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2 Peter

Over four hundred years ago a Japanese gardener planted a small pine sapling in one inch of soil in a small bowl. As the tree aged, he would remove it from the soil, trim its roots and branches and then replant it.
When he died, his eldest son continued the work that he started and a tradition was born. This tradition has been continued through thirteen generations. That tree still stands in the original dish. After four hundred years, that tree is only twenty inches tall.
In Peter’s letter to the early church he provided some extremely important advice: “Grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Peter was well aware that his time on earth was ending. So in this letter he magnifies the message that God placed on his heart as he faced the end of his journey.
Through the ages his words echo in our hearts: “His divine power gives us everything we need to live a godly life.”
That “divine power” leads to growth, that growth comes from knowledge and that knowledge comes from His Word that nourishes our faith and trust. If we want to become who God wants us to become and do what He would have us to do, we must allow the “roots” of our relationship with Christ to go deep into His Word so that our “branches” will bear the fruits of the Spirit.
Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to recognize the importance of growing in our knowledge of You so that we will enjoy Your favor as we live for and serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 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 3:18
When I was a child, I was fascinated by my father’s garden. Each spring we would plant little seeds that would grow into large plants that produced all types of vegetables. One day I decided to plant my own garden.
Carefully I “turned” the soil and placed the same seeds that my father planted in straight rows separated with room enough for them to grow. Then I went into our house and watched my garden through the window of my bedroom. Every morning and evening I would visit the garden to look for some sign that would assure me that my garden was growing.
Finally, in desperation for some sign that my garden was “working” just like my dad’s, I dug up the seeds to see what was going on. To my surprise I discovered that they were still seeds. I had faith and hope, but no patience.
Sometimes during the difficult periods of life we sow seeds in the garden of prayer and water them with times of meditation, faith and hope. But we lose patience with God and do not give Him enough time to do His work. His Word reminds us, “When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow.”
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to wait on You for lessons in patience that we all need to learn. Only then will we be strong enough to face the challenges of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Peter 1:1-7 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
Having been called to be a missionary, David Livingstone was required to appear before an organization for their endorsement and support. While being questioned about his call, he was asked, “Where are you willing to go?”
“Anywhere,” he answered, “as long as it’s forward!”
In concluding his second letter, Peter wrote, “But grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” By his life and in his writings, Peter emphasized the importance of growth in the life and service of Christians. No matter how well we may believe we know God or how mature we may think that we are in our spiritual development, there is always space to “move forward.”
We live in a world that is hostile to the things of God. There is little doubt that many would be pleased if they could make God completely invisible.
Because of the spirit of antagonism toward God, we must be aware of the battles that are going on around us and, sometimes even within us.
The world will always challenge our faith. The only way to make certain that we are moving forward is to spend time each day with God.
Prayer: May we realize, Lord, the importance of drawing closer to You each day so that we are always prepared to stand for truth and righteousness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
An instructor was trying to encourage his class to be creative. He carefully cut a piece of white paper into a perfect square and held it up before the class. All eyes were focused on the sheet of paper when he asked the question, “What do you see?”
No one said a sheet of white paper, a square, something to write a letter or assignment on or a blank page for a book. The entire class said, “A black spot.” In the left corner of the square was a tiny, black speck. Their focus was on the flaw – not the square.
Most of us seem to look for things that are wrong or improper, incorrect or out of place. It comes with our nature. For whatever reason, we try to discover anything about anybody that is not perfect. Or, might it be that we are trying to justify what is not “right” about ourselves by seeing what is “wrong” in others?
There is an important message here for every Christian. Peter wrote, “Make every effort to live a pure and blameless life.” What great advice. How would we live or act if we were always conscious of the fact that we, as Christians, are always being evaluated by what we do or say by those who are not Christians. The world looks at us differently because of who we claim to be. And like it or not, they have every reason to do so. We will never be perfect in this world, but we can be careful.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to be on guard for that “little spot” that destroys our witness and damages our calling. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
Over four hundred years ago a Japanese gardener planted a small pine sapling in one inch of soil in a small bowl. As the tree aged, he would remove it from the soil, trim its roots and branches and then replant it.

When he died, his eldest son continued the work that he started and a tradition was born. This tradition has been continued through thirteen generations. That tree still stands in the original dish. After four hundred years, that tree is only twenty inches tall.

In Peter’s letter to the early church he provided some extremely important advice: “Grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Peter was well aware that his time on earth was ending. So in this letter he magnifies the message that God placed on his heart as he faced the end of his journey. Through the ages his words echo in our hearts: “His divine power gives us everything we need to live a godly life.”

That “divine power” leads to growth, that growth comes from knowledge and that knowledge comes from His Word that nourishes our faith and trust. If we want to become who God wants us to become and do what He would have us to do, we must allow the “roots” of our relationship with Christ to go deep in to His Word so that our “branches” will bear the fruits of the Spirit.

Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to recognize the importance of growing in our knowledge of You so that we will enjoy Your favor as we live for and serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Having been called to be a missionary, David Livingstone was required to appear before an organization for their endorsement and support. While being questioned about his call, he was asked, “Where are you willing to go?”

“Anywhere,” he answered, “as long as it’s forward!”

In concluding his second letter, Peter wrote, “But grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” By his life and in his writings, Peter emphasized the importance of growth in the life and service of Christians. No matter how well we may believe we know God or how mature we may think that we are in our spiritual development, there is always space to “move forward.”

We live in a world that is hostile to the things of God. There is little doubt that many would be pleased if they could make God completely invisible. Because of the spirit of agnosticism, we must be aware of the battles that are going on around us and within us.

The world will always challenge our faith. The only way to make certain that we are moving forward is to spend time each day with God.

Prayer: May we realize, Lord, the importance of drawing closer to You each day so that we are always prepared to stand for truth and righteousness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
An instructor was trying to encourage his class to be creative. He carefully cut a piece of white paper into a perfect square and held it up before the class. All eyes were focused on the sheet of paper when he asked the question, "What do you see?"

No one said a sheet of white paper, a square, something to write a letter or assignment on or a blank page for a book. The entire class said, "A black spot," for in the left corner of the square was a tiny, black speck. Their focus was on the flaw.

Most of us seem to look for things that are wrong or improper, incorrect or out of place. It comes with our nature. For whatever reason, we try to discover anything about anybody that is not perfect. Or might it be that we are trying to justify what is not "right" about ourselves by seeing what is "wrong" in others?

There is an important message here for every Christian. Peter says, "Make every effort to live a pure and blameless life." What great advice. How would we live or act, if we were always conscious of the fact that we, as Christians, are always being evaluated by what we do or say by those who are not Christians. The world looks at us differently because of who we claim to be. And like it or not, they have every reason to do so. We will never be perfect in this world, but we can be careful.

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to be on guard for that "little spot" that destroys our witness and damages our calling. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
Jeanie was hurrying into the ice cream store, one of her special places. At the door, her pastor greeted her with a warm smile. “What are you going to get?” he asked.

“A chocolate milkshake!” she relied.

“Have you ever thought about giving that money to our church instead of buying ice cream?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied quickly. “But I’ll just get the ice cream and let the people who own the store give the money to the church. That way they can get the credit for giving it to God.”

Many of us place a great value on things that have no lasting value, eternally speaking. Our hobbies and habits, pleasures and pastimes often interfere with what really matters. “Let’s let others do things for God.”

With a stroke of his pen Peter gives us a stern warning: “Since everything around us will one day be dissolved or disappear, what kind of lives should you be living?”

It is easy to live in the present and not focus on our future with the Lord. But we must plan for the day when we will be living in the presence of God. Let’s carefully review this year and plan wisely for the next.

Prayer: We ask Lord, that You will direct our minds and hearts to seek the things that are eternal. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness...
The Japanese bonsai is a beautiful but small tree. Most grow no larger than eighteen inches tall.

The California sequoia is beautiful but large. Some grow over 275 feet tall.

When the young bonsai peeks its small head above the ground, its caretakers tie the taproot and its growth is stunted. Its size is limited by design. The sequoia, on the other hand, has a different destiny. Its growth is stimulated by the minerals in the soil, the rain and the sun. The bonsai and the sequoia have no choice in determining their growth. But we do.

In writing his second letter to the young churches, Peter begins and ends his message encouraging believers to “grow” in the special favor and knowledge that comes from knowing their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He reminds them that they can know Him better and grow into His likeness.

No matter where we are in our spiritual journey, no matter how long we have been walking with the Lord, no matter what level of spiritual maturity we have achieved in our faith, there is still room for growth. We will always be challenged by matters that relate to our faith. But we will always have the opportunity to grow.

Prayer: Father, let us realize that the choice to grow into Your likeness is ours. May we choose to become more like You each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture: 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Read 2 Peter 3:8-18 TLB

Two seventh-graders were arguing and one insulted the other. The insulted one exclaimed angrily, “ I don't have to take that. I’ll give you ten seconds to take it back!”

“If I don’t take it back in ten seconds,” challenged the other, larger fellow, “what will you do?”

“Um, give you more time?” he timidly suggested.

And this is what the Lord does.

What happened when the Lord took Noah out of the world? It was destroyed. What’s keeping the Lord from destroying the world today? The presence of Christians.

But the Bible says that one day the Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. And what’s keeping Him from coming? The Bible says, “He is giving more time for sinners to repent.”

Be grateful. Be careful. Repent now, won’t you?

Prayer: Deliver us, Father, from all our sins. We need Thy companionship and counsel that we might live as Christians should live: through Christ. Amen.