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Posts tagged ‘Second Epistle of Peter’

Visions of Christmas: Seeing Green.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18

Recommended Reading
2 Thessalonians 1:3 ( )

Chlorophyll,” a green pigment, comes from two Greek words that mean “green” and “leaf.” Chlorophyll allows for photosynthesis to take place — a plant’s ability to absorb energy from light and use that energy to cause growth.

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If we had to pick a color for Christmas, it might be green because of all the greenery we see — Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe, and evergreen garlands gracing banisters and mantels. All that greenery is there because of chlorophyll — the energy-producing growth factor in plants. So when we decorate with greenery this Christmas it can remind us to ask, “How can I grow in Christ this Christmas season? What can be my spiritual chlorophyll?” No one needs reminding of how busy Christmas can be, crowding out quiet time for prayer and Bible study. Assuming we maintain those disciplines, what can we do to reach higher and farther — to actually grow? Consider looking for opportunities to do what Christ came into the world to do: to serve others in love (Mark 10:45).

Every time we deny ourselves in order to serve someone else, we grow in Christ. Make that a goal this Christmas.

Galatians 4-Ephesians 3

By David Jeremiah.

Standing on the promise…

By Dr. Juan Carlos Ortiz

“Through these (Christ) has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
2 Peter 1:4

Now read this very carefully because we need to understand a little better the amazing grace of God.

Listen: We were spiritually dead. That means totally disabled. God loved us so much that he gave us life! Then he gave us faith to believe in him. Because he loved us, he did not count our bad behavior, and forgave us all our mistakes. Then he created us anew in Christ, giving us a new birth, making us new creatures, giving us obedient, new hearts. He also prepared good works for us to do, and placed those good works before us so we may find them on our journeys. He produced in us the willingness to please him and gave us the capacity to do it. On top of all of that, he promised eternal rewards for doing those good works.

The Apostle John puts it this way: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…they will rest from their labor, for their (good works) will follow them.” God is at work in you so that you will desire and do what always pleases him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to do only that which pleases you. You brought me new life and I want to use that life doing the work you have planned for me to do. Amen.

Reflection: What do you do that you believe pleases God?

Mount Up!

Recently as I was on a plane and as we flew above the skies the sun was shining so strongly that we had to close the windows. Minutes later as we landed, we found ourselves under a stormy and barely shining sky.
The reality is the sun was there, doing it’s job and shining but the clouds were preventing the people from enjoying that.The Bible tells us that God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Yes God “has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) but sometimes the circumstances of our lives make it impossible for us to see them.
The blessings are there alright but the storms prevent us from enjoying what is rightfully ours.

The good news is that God has a solution for us. In such cases we believers have to become like eagles. The eagle sees the clouds coming from afar and mounts up higher and higher until it finds itself above the clouds and basking in sunshine.

As we grow up in Christ and learn to wait on God, we will also be able to rise above our cloudy circumstances and worldly traps and enjoy the abundant blessings that are already ours.

Wishing you a Blessed Week!

I have told you this, that His joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full! (John 15:11)

By Anita Antwi

Warning: Danger Ahead!

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

Recommended Reading
2 Peter 3:8-14 ( )

Unless a person lives on a mountaintop in the wilderness, it’s hard not to be confronted with the turmoil in our world. It’s not just greater awareness — it is the fact that new developments in nuclear technology, disease, political unrest, natural disasters, and poverty make unrest a personal matter.

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So how should the Christian respond? Urgency in world affairs should produce an urgency in spiritual affairs — an urgency to share with people the sure and certain hope found only in Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter goes to great lengths to warn his readers that this world is going to come to an end in a cataclysmic fashion (2 Peter 3:10). But he also says that God is patient, not wanting any to perish. Instead of using God’s patience as permission to pursue our own dreams, every Christian must endeavor to prepare those who have no hope with the hope of salvation in Christ.

If you have hope in Christ and know of others who don’t, ask God to give you an open door to share His Good News with them.

The problem of the church today is not that the Gospel has lost its power, but that the church has lost its audience.
Paul Little

Proverbs 30-31

By David Jeremiah.

How Can We Prepare to Share the Gospel?.

Be prepared to share the gospel. There are three essential things that you must do in order to get equipped for sharing the Good News.

1. Prepare Your Mind. Apply yourself to studying God’s Word, along with reading other helpful resources that will sharpen your mind and understanding (see 2 Timothy 2:15). You have already started though the daily devotional teachings you receive each day!

