Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:16-21; 2:1-3; 3:1-18 (day four)
How relevant is Scripture? As we read Peter, it is as if we are reading the daily news. 2:1 says, “False prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” We do not have to look very far to see the truth of this statement! Peter says they will secretly introduce their heresies…that means they are deceptive…catching us unaware (Satan is the father of lies.). We find false teachers in pulpits, on the radio, on the TV, writing popular books, and anywhere they can gain influence for profit. Peter exhorts us to remember the whole picture…to remember the truth we have been taught, to encourage one another to stand firm in truth. Scripture is our guide and discernment from the Holy Spirit is our tool. Verse 17 says, “be on your guard, lest you fall from your own steadfastness.” Hold fast to the truth of God’s Word!
Re: Verse reading– 2 Peter 1:16-3:18 (day three)
“We were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” The Transfiguration of Jesus heralded the reality of God’s life-giving work in the world; the resurrection confirmed it. The fact that Jesus’s resurrection is a non-reproducible event confuses historical method with scientific method. Indeed, for anyone who cares to take the time to look into the matter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is verifiable by every stringent standard that establishes all accepted accounts of human history. It’s not history that stands in the way of belief. Once again, it is the will that refuses—or agrees—to bend.
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:16-21; 2:1-3; 3:1-18 (day two)
“And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” I am drawn to words and how people use them. Whether Peter intended it or not these verses border on poetry. What strikes me most is the image that is created as you read them. Look at the descriptive words used: light shining, dark, dawns, morning star rises. Any good poet seeks to create for you a picture that will become concrete. Now look at the context. What could Peter possibly be talking about with such creative language? The Word. He was witness to the life of Jesus, but he also knows that many who read his words will only have these stories. How important, then, are these stories? They contain life, truth, and hope. We must continue to read them, discuss them, hide them in our hearts so that the Light will continue to overcome our own darkness and the darkness in the world.
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:16-21; 2:1-3; 3:1-18 (day one)
“We were eyewitnesses of His majesty. . .we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it” (v 2:16,19) Peter believes that a vision of the glory and coming of Christ is necessary for every believer. “For the JOY set before Him”, Christ endured the cross. “Faith is the assurance of things HOPED for”. The writers of the New Testament were convinced that it is impossible to have victorious faith without a clear grasp of the future that God has planned for us. We “do well to pay attention” to these prophetic promises. Perhaps, Peter had an advantage. He saw the glory of Christ with his own eyes. (Matthew 17). But, we have an advantage too. The same Spirit who carried the prophets along (v 21) now dwells in us! “It is to your advantage that I go away”, said Jesus, “because I will send the Comforter!”
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:1-12 (day seven)
“Through these, He has given us His great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.” (v 4) Peter is likely thinking of his own experience. When the Holy Spirit filled him (Pentecost) it changed his life forever. No longer was he limited in life by his own meager resources. The LIFE of Christ flowed in/through him. He became a participant in the nature and powers of God! Are we convinced and clear that this truth is the foundation of the Christian life? Do we proclaim and live a life that is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises? “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. . .I will put My law IN them.” (Jeremiah 31:31,33) “And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8) We can participate in His LIFE. He promised!
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:1-12 (day six)
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.”(v 3) There go my excuses! Feelings of inadequacy no longer welcome! Not a “natural” confidence for me. Learned. Supernatural. Spirit given. Scripture based. EVERYTHING we need has been given us in the person of Jesus Christ. “My grace is SUFFICIENT for you.” (2 Corinthians 12) “ALL THINGS are possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) In followers of the Resurrected One, lack of confidence is the exception. Anxiety is the stranger. “If God is FOR US, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Got any giants that need killing? Allowed any fears to rule your decisions and restrict your witness? When Christ died for sin and rose to victorious life, God declared that no hill is too steep, no assignment impossible for those who share His life. Great news! We have everything we need!
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:1-12 (day five)
It’s a promise that I have had the privilege of sharing with many teenagers over the years. It’s a promise that prompts hope. It’s a promise that stirs courage. It’s a promise that encourages vision.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)
This semester 2 different teenagers on 2 different campuses in our city have had the vision/burden to start Bible Studies on their campus. May sound easy enough, but this requires courage (talking to administrators). It also demands hope. (Will students come? Will a faculty member sponsor and provide a classroom or meeting space?). It evidences vision. (Christian students growing in their faith. Lost students hearing the Gospel and being around a community of believers.) So, as you pray, study the scriptures, and worship (privately and corporately) are there ways God is leading you that spark courage, hope, and vision? Remember, as you move forward, He Has Promised!!
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:1-12 (day four)
It almost sounds like we can work our way into salvation. Remember though, Peter is writing to believers. Verse 4 says He (God) has already granted us His precious and magnificent promises. What follows salvation is the process of sanctification. We are to grow…mature…in these areas of faith: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Peter says these qualities will cause us to be both useful and fruitful to God. The Christian life is anything but passive. Peter admonishes us to be diligent in our pursuit of these Godly qualities. We want to be useful to God…we want our lives to count for His kingdom. God’s promises have been given and we are stewards of these valuable resources. I was recently asked, “How do you think God wants you to steward the rest of your life?” Excellent question! Be diligent to be the very best steward of His amazing grace.
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:1-15 (day three)
“Make every effort to add to your faith…” By faith we turn towards the saving grace of God. There are things that faith then makes possible for us to take part in so that the character of Jesus Christ gets formed in us. Goodness in our thoughts keeps our minds open to the world around us. Knowledge of the way the universe really works–spiritually and physically–adds stability to our faith. Self-control channels knowledge in a direction that helps others instead of puffing ourselves up. Perseverance maintains our presence with one another in community. Godliness shows us others in light of how God sees them. Mutual affection (“brotherly love”) seeks to act on what we see in that light. And love gives us the ability to rise to the level of desiring the good for others.
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:1-12 (day two)
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.” Have you been looking for a way to escape corruption and evil desires? Who hasn’t? This word of comfort is so much more than a platitude it is a call to discipline yourself. The passage goes on to remind you how you can take part in that divine nature; by adding goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Against these there is nothing on earth that can shake you from those promises. This is not an inactive faith, as we discipline our minds and hearts we come closer and closer to those great and precious promises.