Journal 2 Pet 3 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace…
…take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (excerpts from 2 Pet 3:11-18)
Observation: Reading the Epistles, I cannot get away from the clear instruction to grow in Grace, Godliness, and Knowledge of God.
Analysis: If I were to take the New Testament and jot down all the themes I ran across and then put them in some order of importance by frequency of mention, I wonder what I would find?
It would be an interesting exercise. I wonder what most folks would come up as number one, would really be number one? Would it rock my Christian world? Would it cause me to rethink a focus?
Peter is asking a sincere but introspective question: “…what sort of people ought you to be…”, and then provides some answers:
- “…in lives of holiness…and godliness…”
- “…be diligent…to be found…without spot or blemish AND at peace…”
- Do not “…get carried away with the error of lawless people…”
- “…and lose your own stability…”
- “…grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
Paul says, “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…” (Phil 2:12b) This is a serious statement, not to doubters, but to Disciples. If I am candid about the Gospel concerning myself, what happens on the Eternal Realm is one thing—what happens with me DAILY on the road to the Kingdom is another. That is why the call to be diligent to be found by Jesus on THAT DAY without spot or blemish is that important.
Clarification A: Again, on the Eternal Realm, Jesus is my Atonement, He is my Redeemer, He is the Lamb killed for my Sin. His work on the Cross is the subject and foundation of my Faith to Salvation. Grace, no works needed.
Clarification B: I cannot take advantage and ignore that I have been called to be His Servant, to be like Him, to REPENT from my sinful ways (indeed all my old life) and to pursue the calling of the Most High, walk WORTHY of the Gospel.
I have to ask myself DAILY, “Am I walking, conducting my life WORTHY of the calling in which He called me? Am I worthy of the Gospel? I cannot embrace the response “Of course I am not worthy, that is why it is called Grace.” If I respond this way, I have lost the reason for the question in the first place.
Jesus is worthy of all praise…and adoration. If I adore Jesus, then I have to consider my wants, etc. forfeit to His. I cannot be “carried way” by the lawless character of Sin.
It means I have become and stay serious to follow Christ.
Prayer: “Jesus, everlasting King, receive the tribute that we bring…” (Isaac Watts) That’s what I forget at times—that my life, as unworthy a tribute that could be found, is the only thing that I can offer for your great Gift of Redemption…
Help me to declare your majesty through the jewel of the Gospel to the face in the mirror and to others as you present. Help me prepare for the poor in my community, setting aside worldly reason, but to be faithful according to my faith.
For those who need to be reminded of your faithful Hand in their calling to be a Disciple of the Most High, help them remember.
Revive me, O God.