2. Prepare Your Heart. Ask God to give you a heart of compassion for the lost and an earnest desire for their salvation (see 2 Peter 3:9). Ask Him to stir up an urgent fervency to see the lost lovingly called into a relationship with Christ (see Colossians 1:10).

3. Prepare the Way. You have to pray! Ask God to give you boldness to engage with every person whom He leads you to. Ask Him to grant you wisdom so that you can minister to their specific needs. Pray that you will be a prepared messenger speaking to prepared hearts.

Taken from “How Will They Hear?” by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).

4 Reasons God Values Your Work.

4 Reasons God Values Your Work

Christians often measure the significance of a job by its perceived value from the eternal perspective. Will the work last; will it “really count” for eternity? The implication is that God approves of work for eternity, but places little value on work for the here and now.

By this measure, the work of ministers and missionaries has eternal value because it deals with people’s spiritual, eternal needs. By contrast, the work of a salesman, teller, or typist has only limited value, because it meets only earthly needs. In other words, this kind of work doesn’t really “count” in God’s eyes.

But this way of thinking overlooks several important truths:

(1) God himself has created a world that is time-bound and temporary (2 Peter 3:10,11). Yet he values his work, declaring it to be “very good,” by its very nature (Gen 1:31Acts 14:17).

(2) God promises rewards to people in everyday jobs, based on their attitude and conduct (Eph 6:8Col 3:23-4:1).

(3) God cares about the everyday needs of people as well as their spiritual needs. He cares whether people have food, clothing, and shelter.

(4) God cares about people who will enter eternity. To the extent that a job serves the needs of people, God values it, because he values people. (Four reasons adapted from the Word in Life Study Bible.)

As Christians, we should step back for a moment and remind ourselves again that each of us is called to a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, first and foremost. From this position all else comes. The fruit of our relationship with Christ moves us to the level of our calling in work. That work – whether serving on the mission field—or delivering mail– is a holy calling of God.

The reason God holds a high view of work is that He created each person in His image for an express purpose in this world to reflect His glory in ALL aspects of life. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17). He knows the number of the very hairs of our head, and He knows what we are wired to do in life (see Ps 139).

By segmenting the “secular work” part of our life, we cut off the expression of His life to the world. However, He would by no means let us do that. He knows there are many who will never hear the gospel because they will never enter a church building. You may be the only representative of the true and living God they will ever encounter.

The Lord has called each of us to be excellent in what we do. Those whom God used in the Kingdom as marketplace ministers were skilled and exemplified excellence in their field. Not only were these men skilled, they were filled with God’s Spirit. Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship” (Exodus 31:1-5).

Consider Huram, the master craftsman of bronze to whom Solomon entrusted much of the temple designs. He was a true master craftsman (see 1 Kings 7:14). Consider Joseph, whose skill as an administrator was known throughout Egypt and the world. Consider Daniel, who served his king with great skill and integrity. The list could go on (David, Nehemiah, Acquilla and Priscilla). Most of these were in the “secular” world of work providing a service that was needed for mankind. May we strive for excellence in all that we do for the Master of the universe.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Colossians 3:23-24 emphasis mine).

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men (Prov. 22:29).

By Os Hillman

Os Hillman is president of Marketplace Leaders and author of Change Agent and TGIF Today God Is First daily devotional.

[Editor’s note: adapted from Os Hillman’s full-length article “Secular vs. Sacred: What’s Our Primary Call?” Read it at] 


He said to them, “Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses.” – Luke 12:15

This is one of the red flags Jesus hung out which most people today don’t seem to give much attention. Christ said a great deal about the danger of riches; but not many people are afraid of riches. Covetousness is not really considered a sin today. If a man breaks the sixth or eighth commandment he is branded as a criminal and covered with shame, but if he breaks the tenth he is considered enterprising!

The Bible says the love of money is a root of all evil; but every man who quotes the saying puts a terrific emphasis on the word “love,” explaining that it is not money, but only the love of it, that is such a prolific root.

Look around you today — you would think a person’s life consists in the vast amount of the things they own. Men think they become great according to the amount of wealth they accumulate. The world seems to measure people by the size of their bank account. Yet there never was a more fatal error. A person is measured by what he is — not by what he has. You may find a shriveled soul in the midst of great fortune, and a noble soul in the depths of poverty.

The first things to gather in our life are all the truly great and noble things of character. Here are two texts to think about, because they settle this question:

Whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8

and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness; and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7

Notice there is no encouragement to think about possessions. No command to add possessions.

By Vine.

Bible In A Year: June 10th…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
Psalm 31-35 2 Samuel 15:13-16:14 Acts 6-7-19 Psalm 71:19-24

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