It’s been a while since I’ve been inspired to write a devotion. I’m committed to writing these only as they are laid on my heart by God and today I feel that nudge.
As my reading and studying has led me into 2 Peter lately there are a couple of major things that have been weighing on my heart with an urgency to share.
As I look around me at my Christian brothers and sisters I am struck by how many people today live out their faith with so little regard that today might be their last, that the current moment might be their last on this earth. As I was reading I came across 2 Peter 3:10 which tells us in the NKJV “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
When I think about the Lord coming back as “a thief in the night” I think about how at each and every moment His coming could surprise the world. This should be the gauge by which we speak and conduct our day to day lives and activities. What would our Lord say if He came back while I was saying… or doing…? If we wouldn’t say or do those things with Christ physically present then we shouldn’t say or do those things at all.
Let’s not be caught living a lukewarm faith either, or we may end up being judged as Christ spoke in Revelation 3:15-22 “‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold (invigorating, refreshing) nor hot (healing, therapeutic); I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust]. Because you say, “I am rich, and have prospered and grown wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked [without hope and in great need], I counsel you to buy from Me gold that has been heated red hot and refined by fire so that you may become truly rich; and white clothes [representing righteousness] to clothe yourself so that the shame of your nakedness will not be seen; and healing salve to put on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will]. Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me. He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
We need to also remember that each and every one of us who have been born again into salvation through our belief in Christ has a responsibility to spread the gospel of Christ to others. Too often people put that off as a pastor’s job but, the reality is that each and every one of us who are believers in Christ have this responsibility.
In Matthew 28 verses 18-20 Jesus tells us “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Again, in Mark chapter 16 verses 15 – 16 Jesus tells us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
To come back to 2 Peter where I’m studying right now says all of this pretty well.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish with a [mighty and thunderous] roar, and the [material] elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and the works that are on it will be burned up.
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be [in the meantime] in holy behavior [that is, in a pattern of daily life that sets you apart as a believer] and in godliness [displaying profound reverence toward our awesome God], [while you earnestly] look for and await the coming of the day of God. For on this day the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the [material] elements will melt with intense heat! But in accordance with His promise we expectantly await new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.“ 2 Peter 3:10-13 AMP
“So, beloved, since you are looking forward to these things, be diligent and make every effort to be found by Him [at His return] spotless and blameless, in peace [that is, inwardly calm with a sense of spiritual well-being and confidence, having lived a life of obedience to Him]. And consider the patience of our Lord [His delay in judging and avenging wrongs] as salvation [that is, allowing time for more to be saved]; just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him [by God], speaking about these things as he does in all of his letters. In which there are some things that are difficult to understand, which the untaught and unstable [who have fallen into error] twist and misinterpret, just as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith], but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. ” 2 Peter 3:14-18 AMP
“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” 1 John 2:28 NKJV
Sovereign God, I love You and I bow my heart at Your feet in humility and brokenness. Please have mercy on me for my failures and be gracious to me. As we ponder these verses and their meanings I ask that You will speak into each of our lives. Speak into each and every heart. Open our spiritual eyes and ears and help us to clearly see Your truth. Please go with us and bless us and give us courage, boldness, and an outpouring of Your love and blessings so that we can share with others. Father, ignite, or reignite the flame within us for yourself. Illuminate our paths and show us the next steps that You would like for us to take. Give us clear guidance and direction and be patient and gentle with us if we need extra care or an extra nudge forward. I lift up my brothers and sisters in Christ to You today and I surrender myself wholly and completely to You. I pray these things in the name of Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior; AMEN!