Today's Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1
Selected Biblical Text
8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ?This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.?18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:8-19 NIV)
Thinking and Reflecting
Peter's message in his second letter is clear. The chapter divisions set forth three distinct but related thoughts: (1) Remember Jesus, so you can (2) avoid false teachers who spread false ideas about Jesus, and so you can (3) joyfully anticipate the Day of the Lord. Today's first chapter contains many different descriptions of Jesus. You may want to underline the descriptions in your own Bible.
Knowing Jesus helps us grow spiritually and gives life meaning and depth. Knowing Jesus reminds us of our calling, promises, protection, and new nature. Failing to know Jesus holds us back and enslaves us in guilt because we cannot accept his forgiveness. Failing to know Jesus explains our stumbling and falling. Because remembering Jesus is so important, Peter says he will keep reminding his readers about Jesus until he dies. Peter gives his own personal testimony. The message of Jesus is not a clever story, but reflects Jesus' power and greatness as God's Son. This message was secured by the voice on the mountain (at the Transfiguration) and makes certain the message of the prophets, even though they could not see clearly. The prophets spoke with certainty and waited expectantly. When we hear their message and pay attention, we also we come into light and God's prophesied Morning Star becomes for us reality.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think your church does in emphasizing Jesus?
What things sometimes replace Jesus in the emphasis of the modern church? (Think about the classes, teaching, sermons, and preaching you have heard recently.)
Do we know Jesus, or do we merely know about Jesus? Consider a scale where 3 is neutral, 1 represents "knowing Jesus well", and 5 represents "only knowing about Jesus." Where would you put yourself? Where would you put the church you attend?
According to this chapter, why is knowing Jesus important?
Does a person who only knows about Jesus have faith? Tell someone you encounter today how you understand your faith.
Father God, we want to know Jesus, to participate in his divine nature, to experience his calling to glory, and to know his goodness within us. We want to escape the ways of the world and live productive lives in his eternal kingdom. Help us focus on Jesus and see Him in the words of Scripture. In Jesus' name and by his power I ask it, Amen.