Month: May 2015
2 Peter 3:14–15
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
Take a moment to re-read the underlined phrase, “and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” Let’s ask a question: How many plans does God have for mankind? What is God’s plan saturated with? At the end of life, what do we really hope that God gives us? For eternity, what are we going to be thankful to God for?
If you are an environmentalist, don’t put the earth above the Creator and His plan for us which has nothing to do with this earth. If you are a vegan don’t put your health above God’s eternal plan for your soul. If you are a Democrat don’t put social good above God’s plan for those you are caring for. If you are a Republican don’t put God’s plan above a better government. I hope you get the point here; God’s plan is salvation. He is longsuffering toward mankind because He loves us to salvation. When we die He wants us to know His salvation. While we live He wants us to know His salvation.
Not only is God’s plan for us salvation but He is longsuffering towards us until we get it. I thank God that as a teenager I recognized His longsuffering with me. Bev’s husband, George, is glad that weeks before he died he recognized God’s longsuffering with him. It does not matter when we recognize God’s longsuffering with us toward our salvation, what matters is that we do recognizes it and surrender to His mercy and receive His grace in this life.
God’s longsuffering toward us is salvation. Peter wrote this; Paul wrote this; we are to understand this. Take time to meditate on this today.
Last night at prayer meeting we spent time trying to focus on the face of God. We looked at four verses including Psalm 27:8 When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” It was a most unusual exercise yet a wonderful exercise. It is our goal on Wednesday nights to meet with God not just pray to God. We desire that our asking will grow out of our seeking of God’s face, our worship of Him.
I plan to bring a message Sunday morning from Isaiah 36-37. If you could take time to read these chapters beforehand you will get more out of the message. Be in prayer with us for Sunday morning.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
2 Peter 3:13–14
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
Jesus Christ is coming again! You cannot write this on your calendar but He is coming again. Though you cannot give this coming a date you can and must prepare for it.
My wife is an event planner. When an event that she is planning is coming up she begins her lists and her planning and her shopping. The closer the event comes the more specific her attention focuses on the event.
Peter has gone to great lengths to convince us that Christ is coming again and that He is coming to establish a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness is going to dwell or to live.
In light of this reality, he uses the word, therefore. Therefore, as we look forward to the return of Jesus Christ, we are to live a certain way. We are to be found in Him at peace and blameless. This takes work so he uses the words, be diligent. Thus we are to diligently pursue peace and blameless living.
So, when the situation around you lends itself to confusion, seek the peace of the Lord Jesus within you. When He comes, Jesus wants to find you at peace in Him. Therefore, diligently pursue it. When Jesus comes, He also wants to find you blameless. This means that there is no one around you that can blame you for godless living. Blameless is not sinless living but it is living with less sin. Christ, our righteousness, whose righteous robe we wear, wants to live His righteousness through us. Thus, when Jesus returns He wants to find us at peace with God and with man and blameless before man. How ready would you be if Jesus returned today? How would He find you in these two regards?
When we seek God’s help over our situations, He responds. Those in church Sunday know about the situation that arose. Living obediently to the Word of God and following the leading of the Spirit of God, that situation was resolved yesterday and we are at peace. Thank you for your prayers and care.
As always, I am looking forward to our time of prayer and Bible study tonight. Be in prayer for our Kids4Truth program and the children who come each week to learn more about the Lord from His word. Pray for our teens who gather around having fun, fellowship and the Word of God. Pray that they will come with open hearts and minds to all that God wants them to gain.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
2 Peter 3:10–11
10 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. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
As Peter continues his thoughts from the Lord about the Lord’s return, scoffers, and God’s timetable, he begins this section with a statement. “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” This statement has caused much discussion and even books and movies have had part of this statement in them. The “day of the Lord” is an Old Testament expression describing the day of the Lord’s judgment upon mankind for their sin against Him. Peter continues this meaning but adds “like a thief in the night” to it.
Regardless of the Lord’s tarrying, He is going to come and He is going to come when people do not expect Him to come. That is the nature of the “thief in the night” picture. A thief does not announce his coming. A thief is unexpected. When the day of the Lord comes upon this earth it will come without announcement and unexpectedly. People will be doing business and life like always. When the judgment of God begins it will be harsh and it will be painful to mankind.
In light of all of this, how are we supposed to live? We are to live in holy conduct and godliness while looking and hastening the day of God. Then, when the day of the Lord ends there will be a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells. I think that the teaching here is that those who live in righteousness now will enjoy righteousness then. When the day of the Lord comes we who are looking forward to His appearing will be glad. Those who have rejected the Lord will be terrified, and rightfully so.
The Lord is coming back. He will bring judgment upon the sins of the people of this earth and He will bring righteousness to those who are seeking Him. Look then for His coming.
Ben is going to be speaking at Sunrise for us today. Pray for his service there.
It was nice to have nice weather yesterday, I was able to get the pool open. Steven and Rachel brought the kids over and Elliana while kicking her feet in the water said, “This is the best day of my life!” It was too cold to get in but they sure did kick and get wet.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
While we know that the Lord choses who will be saved we also know that God does not will anyone to damnation. God desires that all be saved. This truth is this: the reason we talk about the Lord in the public square, in the market, in our neighborhoods, and around the world is that God desires to save sinners. God’s desire to save the lost is the reason we send out missionaries and take missions trips. It is the reason that we send money to missionaries, since we cannot go we support those who do. God’s desire to save the lost is the reason for Christian radio and TV. (At least it should be.)
