Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Peter’s Parting Exhortations

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Disciple,

Much as 2 Timothy serves as a farewell message for Paul as he nears the end of his life, 2 Peter plays a similar role for the apostle Peter. He writes this letter to help churches to be able to resist false teachers and to know how to live productive lives of service and faithfulness after he is gone:

I want to be certain you will be able to call these things to mind anytime you need them even after I am gone.

Your verses today emphasize continued growth — adding this virtue to that virtue and to that virtue another virtue and to another virtue yet one more virtue… As Peter states, continued growth is necessary so that:

  1. [Y]ou will never be ineffective or unproductive in your relationship with our Lord Jesus.
  2. [Y]ou will never fall along the way; and you can be sure that you will be richly welcomed into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King.

While each of these virtues from the verses below is important, the commitment to continued growth is especially important, and these virtues that Peter charges the disciples to have will then be byproducts of that continued growth. The Holy Spirit is at work transforming you to become ever more like Me (2 Corinthians 3:18), producing the character and compassion in you that you know as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Paul talked about not having arrived to full maturity, but pressing on to reach it personally (Philippians 3:12-16). Here Peter makes a similar point with My disciples in their own walk toward becoming conformed fully to My “divine nature.”

The goal, as Peter states it, is this:

[T]o reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One Who called us by His glory and virtue. Through these things, we have received God’s great and valuable promises, so we might escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature.

So as long as Peter can “draw breath,” he will “keep on stirring you [My disciples] up with these reminders”!

As you read these verses, I hope you will feel the urgency in Peter’s words and recognize the importance of not losing your passion for growing to be more and more like Me. The “eternal kingdom” awaits you, so pursue My character and compassion — “the divine nature” — and know with assurance that My glory awaits you!

Verses to Live

The last words of people before they die are often etched into the memories of their loved ones. Peter is hoping that is exactly what happens with the words of this letter he is sending to My disciples. I have preserved these words for you so that their message can be etched into your memory and displayed in your lives. Their theme is simple and clear: “<[G]row in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."

Simon Peter, a servant and emissary of Jesus the Anointed One, to those who have received the same precious faith we share through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus the Anointed. I wish you a full measure of grace and peace as you grow in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One Who called us by His glory and virtue. Through these things, we have received God’s great and valuable promises, so we might escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature.

To achieve this, you will need to add virtue to your faith, and then knowledge to your virtue; to knowledge, add discipline; to discipline, add endurance; to endurance, add godliness; to godliness, add affection for others as sisters and brothers; and to affection, at last, add love. For if you possess these traits and multiply them, then you will never be ineffective or unproductive in your relationship with our Lord Jesus the Anointed; but if you don’t have these qualities, then you will be nearsighted and blind, forgetting that your past sins have been washed away. Therefore, brothers and sisters, work that much harder to confirm that God has called you and claimed you. If you do this, then you will never fall along the way; and you can be sure that you will be richly welcomed into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King.

That is why I will keep reminding you of these things, even though I know that you believe them and have made these truths a part of your lives; as long as I draw breath, I know it is right for me to keep on stirring you up with these reminders. I know that soon I must die and lay down this old body that’s been my home — our Lord Jesus the Anointed has told me so. But before my exodus from this life, I want to be certain you will be able to call these things to mind anytime you need them even after I am gone.

(2 Peter 1:1-15)

Response in Prayer

Father, life can wear me down and distract me. I can become bored and chase after things that don’t matter much, but that fascinate me. So I thank You for Peter’s words today that urge me to keep growing and pursuing a life that seeks to share in Your “divine nature” by growing in knowledge and in the experience of Your presence and nature. I offer myself afresh today, to be molded and conformed to Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2016, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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