This morning I ended up in 2nd
Peter prompted by a K-Love verse. I guess it was only fitting since I last wrote from 1st Peter. As I am writing, I cannot remember the specific verse, but as I worked my way through the book this morning, I could not help but notice Peter’s desire for us to remember all things that he and others had taught.
2 Peter 3:1-2 (ESV) 1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles
God knows how easy it is for us to lose focus and once that happens, it is easy for us to forget. Once we begin to forget the little details it is easier to be deceived and fall victim to the adversary that roams around. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t speak for everyone. I will simply say my memory is kind of weak, and I need to stay in the Word and stay focused to be sure I can remember what is important.
But that aside, I started reading chapter one from the introduction.
2 Peter 1
To be honest, in the epistles, the first couple verses in the letter are kind of boiler plate to me. The writer introduces himself and lists his credentials. I often skim over them. But this morning I could not do that. I would try to move on, and the Holy Spirit would just nudge me a bit to go back and reread that intro.
2 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV) 1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
I had to read it several times, but as thick as I was, I finally got it. Peter explained who he was but defined his audience very specifically.
“To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
What a powerful comment to make about your audience. “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours;” and how did it happen, “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” And after that Peter explains a wonderful gift.
2 Peter 1:3-4
He reminds us of what God gave us through His divine power. It is a gift that we should always remember, but in this busy world of distractions, we can lose sight.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV) 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
Now reading that I thought, “How could I not always remember something like that?” But as I pondered on it a while I realized that it is easy in this world of constant distractions it is easy to get caught up in things that cause our focus to shift. It does not have to be a bad thing. It could very well be a good thing where we are in service to God, but so busy we haven’t the time to talk to Him or study His Word.
I know I had gotten there when I was so intent on getting something done for the Lord I took control of the situation rather than asking Him to guide me. It had happened before I knew it and it was like God just let me go, and the Holy Spirit nudged me gently, then not so gently, and finally with enough force to get my attention at which point I was thankful for both grace and repentance. I am also thankful for the patience that God has with me, and the wisdom He shares through His Word.
2 Peter 1:5-11
I read a bit further and got to one of my favorite passages and one that I do not practice enough. Peter gives us a list of things that, because of verses 3 and 4 we need to make every effort to do these.
2 Peter 1:5-11 (ESV) 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter gives this list of actions as supplements to our faith. He lists these, and they are so important that he promises that He will remind us of them as long as he is alive.
2 Peter 1:12-15
I love how he closes this thought. In verses 12-15.
2 Peter 1:12-15 (ESV) 12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
These actions were so important that Peter put it in his second letter and, knowing his time was short, he promised to remind them and us so that we will be able to recall them. They are things that we should remember. If you think about them for just a moment, you can see how important they are for us all. This passage reminds me of John 13:34-35
John 13:34-35 (ESV) 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I get cold chills when I think of how the Holy Spirit works in us. How He reveals that passage just when you need it. It fills my heart with joy to know the love we are to have for one another as children of God, and it takes me to the last of chapter 1.
2 Peter 1:16-18
After the encouraging and guiding words Peter explains the basis of his faith. He explains the difference between the Christian faith and other false religions.
2 Peter 1:16-18 (ESV) 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
The Apostles were eyewitnesses. They saw with their own eyes and heard with their ears all that they spoke of, and they too had the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide and direct them.
I read all this and the rest of the book, but chapter 1 just touched my heart with this need to be diligent in all things to remember what is truly important. I was taken with Peters emphasis on promising to “stir up” the believers with the actions to supplement their faith, now our faith.
The place to stir that up is in God’s Word, and in the body of the Church. As I meditated on these things I thought again of two passages; one from 1 Peter and the other from John. Both had to do with our faith versus the faith of the disciples.
1 Peter 1:8-9 (ESV) 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
John 20:29 (ESV) 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
I used to think that those guys had an advantage over me because they walked with Jesus, but I do not think so anymore. Do not get me wrong, I long for the day that I can see Him face to face, but until then I have a relationship that they could not have while Jesus lived. I am reminded of John 16 when Jesus explains His leaving and the coming of the “Helper, ” and I am thankful.
I remember when Peter wrote this letter he did so with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit and he felt we needed to know how important it was to remember these things and encourage each other.
Father, thank you for your Holy Word, Holy Spirit thank you for your guidance and insight that opens our eyes to the Holy Word of God.
I am left breathless when I meditate on these words and prayerfully study so that I might remember them always and that they may be engraved on my heart.
Thank You, Father, and it is in the name of your blessed Son Jesus Christ that I pray, Amen!