We know that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked should repent and turn to Him. Ezekiel 33:11 So, whom does God wish to eternally damn away from Himself? If God in love sent His Son to show the world His love, is there anyone that God wants to miss that message? Which of God’s creation does God not want to hear of His love and know of His grace?
As you look around yourself and see hoards of teeming people, see them from God’s view. I live in a part of town that has a major road closed for four days. All of the secondary roads and neighborhood roads are packed. What are they filled with? Cars, yes, but people going somewhere. They are busy or they would not go out when traffic is so bad. What do they need? They think they need more money or more health or more friends or a better situation. What they need first and foremost is the Savior. Let’s ask the Lord how we can show people Jesus. How can we show them His love and His message of justification? If God desires them to hear and to be saved then we must shoulder the responsibility of giving them the love and the Word.
If God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance then we must share His desire.
As we seek the Lord for His leading and for His power in our church, we must expect spiritual battles to ensue. This weekend was a weekend of spiritual battles. I wish I could tell you that they all ended well. Some are still in process and we are praying for the Lord to do in people’s lives what only He can do.
We had a wonderful time at Ben and Anna’s wedding shower yesterday. It was fun to have Steven and Caleb there running the games and having fun as brothers. At the end of the day, Ben and Anna were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for them. They felt quite unworthy not thinking that they had given out near as much love as they had received. Bobbi did a great job putting it together and I thank her for all of her labor of love. Thanks to all who came and made it a great day for Ben and Anna. They truly do look forward to their wedding, now nineteen days away. It is a joy to see their hearts for each other and their hearts for God.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
2 Peter 3:8–9
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Because the scoffers were so strong in their attacks against the coming of the Lord, because they told the Christians that since the Lord delayed in His coming that He really wasn’t coming, Peter goes on to explain God’s perspective of time.
As human beings, we are creatures of time. We are born on a date and will die on a date. We live in 24 hour days and 12 month years. We set alarms to get to places on time and work until the clock strikes a certain time. We measure our lives by years and events in time.
God is not a creature of time, no; He is the creator of time. As the creator of time, God lives above time and is not limited by it. So when Peter says that with the Lord a day is the same as a thousand years that is exactly what he means. God is not concerned with our timetables. God is concerned with His plans and His people of His creation. He is not enslaved by time but lives above it and apart from it. Time is for us, not for Him.
So, when people complain about the Lord delaying His coming, they don’t understand God’s perspective of time.
Secondly, Peter reminds his readers that God will never slack off on even one of His promises. If you make a promise in time and miss the time you have slacked off on your promise. Not so with God. In God’s world, He is never late and He is seldom early yet He does His work at the exact time necessary to accomplish His will. Trust God with the time of your life. He will keep all of the promises that He has made toward you.
Finally, God, in His timetable, is not willing that men should die apart from Him. God desires that all would be saved. Therefore, it is within God’s will that we pray for all to repent and come to the Lord to be saved. We do not know who will and who won’t be saved but we can be assured that God desires that all be saved and can thus pray for those who need to be saved.
In that vein, pray for men and women to come to RU to be saved. God desires to save the addicted and their greatest need is Jesus Christ. Pray with us today that God would bring prepared hearts to RU tonight so that as they hear the wonderful liberating gospel they would be saved.
Pray for Pastor Bill’s community services today that in them those who need the Savior would be saved. Pray for those who know the Lord to be strengthened by the Word given.
Pray for Sunday. I will be bringing a message from Isaiah 33 on the treasure of the fear of the Lord. Prepare your hearts for this service. We will also be observing the Lord’s Table.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
2 Peter 3:5–7
5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Peter is still referencing the scoffers who deny the Lord is still coming. It is these scoffers who deny the universal flood. They deny that God is a God of judgment who used the flood to judge the ungodly. The world that existed before the flood, being filled with violence, Genesis 7-8, was destroyed, flooded with water.
There are countless scoffers today who deny the flood. They don’t want a God who can bring judgment upon the world so they deny the flood itself. They call it a “flood theory” and those who believe in a world-wide flood are known to be extremists. Since “extremists” carries a negative connotation no one wants to be held in that category. I know this because I was at a seminar where this was presented and that is how it was presented. I was a creationist-extremist believing in a six day creation and a universal flood.
Let’s go back to the authority of the Bible and the authority of the writings of Peter, Paul, James and John. If these men knew that their writings were as authoritative as the rest of the scriptures and of the prophets then either Peter was telling a lie here about the flood or God truly did inspire him to write about an event that God knows did really happen. If God sent a world-wide flood to bring His judgment on a culture fully given to violence and perversion, and spared Noah and his family by His grace, and promises to judge the world one more time for their sin against Him, we should take notice and walk in righteousness with Him. The point is that God judged the whole earth for the sin of the people living on it and will do so again. Let’s not debate whether the flood happened, Peter thinks it did, but let’s dwell upon the cause of the flood and walk in a healthy fear of God today.
Our Wednesday night prayer and Bible study times are such an encouragement. It is truly a joy to gather with God’s people and seek His face and His counsel together.
Think through our church family and ask the Lord whom He knows needs prayer today. When He brings people to mind, stop and pray for them throughout the day.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS