ.

Christ has promised to share eternity and His divine empowerment over sin with His Body so that we may respond by constantly growing as HIS disciples.

As Christ’s Body we are to grow in an intentional ‘Scripture Guided’ way. Any other way is devoid of Christ’s vision for us. We are to devote ourselves to such a lifestyle.

Where might we find details and deeper insights into ‘These Things’???

13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. 14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.

  • God is saying we need reminders… (When God repeats Himself pay attention)
  • He is going to leave a legacy to Christ’s Church of valuing scripture
  • He is saying he is going to do exactly what God wants to help them & US

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw His majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when He received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to Him, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.”

  • The story he is referencing is found in Matt. 17 / Mark 9 / Luke 9
  • This is the only time on earth He was seen in His total Glory
  • He was not just a good Rabbi, or a great Teacher…He IS God!

18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets.

  • The ‘Apostolic Wittiness’
  • The writings that have been shown to be ‘God’s Word’ are tied to such witness
  • That experience only made sense when viewed through the lens of the O.T.
  • The prophetic writings and who Jesus is match up

You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

  • What is your idea of close attention?
  • Does God’s Word get your ‘close attention’?
  • The words of Scripture provide ‘Illumination’
  • This is everything we need to understand what is important until Christ returns

20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

  • Above all that has been mentioned so far and all that will be addressed
  • What makes Scripture ‘Holy Writ’ is that God’s Spirit is the Author (not people)
  • Those prophets and the Apostles wrote exactly what God moved them to write

How Christ’s Body Values Scripture

We value it by ‘paying close attention’. This means constant study and application!

We value it by considering it ‘Essential’ to our lives. Like food, water & air.

We value it by viewing it ‘Holistically’. Using all of Scripture to understand each part.

We value it by considering it ‘God’s Revelation’. It is not of human origin.

We value it by letting it be our Vision & Guidance. Practically applying it.

We value it by recognizing how Christ’s work in our lives aligns with His Word.


Stay humble & teachable regarding Scripture. Don’t think you have it all figured out.

Filter your experience of Christ through the grid of Scripture. Scripture is the standard, not your experience and emotions.

Recognize the importance of ALL Scripture and focus where your knowledge is weak.

I had no Idea how valuable the Bible was, GOD HAD TO TEACH ME. The more time I spent learning from and learning about God’s Word the more I understood what a valuable gift it is. The more I valued it the more I made it the standard for how I looked at EVERYTHING! I came to realize that eternity with my Creator was worth EVERYTHING. TO BELONG TO CHRIST IS WORTH EVERYTHING!

And the Bible carries that information to us. Our Lord explained to His followers how valuable Eternity as His possession is in Matthew 13:44-46.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.” “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”

  • How did the man know the value of what he had found?
  • What standards did he use to decide that the value of the treasure was greater than everything else he ‘owned’?
  • Why not just take the treasure? (God’s Way: Thou shall not steal…)
  • How did the merchant know what made some pearls more valuable than others?
  • What made the merchant so sure about the value of that ONE pearl being more than everything else he had?

The Treasure and The Pearl represent ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ AKA ‘Eternal Life’…Biblical Salvation, Christ’s Church, a redeemed relationship with God

Where is The Treasure located?

How do you know the ‘Pearl of Great Value’ when you see it?

How do you discover & learn about the value of a redeemed relationship with God?

What standards do you use to determine what THIS relationship requires of you?

The place to find the answers to these questions is: Scripture / Holy Writ / The Bible / God’s Word

God’s Word, illuminated by God’s Holy Spirit…at 1st leading you THEN indwelling you. The all powerful creator / ruler of the Universe has given us these writing to: teach us & lead us & admonish us & focus us & convict us & set us apart.

One of the things God teaches us with Scripture is how to pray. True prayer is a must for a Christ follower. We are to learn to pray by God’s Word, praying to Him in agreement with HIS Word, making The Scriptures our standard of what The Kingdom of Heaven entails and how it’s inhabitants live.

