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|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:14-16 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 4
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him without spot or blemish.
We can be at peace with no fear of the end of the world or the judgment to come because we have and are trusting in Jesus alone for redemption. I can live a righteous life because it is no longer through my own effort but because the Holy Spirit lives in me.
Galatians 2:20 (CJB) When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me.
The assurance of our salvation, our future entrance to heaven, is that the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us (making us more and more like Jesus).
2 Peter 3:15 Also, regard the patience of our Lord as an opportunity for salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. 16 He speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.
As stated before, the delay of judgment gives more time for us to witness. It gives us as believers time to fulfill our job description as salt and light, as His ambassadors to bring people to an understanding and we pray an acceptance, a heart knowledge, of the gospel. The apostle Paul had urged believers through His letters to continue proclaiming the message of Christ. Peter is clearly equating Paul’s writings with the Old Testament Scriptures. Paul, himself, was aware that the apostles wrote the message of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers.
As in Peter’s day, there are many twisters, those who contort the word to fit their own purposes.
Chew on this: Over and over, Peter has warned us about these human tornadoes and urged us to recognize them and avoid them. If the weather forecaster says a tornado is headed my way, I go to my safe place or drive to the safest place to avoid it. The forecast is that false teachers will multiply like rabbits as the Lord’s return nears. The safe place is found in the word of God, relying fully on Jesus, and having discernment to run in the opposite direction from the twisters!
|Posted on November 16, 2016 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
Session 13 – 2 Peter 3:1-2 - WITH ANTICIPATION – Day 1
2 Peter 3:1 (HCSB) Dear friends, this is now the second letter I have written to you; in both letters, I want to develop a genuine understanding with a reminder, 2 so that you can remember the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through your apostles.
Peter addressed his letter to “dear friends,” fellow believers whom he loved dearly. His desire was that they not be in a place of denying the Lord and His Lordship as Peter himself had been on the night the Lord was arrested. Peter had walked with the Lord, seen His miracles, and even seen His glory on the mount of transfiguration; but he still denied knowing Jesus when fear overtook him. He wanted to make the prophecies of the Messiah and the fulfillment of those prophecies in the Lord Jesus very clear to those who would read and hear his letter lest they, too, fail to stand strong in their faith. By this time, Paul had written many epistles (letters) and others of the apostles were teaching and writing as well. Peter wanted his fellow believers to understand that the apostles’ teaching was as much Scripture as the Old Testament and that it was instruction from the Lord Jesus. Peter wanted Christians to know that the teachings of the apostles should be viewed with the same weight and reverence as the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus had told Peter to feed and shepherd His sheep. Part of shepherding is protecting and guiding the sheep. This is what Peter was doing by writing these letters. He was warning the flock about and guiding them away from false teachers. Peter wrote these things in the form of letters so that even though he was about to abandon his earth-suit and join the Lord, they would be able to hold on to the truths of the scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Chew on this: Most of us reading this in the West, are blessed to have the Word of God readily available to us. Do we read and study it as we should? There are many believers around the world who long to have one copy or even a portion of scripture available to them, who are hungry to read God’s word. Thank the Lord for your Bible and USE it daily! Pray about sending Bibles to those who do not have them. You can do this through several different organizations. We like to go through www.persecution.com
Instead of exchanging gift cards among the adults in your family this Christmas, we suggest donating Bibles in their names.
|Posted on November 8, 2016 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Session 11 – 2 Peter 1:19-21 (HCSB) - WITH TRUST – Day 3
2 Peter 1:19 So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
The prophetic word was the entire scripture as they had it at that time, the whole Old Testament. The disciples had studied the Old Testament from the time they were twelve years old (and had been taught orally at their mothers’ knees). As they followed Jesus, they began to see that He was the fulfillment of all of the messianic prophesy in the flesh standing before them. They based their trust on the word of God, not just their experience of seeing miracles or a man who could draw large crowds. Their belief in Jesus as Messiah was not based on a series of emotional, feel good events. The foundation of their faith was all the word of God taught about the Messiah. Their teaching about Jesus was based on sound, biblical doctrine and insight as well as His own words to them and in their presence. Our personal testimonies are valid, but the word of God trumps experience.
Romans 10:17 (VOICE) So faith proceeds from hearing, as we listen to the message about God’s Anointed.
The message we share is the word of God rather than our own words. It is the scripture that is used by the Holy Spirit to draw men into faith. The Bible is the light guiding us to the end of this dark tunnel called life on earth. We need to keep our focus on The Light, Jesus, and the light He provides in His word.
Psalm 119:105 (VOICE) Your word is a lamp for my steps; it lights the path before me.
2 Peter 1:20 First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Peter is saying that he and the other writers of the scripture did not generate or initiate the words they recorded. They were under the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP) All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; 17 so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Question – Why is it important to quote or read actual scripture when witnessing? Is it enough to commiserate with a fellow believer that you’ve had a bad experience similar to theirs, or is it more effective to also share something directly from the word of God?
Hebrews 4:12 (NASB) For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.