Today's Bible Reading: 2 Peter 3
Selected Biblical Text
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord?s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:8-18 NIV)
Reflecting and Thinking
Knowing Jesus is the antidote to the false teachers who twist the Jesus message. Knowing Jesus is also the key to understanding God's patience and the certainty of his promise. The certainty of God's promise motivates pure, peaceful living. Some would twist the truth about what will happen in the future, scoffing at the delay in Jesus' return and questioning God's promise. They use the delay as an excuse to continue in evil. They refuse to recognize that God's patient delay means salvation. Failing to understand who Jesus is brings error and lawlessness, so Christians must be on guard and grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Considering the importance of the concept of "knowing Jesus" in 2 Peter, how do you understand the admonition to "grow in knowledge" (3:18)?
This chapter says that one result of failing to know Jesus is a failure to understand God's patient nature. What are other results of failing to know Jesus, as set forth in this chapter?
How could Christians be more certain of Jesus' return by knowing Jesus (by understanding Jesus' nature and identity) more clearly?
Dear God, thank you for revealing yourself in your holy written word. Thank you for revealing yourself in Jesus, the living word. Help us to know him better, so we can avoid the snares of misunderstanding. Keep us firmly planted in wholesome thinking, the words of the prophets, and the apostolic commands and teachings. Keep us in your care and give us wisdom and insight to identity false concepts about Jesus. In Jesus' name, Amen.