Portions of Psalm 119

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!

2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart.

  • When God / Jesus talks about blessed, it is in regard to eternity
  • Walking in the ‘Law of the Lord’ means daily life application (not talk or ‘Hobby’)
  • Keeping Testimonies: Placing High Value on what HE say!
  • The blessing of eternity require whole hearted seeking of Him (How?)

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

15 I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways. 16 I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

  • Young people, not just men
  • Using God’s word as a standard for your thoughts & actions
  • Repetition of being wholehearted regarding God / relying on HIS grace
  • Our part is to know HIS view on things (store it up) so we don’t miss HIS mark!
  • The focusing of our attention on HIS will, HIS way…by knowing His Word

18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law. 19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not Your commandments from me!

27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!

  • ‘Spiritual Illumination’ accomplished by God’s Holy Spirit
  • We need God to enable us to understand how awesome His Word is
  • We have only so long in this life…we are dependent on God to teach us
  • We can sit under His teaching…just by opening The Bible
  • As we learn we can discern what is His way and that everything else is wrong

36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! 37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

  • The reality of what God does makes His people focus on Him, not themselves
  • Life is in God’s way, we have a guide to that wisdom
  • We need God to turn us from the things we want to what HE want for us

57 The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep Your words. 58 I entreat Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise. 59 When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies 60 I hasten and do not delay to keep Your commandments.

  • As His child, God is all we need and the realization of that inspires obedience
  • The more we know Him the more we need His Grace
  • The recognition of my sin (Conviction) leads me to God…deeper and deeper

81 My soul longs for Your salvation; I hope in Your word. 82 My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?”

93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. 94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought Your precepts.

  • Salvation is defined by God’s Word, it is the standard of our hope for eternity
  • His Word is who HE is…our hope in HIM is defined by His Word
  • His Word is our source of life
  • The submission to God’s will & belonging to Him flow from Him by His Word

101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep Your word. 102 I do not turn aside from Your rules, for You have taught me.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

  • The keeping of God’s Word requires us to deny our natural impulses (flesh)
  • God’s Word teaches us to not compromise HIS Standards
  • HIS standards are the guidance we need to become and grow as His kids

71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.

124 Deal with Your servant according to Your steadfast love, and teach me Your statutes. 156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to Your rules.

  • According to Scripture, submitting to God’s will involves being disciplined
  • Making the most of being teachable we trust God knows what is best for us
  • Because His mercy is so great we trust that Real Life is found obeying HIM

174 I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let Your rules help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

  • God’s Spirit builds the connection between delight in God’s Word and Salvation
  • The total embrace of all that is found in Scripture is how we find our help
  • Humbled by our need, we figure out how to do our best (study)

Prayer Guidance From Psalm 119:

Ask God to show you how to walk in the ways of His Word.

Ask God to guard your purity through seeking and focusing on His Law.

Ask God to lead you to memorize, meditate and look to HIS Word with wholehearted delight.

Ask God to illuminate His Word by HIS Spirit.

Ask God to build understanding upon understanding.

Ask God to expose falsehood regarding HIS Word as He teaches you with grace.

Ask God to draw you to HIM and away from selfishness, worthless things.

Ask God to enable you to live by His Word, in humility and trust in Him not yourself.

Ask God to speak to your soul by HIS Word, bringing assurance that you are HIS.

Ask God to keep you from evil and instead guide you based on HIS Word.

Ask God to help you learn from the ownership of your mistakes, trust HIS discipline is for your eternal best!

Ask God to connect the value of HIS Word with the value of eternity with HIM.

Ask God to keep you mindful of your acknowledged need to be shepherded by HIS Word.

Pray that we increase how we value Scripture. That we would value it as much as Jesus The Christ did! Pray that we make Scripture, as it has been interpreted for 2000 years by Christ’s Church, our Standard for every aspect of life!