I, Simon Peter, am a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.
Don’t Put It Off
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:1-11
I don’t know about you but every Lenten season is different in its impact. It’s as if God says, “You’re ready for something new.” It doesn’t always go with the season. It was just such a time of knowing how much Christ’s sacrifice really means for ALL of mankind.
No one is beyond His mighty hand.
No one is beyond His claim.
EACH has been made in His image and EACH is released from the curse of this world at the cross. No matter their crime – the price has been paid!!
That is a GIANT HALLELUJAH!!
Lord we thank you that ALL the people we encounter are deserving of Your love and our love.
NONE are forsaken.
Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.
2 Peter 3:8-9
Help us Lord to love others as You love. To see them with Your eyes and Your heart. Even when we know how far away they are – let us see how close You want them to be! Let us go boldly with the Love of Christ!
A song brought me to this passage. The NIV titled this section as “Imitating Christ’s Humility.”
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How are we doing as the Church – the Bride in this?
Are we seeking the benefit of the body?
Is unity of the Spirit a priority?
Does our normal mindset say – I need to be fed, taught, entertained, and encouraged? Or is it seeking what is best for others?
I know many places in my journey with Christ I have focused on what I want to get out of church, relationships, ministries or encounters. And I’ve also been one giving and serving where I am completely drained and discouraged. I don’t feel either of those are the right place.
How can we become more “like-minded” with Christ?
Not just like-minded with a denomination, church leadership or other people…but with Christ?
Thank you Lord that it’s not about us conforming to the ways of the world but to Your ways that are higher, Your ways that bring peace, Your ways that speak life to all. Your ways often seem too lofty to obtain but You desire us to be one in Spirit and in mind with You. Guide us with wisdom and understanding as we seek Your heart and Your ways. Guide us with words as we share with others the love and joy that are found only in Christ – our Redeemer. Open our hearts further to the fullness You desire us to know of You.
What does it look like to be an heir?
Our earthly definition is a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person’s death OR a person inheriting and continuing the legacy of a predecessor.
What you are heir to depends on who died.
Did you inherit debt, investments, pets, or homes? Maybe someone left you a car, painting, business or ministry.
Generally an heir receives things that were previously part of the deceased person’s life. Seems pretty basic, right?
Why do we as believers in Christ, His Word and His kingdom, feel “we have to die” before we receive our inheritance?
Who are we inheriting from then?
How can we inherit from ourselves?
(Yes, I have these wonderful conversations with God. Thankfully He’s gracious in His sharing and continues to tell me to Ask, Seek, Knock.)
Reading, studying, meditating, and praying through God’s word isn’t just brownie points, its learning God’s ways and seeking to understand Him more.
The death of Jesus gave each and every believer an eternal inheritance. That clock starts when the moment we say YES to him. It doesn’t have to wait for our earthly death. Jesus already passed on the inheritance at the cross.
Take some time in these coming days to ask the Lord what your inheritance is through Jesus’ death. I don’t think we’ll all get the same answers.
It seems like a Trust Fund to me. The more we mature, the more He can trust us, the more we will see and experience. It’s not all released at once but it’s all saved up for later either.
Lord, thank you that You give good and perfect gifts to Your children. That you have not left any of us as orphans without hope but love to lavish on us. Help us to know and understand Your ways and seek Your goodness – on earth as it is in heaven.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
The good Samaritan story – GO AND DO LIKEWISE. Luke 10
Night time is not the right time to get great color photos of your art work but it will suffice to demonstrate today. This was a photo from a friend. I loved that it captured both storm and beauty and asked if I could study it. My study may seem a bit different but it’s to get paint out and capture some parts of the photo. Not exact. Not precise. More the feeling of that moment of study. This photo speaks richly. First seen on a higher resolution computer screen, it lacks a lot on my laptop but still inspires.
We often will look at something and have a quick thought, impression or understanding. It’s when we take some time to study the scene, person, situation or passage – when something more comes.
Relating to God’s word, I think of the mystery that requires revelation and why we are told to “meditate” on His word day and night. We have different perspectives during light or darkness.
Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:26
Relationships should not be a holding tank for the storm. They should be a place of grace, forgiveness and hope.
We could concentrate on the storms or chose to look for the sun setting, seeking the rainbow, the wonder, the possibility and promise.
A verse comes to mind…
He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5
Thank you Lord that even when things seem the darkest, when the storm seems the roughest and everywhere we turn seems to be bleak, there is a table of Your goodness ready and waiting for us to discover. Thank you that through Christ we are more than conquerors! Let us share Your good news through this week with those we encounter so they too can see Your goodness in new light!
Have you ever heard Louie Giglio speak on the INDESCRIBABLE? Several years ago he spoke locally and it was very exhilarating to SEE through his descriptions of God’s creation. You might like to SEE in a refreshing way today! He has a longer message that might even touch your heart more.
Let us SEE with new eyes Lord. That each day, we will have further wisdom and revelation in our knowledge of You. That we will be further amazed at Your hand at work in every second of this world and our individual lives. Thank you Jesus for bringing us into this Kingdom on earth – as it is in heaven!
As I read a journal note about worldviews and putting God in a box, that question continued.
How big is your God?
Is the God you are believing in the same one who created the heavens and the earth? Is your God the one who brought the plagues and stood up the sea to save His people? Is He the ALMIGHTY ONE who sent His SON so you could be FREE? Is the God you believe in one you will trust? Is He bigger than cancer, wiser than the government and stronger than any natural disaster?
Why are we trying to keep Him in a little box?
Maybe it’s more important to ask why are we keeping ourselves in a box?
The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you.
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Romans 8:11 NLT
Forgive us Lord for the ways we have been limiting You and limiting ourselves. Your word says that with You nothing is impossible. It says with You, nothing is too difficult. Thank you Lord that we can trust completely in You and can walk in Your ways. Guide us through this week Lord. Let us see more clearly the fullness of Your love and know the goodness of Your heart. That our lives will be lived for Your glory!!