2 Peter 3:11-13
Greetings, everyone! Grace and peace to you today in our Lord Jesus, and welcome to Wednesday’s edition of EDiBS. It’s so good to be with you today as we come to God’s Word…and we come knowing that He is with us, that He will not leave us, and that He will be faithful to lead us through all that’s coming up in the day before us. Put your trust in Him in a fresh new way today, and purpose in your heart to temper the noise and chaos of the world with faith in Christ and the quiet strength that He provides. Let’s pray as we open our Bibles again to 2 Peter 3.
Lord Jesus Christ, open our eyes to the truth of your Word today, that from it we grow in our faith, grow in our walk, and grow in our witness to a world that so desperately needs your love and forgiveness. You are our sure hope, and we thank you from the depth of our hearts for all that you have done and continue to do for us. Please bless our study time, in your precious and saving name we pray. Amen.
As we get started today, Peter continues to talk about our lives in light of the end times. Our focus: holy, godly, and looking forward!
2 Peter 3:11-13
11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as 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. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
When was the last time you really, really looked forward to something? I’m not talking “looking forward to my morning coffee” something, but something really big and exciting and momentous. When I left city life in southern California and purchased a little farm in the Missouri Ozarks, I was incredibly excited about buying my first tractor — a New Holland TC30 with a loader, a bush hog, and a 16-foot trailer to pull it on. I was even more excited the night before it was scheduled to be delivered. Looking back, I can still unabashedly say that I really, really looked forward to that moment — so much so, in fact, that I prepared for its arrival in every way that I could. I cleaned out a spot in the machine shed to house it, I bought a couple of five-gallon gas cans and filled them with diesel fuel, I read the owner’s manual about 14 times, and I even gave my lawn a trim so everything would look neat and tidy when the delivery guy came. Now — my case of tractor mania may seem a little extreme to you, but to me it was a consuming thing, and in my mind, every little thing I did in preparation to receive it served to heighten my anticipation and quicken its arrival.
Verse 11: I mention my tractor delivery today to make a point: just as in the temporal sense I was excited and greatly looked forward to the time when that piece of equipment would finally be in my possession, Guess what? So it is to be for you and me as God’s people as we look forward to the end of the age! That’s what Peter is saying to us in today’s reading, isn’t it! Since we know that the Day of the Lord is coming, since we know that all things will be destroyed and re-birthed, since we know that we are going to be partakers of all the New that is to come, our focused activity in the time leading up to that great Day is to get ready for it. It’s something to really, really look forward to…the biggest, most exciting, most momentous occasion we can ever expect to experience should the Lord come while we are still living. As such, we want to prepare for its arrival in every way that we can. The clear thrust of Peter’s words to us in verse 11 is that the way we do that is through the manner in which we live our lives. What does he say? We are to be holy in conduct and godliness, which means that we are to be set apart, both from sin and to the things of God, having an attitude of reverence in all that we do.
Verse 12: Verse 12 continues that line of thinking. The more I prepared for my tractor’s arrival and gave myself over to focused thinking about what work I was going to do with it and how much help it was going to provide in the care of my piece of property, the more I hastened its arrival in my mind. So it is with the things of God and our preparation for His arrival: the more we give our thoughts and our actions and our words over to the sure promise of Jesus’ second coming and the more eagerly we look for it, we speed its coming. This doesn’t mean that in doing these things we alter our Heavenly Father’s appointed time to bring these things to pass. Peter is simply using a euphemism that means we are eagerly desiring something that we know is sure to happen, and that focused on it, we are in one sense enjoying its blessing even before its consummation.
Verse 13: That’s why Peter mentions the word promise in verse 13. It’s all based on promise. Our expectation for the future, our belief that we will be with Jesus, forever dwelling in His righteousness, His love, and His peace, is promise-driven; all based on the sure hope, the hope void of doubt, that what God has said is true. It is for that very reason that we eagerly look for the new heaven and the new earth; it is for that very reason that we eagerly do all that we can do to be ready for when it happens. It is to be something we long for, and something for which we make no apologies.
As we wrap up for the day, I hope that these words from the Scriptures give you something to get excited about! They’re words of hope and promise; words that remind you of what is to come; words that encourage you to hang on, remembering that what you are experiencing now is not all there is. They’re also words that call you to be ready, aren’t they…and I don’t know about you, but when I think of what awaits us as followers of Jesus Christ and realize that it is a greatness, wonder, and beauty beyond our comprehension, I can’t think of anything else that I’d rather have occupying my heart and mind in the interim. God give you joy today in His risen Son, everyone — I’ll see you back here tomorrow, where we’ll actually be closing out our time in 2 Peter. God’s peace, and I hope to see you then!