Trusting The Word
Contributed by Dean Rhine on Aug 5, 2019 (message contributor)
Summary: We can rely on the truth of God's word
2 Peter 1b - 4/29/12
Turn with me this morning in the end of your bibles to the book of 2 Peter. We are looking together at the book of 2 Peter. Last week we asked two questions:
• How’s your eyesight? and
• How’s your memory? And we talked about taking our spiritual “one a days”
Today, we want to continue on in the second half of 2 Peter 1.
To set the stage, let me give you what has become an all-too-common scenario. You go in to the doctor because you have noticed some pain, a lump, bleeding - something just doesn’t seem right. The doctor takes a biopsy or blood test and finds that there is a cancer in the body. He schedules an exploratory surgery to remove the cancer, but what was scheduled for a 3-4 hour surgery ends in 20 minutes. The doctor shares the devastating news with the family. The cancer has completely spread throughout your body - he just closed up the opening so you could enjoy your last days with family. You probably have 4-6 weeks to live.
How do you respond? Many people focus on a “bucket list” - all the things they would like to do before they die. But Peter has a very different approach to how to live out the end of your life. That’s what we want to look at today. And as we come to God’s word, let’s pause to pray and ask God to open our eyes to see what He wants us to see. Let’s pray.
PRAY - Read 1:12-21
As we look at the book of 2 Peter, there are three main ideas: Look at yourself, look around you, & look ahead.
Last week we looked at the beginning of chapter 1 and saw the idea of looking at yourself. We saw Peter telling us to “Grow up” spiritually. He spurs us on to take our spiritual one-a-days: 7 qualities that we need to add to our lives. Having “faith” and being a Christian isn’t enough: we need to make spiritual progress by growing in 7 qualities: let’s review them:
goodness - is being the best “me” that I can be - fulfilling the purpose God has for us
knowledge - is experiential relationship - not learning more about God, but getting to know God better
self-control - is the idea of having balance in life, not letting circumstances determine how we feel
perseverance - remaining steadfast, not giving up, consistency in living for God
godliness - the idea of being a good worshiper, even in the tough times, even when it seems God has forsaken us
brotherly kindness - loving others like they were a part of our family, a committed relationship
love - choosing to love like God loves, not just to those who reciprocate, but even loving those who hate us and mistreat us.
Now Peter goes on in verse 14 to share some very intimate details. Peter is going to die soon! Not from cancer, but from crucifixion. He writes in verse 14 - I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. Peter says, God has told me I will be dying soon! Tradition tells us that Peter died in Rome, crucified upside down, because he felt unworthy to die the same way his master did. Peter knows his life is about to end. Does he think of all that he wants to see and do and experience? No! He thinks of others - he thinks of the church - he thinks about how he can use the time remaining to be used for God’s glory.
In our men’s group Thursday night we talked about the idea of “halftime” - “mid-life” - it’s a great time to sit back and evaluate your life. Have you ever taken the time to sit back and ask, “What do I want out of life? What do I want to see God do through me?” Often when we ask that question, we realize that the most important things are not amassing more money or getting a bigger car or house. Instead, we want to focus on the two things that last forever: people and God’s word. Jesus said in Matthew 6:20 - But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
When you are driving down the road using a GPS, you can punch in an address and it will tell you the route - when and where to turn. But if you don’t follow the directions it gives you, it will “recalculate” the route. In our lives, if we see that we aren’t where we want to be, we can make “course corrections”.