For the past few months I have been writing devotions on 2nd Peter for The Biblical Recorder, the North Carolina baptist newspaper. Each devotion is only 300 words and follows the outline of LifeWay’s Sunday school curriculum “Explore the Bible“. Perhaps you will find them helpful.
PDF of Devotions on 2nd Peter
Living with Truth (2 Peter 1:1-21)
More than 50 years ago Francis Schaeffer argued that the change in the concept of the way we come to knowledge and truth is the most crucial problem facing Christianity. The issue of truth is still important today. The cultural war on truth has a multifaceted and colored history. Like all cultural conversation, the dispute over truth has effects on each one of us, sometimes causing doubt, sometimes causing us to feel inadequate in our understanding of the faith.
The apostle is clear in 2 Peter 1:12-15 that it is good to be reminded of the truth, even if one is already firmly established in the faith. The presence of false teachers is something the church has always dealt with. The anchor of truth that holds believers from cultural sway often needs strengthening in the rough waters of this life.
So Peter reminds us of the truth of the gospel. He starts by arguing that our standing before God was accomplished by the righteousness of our Savior Jesus Christ. God’s grace in Jesus provides us with all the blessings pertaining to life and death. In response to the beauty of God’s grace on our behalf, giving us a transformed heart, he pleads with us to make every effort to live a life that honors God through the power of the Spirit.
See, the truth of the gospel is something we never move beyond. The truth of the gospel is something that we need to be reminded of often. Only the good news of Jesus Christ has the power to stir Christians to holiness. Therefore, let us be a people who prayerfully return to the Word of God, in reliance on the Spirit of God, to live as the people of God. The truth of the gospel will stand alone eternally, long after the smoke of our cultural wars have cleared.
Living with Troublemakers (2 Peter 2:1-22; Jude 1-25)
Jesus’ words “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” is apt instruction concerning the elusive doctrinal deception that often occurs in the body of Christ. It takes intellectual shrewdness to detect the words of a theological troublemaker. False teachers have always been a threat to the purity of the gospel, especially when they appeal to human sensuality, the questioning of biblical authority, and the desire for material gain. False teachers that have gone astray face God’s judgment for leading others to the waterless springs of Godless desires. They promise freedom, but deliver slavery and corruption.
J.I. Packer argues that the church is to be “a learning and teaching fellowship in which the passing on of what we learn becomes a regular part of the service we render to each other.” The most loving act we can offer our brothers and sisters in Christ is to admonish one another to the truth, even if it requires correction. Without theological accountability the passing on of troublesome teaching becomes too pervasive.
The dissemination of false teaching has stretched well beyond the local church. Where false teaching was once contained by geography, it is now propagated through mass media, the Internet, and even in “Christian” literature. The gospel of health, wealth, and prosperity is not only ready available to Christians everywhere, it also appeals to humanity’s deepest sensual and material desires.
The gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in God’s authoritative word should be the litmus test of all teaching. Anyone who peddles a message that our best life is found by pursuing the good and benefits from this life now, inordinately takes the good gifts of God and establishes them above the giver, God Himself. May we be satisfied with Him and Him alone! Jesus’ presence and approval is all we need for everlasting joy.
Living with Assurance (2 Peter 3:1-18)
The need for assurance is deeply imbedded into the human heart. As Christians we sometimes question the goodness and reliability of God when we become impatient with the things He has promised when they are not delivered on our terms or in our time. At the heart of our questioning is doubt in God’s love for us.
Our waning trust and lack of assurance in God’s word is often aggravated and brought to the surface by painful situations in this life. This can be especially the case when one considers the everlasting joy and fulfillment that lies ahead in the new heavens and new earth as compared to our present lives. Have you ever felt forsaken by God?
Peter assures us that the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promises. Until that day, let us be a people who endure by holding fast to all that is offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. May we continually remind ourselves that we are secure in Christ and sealed with the Spirit.
What amazing grace is found in the love of God, as J.D. Greear has written, “There is nothing we can do that will make God love us more and nothing we can do that will make God love us less.” Christ was forsaken by God at the cross so that we could have assurance that God would never forsake us. Therefore, let us be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. Finding assurance in the love of God is promised in His Word.
As we reflect on the Good News of the gospel we will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Good News of Jesus Christ is the only thing that will bring us lasting assurance.