Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012 … We fight on!!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 359

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Peter, Chapters 1-3 To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Jude, Chapter 1 To study this one short letter, go to this link -

Highlight Passages: 2nd Peter, Chapter 1: : [NLT] … {As with my Scripture summary earlier, I quote the Parsons Commentary I use for my chronological Bible study concerning 2nd Peter, Chapter 1: “After a brief greeting (1:1), Peter gives the antidote for stagnancy and shortsightedness in the Christian life (1:2-11). Then he explains that his days are numbered (1:12-15) and that the believers should listen to his messages and the words of Scripture (1:16-21).”}  
3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. 5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. 6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. … 
20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. 21 Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins. 

Highlight Passages: 2nd Peter, Chapter 2 : [NLT] … {Parsons Commentary: “ Peter gives a blunt warning about false teachers (2:1-22). They will become prevalent in the last days (2:1, 2), they will do or say anything for money (2:3), they will spurn the things of God (2:2, 10, 11), they will do whatever they feel like doing (2:12-17), they will be proud and boastful (2:18, 19), and they will be judged and punished by God (2:3-10, 20-22).” } …

Highlight Passages: 2nd Peter, Chapter 3: 8-9; 14 : [NLT] … {Parsons Commentary: “Peter concludes his brief letter by explaining why he has written it (3:1-18): to remind them of the words of the prophets and apostles that predicted the coming of false teachers, to give the reasons for the delay in Christ’s return (3:1-13), to encourage them to beware of heresies, and to grow in their faith (3:14-18).”}  
8 But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. … 14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God. 

Highlight Passages: Jude, Chapter 1: [NLT] … {Parsons Commentary: “This was Jude’s message to Christians everywhere. Opposition would come and godless teachers would arise, but Christians should “defend the truth of the Good News” (1:3) by rejecting all falsehood and immorality (1:4-19), remembering God’s mighty acts of rescue and punishment (1:5-11, 14-16) and the warnings of the apostles (1:17-19). His readers are to build up their own faith through prayer (1:20), keeping close to Christ (1:21), helping others (1:22, 23), and hating sin (1:23).” } … 

My Journal for Today: Coming down the stretch for this year in my chronological read of the Bible from; and today I was led into the books of 2nd Peter and Jude.

It’s the second letter from Peter to the churches in Asia-Minor, written a few years after 1st Peter, during Nero’s deathly reign. And, … there’s brief, but powerful, letter to the church from one of the half-brothers of Jesus, … Jude. Both are letters of warning to the church, to watch out for purveyors of false doctrine as well as the temptation to fall prey to selfish desires which can lead our Christian sensibilities and morays astray.

I certainly identify with both of these warnings, leading a ministry to help Christian men who’ve become self-ensnared in sexual sin, doing all we can in our ministry to help such men break free and to return to a walk of purity in Christ. In the truth of these two letters from two of Jesus’ Apostles are many truths to help Christians beware and avoid our tendency to go astray in the world, following the wrong path and especially the path of selfish misdirection. But there is also much hope in these letters for the Christian who is warring against our spiritual enemies.

I think of a passage early in the first chapter of 2nd Peter (2 Peter 1: 3-5, copied and underlined above), which is most uplifting for Christians who are deeply engaged in spiritual warfare. It tells us forthrightly that God gives us (through His enabling/empowering grace) everything we need to live lives of moral/spiritual excellence which glorify our Lord. And all Christians, especially called leaders in the Church, according to 2 Pet. 1: 20-23, are called to use every effort to use God’s grace to reach out in humility and rescue others, especially fellow believers, who’re floundering in their faith and their walk of freedom in Christ. That’s what Peter, and Jude and Paul and other leaders in the early Christian church were trying to do.

And that’s the day battles in which I find myself embroiled over 2000 years later in today’s world. I guess some things never change; … and PRAISE GOD, our Lord never changes!! For here, … in this life, over 2000 years after Peter and Jude wrote these letters, we are vying to glorify God with our lives just as these co-warriors in Christ did soon after their Lord had died on the cross.

My Prayer for Today So, Lord, we fight on!! … Amen

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