Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 10 - 2 Peter 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Peter 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • We see Peter picking up where he left off yesterday, reminding us in verse 2 to know scripture (the Bible) very well. The reason is to prevent scoffers, or mockers, to turn us from the truth of Jesus Christ. They will try to say that Jesus isn't coming back again, but, if we know the scripture, we can hold on to the hope that he will.
  • In the past God destroyed the world with water, but in the future God will destroy the world with fire. Then will come a new heaven and a new earth, which Peter calls “the home of righteousness.” Peter says this is in keeping with promises God has already made. For example, see Isaiah 66:22-23.
  • It can be easy to think that maybe God has forgotten about us with each passing day. But Peter reminds us, that to an eternal and immortal God, time is not something to be rushed. Jesus' decision not to return yet is neither indifferent or uncaring. Peter explains that God is patient because he doesn't want anyone to die without knowing him, but instead wants everyone to repent (change direction and follow him).
  • Peter also reminds us that when Jesus does finally return, we won't expect it, just like being robbed at night. And because we do not know when his return will be, we need to live holy and Godly lives until that time.
  • In verses 15-16 Peter mentions Paul and his writing. Paul wrote a lot of the New Testament. We'll be reading some of the letters he wrote in the near future. The fact that Peter mentions Paul is confirmation that they were contemporaries and were writing at the same time.
  • Peter closes the chapter the same way he began. He reminds us of the importance of knowing scripture so that we can be aware of those who choose to distort it. Furthermore, by knowing the Bible better, we can grow in our faith and knowledge of Jesus.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We need to know God's Word as much we you can so that we will not be led astray. 
  • Many people have a "live for today, live for me" mentality, because they do not have the hope of Jesus in their life. To them, this is all there is. But we are reminded that there is a world beyond this one, and Jesus will be coming back for us. We need to live holy lives waiting for his return.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • If you are reading this, then most likely you are reading the Bible consistently. But, if you're not, take the time today to commit to reading God's word every day.  This will help you stand strong and grow in God.
  • Are you living for today, or are you living for God's eternal kingdom? Think through your priorities. If you are more focused on the here and now, pray and ask God to help you focus on him more. 
  • Are you trying to live like Christ? Where do you struggle to live like him? Be honest about your weaknesses and give them to God. Could you be honest with a few friends about your struggles? Could you be accountable to them for your weaknesses? This life is not all there is. This life is simply to prepare us for eternity in the home of righteousness, so don't live life with regrets!