Summary: How to build character
Turn with me this morning in the end of your bibles to the book of 2 Peter. We want to take the next three or four weeks to look together at the book of 2 Peter. Today, I want you to answer two questions about yourself:
• How’s your eyesight? and
• How’s your memory? we’ll get to those questions in just a little bit.
We are already at the end of April, and in just a couple weeks it will be Mother’s Day. Hopefully you can begin to think about how you want to honor your mother this year. The story is told about three sons who left home, went out on their own and prospered? Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother.
The first said, "I built a big house for our mother."
The second said, "I sent her a Mercedes with a driver."
The third smiled and said, "I’ve got you both beat. You remember how mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know she can’t see very well. I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took elders in the church 12 years to teach him. He’s one of a kind. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse, and parrot recites it."
Soon thereafter, mom sent out her letters of thanks:
"Milton", she wrote, "The house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house."
"Gerald", she wrote to another, "I am too old to travel. I stay most of the time at home, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!"
"Dearest Donald", she wrote to her third son, "You have the good sense to know what your mother likes. The chicken was delicious!" Well, apparently that mom had some problems seeing and remembering.
Speaking of remembering, let me spur on your memory about the book of 1 Peter. We went through it together about four years ago. In that letter, Peter is writing to give practical help to Christians dealing with daily problems.
He starts by reminding us that we all face trials. They come in all shapes and sizes. Peter says we can expect them to come; so don’t be surprised when they do come. They can be very hard to deal with, but with God’s help, we can make it through. Peter says in spite of the trials in our lives, we are to Live in Hope.
Hope is not a futile wishing for a good future, rather hope is the confident expectation that God will work, based upon his character. I can have hope in the midst of trials, Peter tells me, because
• I am chosen of God - God loved me and elected ME!
• I am born of God - God not only loved me, but he made me his child.
• I am destined for good - I have an incorruptible inheritance waiting for me.
• I am shielded by God’s power - I am completely protected as I face these various trials. Therefore, I can have JOY in the midst of the trials, and I can GROW spiritually.
Because we have hope, we are called to Live in Holiness. To do that, Peter calls us to
control our minds, imitate our master, inquire of scripture, anticipate judgment, and confirm our faith.