Hearing God Speak Part One

This passage teaches that when you read Scripture, what you are reading does not merely come from a man but also from God. The Bible is the writing of many different men. But it is also far more than that. Yes, men spoke. They spoke with their own language and style. But Peter mentions two other dimensions of their speaking.

First, they spoke from God. What they have to say is not merely from their own limited perspective. They are not the origin of the truth they speak; they are the channel. The truth is God’s truth. Their meaning is God’s meaning.

Second, not only is what they spoke from God, but how they spoke it is controlled by the Holy Spirit. Men, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God. God did not simply reveal truth to the writers of Scripture and then depart in hopes that they might communicate it accurately. Peter says that in the very communicating of it they were carried by the Holy Spirit. The making of the Bible was not left to merely human skills of communication; the Holy Spirit himself carried the process to completion.

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Being Clothed in His Righteousness

The church is our mother, but it is Christ’s bride. In this role, we are the objects of Christ’s affection. We, corporately, are His beloved. Stained and wrinkled, in ourselves we are anything but holy. When we say that the church is holy or refer to her as “holy mother church,” we do so with the knowledge that her holiness is not intrinsic but derived and dependent upon the One who sanctifies her and covers her with the cloak of His righteousness.

As the sensitive husband shelters his wife and in a chivalrous manner lends her his coat when she is chilled, so we are clad from on high by a husband who stops at nothing to defend, protect, and care for His betrothed. His is the ultimate chivalry, a chivalry that no upheaval of earthly custom can eradicate or make passé. This chivalry is not dead because it cannot die.

The bride of Christ is soiled but will one day be presented spotless to the Father by the Son who bought her, who loves her, and who intercedes for her every day. If we love Christ, we must also love His bride. If we love Christ, we must love His church.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Ask God to rekindle your love for members of the body of Christ, the true church.

Knowing what happens now that you are saved

This simple reading plan takes the next week to review your decision to follow Jesus Christ and help you start walking with Him. This practical devotional will help you start your journey with God through seven steps: KNOW, READ, PRAY, LISTEN, CONNECT, WORSHIP AND SHARE. These steps will help change your life and help you become the person God created you to be.

The plan for the next week is as follows:
Day One – Reviewing your decision to follow Jesus and what it means.
Day Two – Reading the Bible and learning what God thinks.
Day Three – Understanding how to pray and talk with God.
Day Four – Learning how to listen to God and hear his voice.
Day Five – Understanding how we are created for community and called to serve.
Day Six – Seeing how we are called to worship and praise God.
Day Seven – Learning how to share the good news of Jesus.

As part of inviting Jesus into your life, you should have heard the Gospel. This is the Good News message of the Bible. In its simplest form, God made the world and created humanity. Man was in relationship with God for the glory of God and to experience God’s love. Loving God was at the core of all things and it was good and moral.

However, that all changed when man used the free will God had so graciously provided to disobey God. That moment of disobedience, or the fall, is when sin came into the world. Sin broke man’s perfect fellowship with God and brought evil, disease and death into the world. These sins separate us from a perfect and holy God.

Our sin is the problem that corrupts the world and everything in it and we are powerless to overcome our sin apart from Jesus Christ. Our attempts to control the situation only increase the chaos around us and within us. That is why we need healing. That healing is only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. That is the Good News – that Jesus loves us so much He offers us forgiveness of our sins and His spirit to help us change how we live.

Now that you have invited Jesus into your heart you are a child of God. It means that you are a new creation. You are God’s son or daughter and He has given your life a purpose. It means that the eternal promises of God are yours and you have been set free from sin and death by the blood of Jesus Christ! However, this does not mean life will be perfect or all your problems will disappear.

That happens in heaven. Until then, nothing can separate you from God’s love. He sees you as perfect and holy even after you mess up. Keep reading to learn how to fully trust God and have a real relationship with Him so He guides your path and draws you even closer.

All New Things: Final Words of Encouragement

Peter is sometimes referred to as the “apostle of hope”. He is quick with encouragement to all followers of Jesus. His final letter and words offer us great assurance in our calling. Peter, the once reactionary disciple has matured into the wise leader of the Church.

Peter leads with a beautiful list of qualities we should be going after in our own lives and then a powerful statement that should encourage us all. When we allow Jesus to shape these characteristics into our souls, we will NEVER be ineffective or unfruitful. Once again God through his people is reminding us that who we are is more important than what we do. And if we will be who God wants us to be, we will always be able to do what he wants us to.

A few years ago I spent a month living in this passage and I realized that somewhere along the years of ministry, I had rewritten verses 5-8 in my head. They sounded more like this:

“Complementing your basic faith with great events, “bless-my-plans” prayers, hit or miss disciplines, entitled frustration, quantitative effectiveness, shallow leadership, and no-cost love. With all these qualities active and growing in your lives, no event will lose money, no training will be ineffective, and no task force a waste of time.”

How I long to live the real 2 Peter 1:5-8

“Complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet and no day pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.”

Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-15 and 2 Peter 3:14-18

Reflection

· The qualities in verses 5-8 build upon each other. Which one are you struggling with the most currently? What might God be doing right now to refine that in you?

· Peter leaves a beautiful letter to believers as he comes to the end of his life. He has seen and experienced much. What would you like to tell young believers to encourage them based on what you have seen and experienced in following Jesus?