SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In Proverbs 21:31, the Bible says, "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord." The idea is to act like it all depends on you, but to know (and pray) like it all depends on God (because really, it does). This idea is expressed in the first half of this chapter. We are told that God has given us everything we need to do life in a godly way. (So there are no excuses; we can live in a holy, sinless way.) It's because of God that we can live right. However, that doesn't mean we don't have responsibility. We need to "make every effort" to live in a way that partners with what God wants to do in us, and that honors God.
- In the second section, Peter tells the reader that there is evidence that supports belief. He explains that he is giving eyewitness testimony of Jesus (including a specific reference to a time he heard God's voice speak to Jesus on a mountain -- see Mark 9:2-13), and he mentions the Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah, all of which Jesus fulfilled.
- Peter explains (in verses 20-21) that the "Scripture" (Bible) is not just the writings of man, because God divinely inspired those men to write the words he wanted.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- God is the one who causes us to grow and enables us to live a godly life, but he won't force that on us. We need to "make every effort" to partner with him so we truly live godly lives.
- We need to know the promises of God (mentioned in verse 4) and remember that through Jesus dying for us we have been cleansed from our past sins (verse 9) so we can be productive for God (verse 8) and stay on the path that leads us to a rich welcome in Heaven someday (verses 10-11).
- The Bible is not myth, and faith does not need to be blind.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- If your life is not especially godly at the moment, what effort(s) do you think you're not making? Since this is the most important thing in the world, it's probably worth changing that. So how will you change that? What do you need to do? And who could you get to help you?
- Volumes of evidence validate the Bible and support our beliefs. If you haven't, you should examine it so you can be more confident about your faith. At Verve, we do this in our Verge course in Verve U. There are also a ton of books you can read, such as More Than A Carpenter or The Reason For God.