Reading: 2 Peter 1
...If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. But if you don't grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven. My friends, you must do all you can to show that God has really chosen and selected you. If you keep on doing this, you won't stumble and fall. Then our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will give you a glorious welcome into his kingdom that will last forever.
You are holding firmly to the truth that you were given. But I am still going to remind you of these things. In fact, I think I should keep on reminding you until I leave this body. And our Lord Jesus Christ has already told me that I will soon leave it behind. That is why I am doing my best to make sure that each of you remembers all of this after I am gone. When we told you about the power and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling clever stories that someone had made up. But with our own eyes we saw his true greatness. God, our great and wonderful Father, truly honored him by saying, "This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him." We were there with Jesus on the holy mountain and heard this voice speak from heaven. All of this makes us even more certain that what the prophets said is true. So you should pay close attention to their message, as you would to a lamp shining in some dark place. You must keep on paying attention until daylight comes and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:8-19 CEV)
Thinking and Reflecting
Peter's message in his second letter is clear. (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 chapter contains many different descriptions of Jesus. (You may want to underline the descriptions if you are using this devotional guide to read the New Testament through, and are reading each chapter in your own Bible rather than merely reading the text included with each day's devotional.)
Knowing Jesus helps us grow spiritually and gives life meaning. Knowing Jesus reminds us of our calling, promises, protection, and new nature. Failing to know Jesus holds us back and enslaves us in guilt when we forget 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 of Jesus until he dies. 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 absolutely certain the message of the prophets, even though they could not see clearly. They 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 will become our 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.)
Consider a scale where 5 is neutral, 1-4 represents "knowing Jesus", and 6-10 represents "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 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 his goodness within us. We want to escape 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.