Please, Oh Please, Stand Firm!

Today’s Reading: 2 Peter

I love the way the letter starts out – saying through the righteousness OF GOD, I have a precious faith! I always hear and think that I am the one who has to muster up faith! – This says I got it through the righteousness of God! Ever think of that?

But no room for laziness when His divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness, and I have participation in the divine nature, and so have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires! And so comes a list of things I NEED TO add to my faith foundation! I suggest that there is an order to the list – every characteristic needs the one after it to make it truly operative! What do you think? But if I do build these characteristics, what a beautiful result (what I want for my life!) and if not, what sadness and emptiness this brings to my life (and I speak from experience!). I need to keep adding the things so I can EXPERIENCE the results of having them or I will experience the result of not adding! Both are incredible results – the first positive and the last negative!

Somehow I feel the urgency of Peter as he seeks through the Holy Spirit to remind, build up and do all he can so that the beloved saints of God can withstand the evil teachers and teachings of the next chapter!

Did you feel moved as you read about the people in the Old Testament? Do you recognize the characteristics of “false prophets (people speaking on behalf of God)? Yet I love the little thought about Lot, “The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials” (Indeed He does!). Because I suspect He has to rescue me quite often (in case you’re wondering – only truly godly in GOD’s sight because He paid the price for my sin at the cross!)

As I read the description of the false teachers, it seemed brutally clear that these are certainly characteristics of people going their own way before salvation (and unfortunately, sometimes about me after salvation – then my behaviour begins to pick up these characteristics – any wonder my loving Father (through Peter) is so earnest in his warning!)? Hopefully no pig behaviour from me!

Not sure if you relate, but sometimes the Lord’s coming again does seem rather remote! So I feel assured that Peter not only tells me what people will say in these last days (if Peter’s were last days, what are my days?!). But He also continues on to a detailed description of what will happen to this world! If a flood, earthquake etc. can be so catastrophic, what will this fire do which comes from God? Peter says that even the elements of the world will be destroyed by fire (never been a fire like this) and the world and all that is in it! I remember gazing down through a six foot square hole in the floor of a wood mill into which were thrown all the scraps of a lumber mill and thinking, “What would happen if I fell in?! (The fire in this furnace heated all the hot water for the whole town!). But what frightens me most is that although God will destroyed this world with a fire, unbelievers who reject Christ, will be in a fire, but they will never be burned up, (I suspect that means tortured forever) (I suspect not necessarily by real fire – that I can understand the pain – but the pain of having missed the opportunity in life to escape the future terror of being forsaken forever by God Himself, because I rejected His gift of forgiveness and am now lost forever with no way of escape!) I am touched that if I am frightened by such a thing happening to those around me, God is infinitely (He is infinite!) more sad to see this happen to the people in the world around me! No wonder He has waited so long!

But I love Peter’s ending of his letter – I can sense the earnestness of his plead – “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ought you to be? Good question Peter! Is the answer “making every effort to be found spotless blameless and at peace with Him”? Is it somewhat like the incredible joy of coming out of customs in the airport and being met with the rush of my Sweetheart and daughters, who can no longer be held back by the guard at the door?

And lastly like the far-away whisper, I heard Peter still pleading with me, PLEASE, oh PLEASE, “Grow in the GRACE and KNOWLEDGE (intimate, personal knowledge?) of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” and most certainly, “to Him be glory both NOW and forever!” (And all the people said?) Amen!

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