Saying Goodbye to Peter – 11-16-22

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;” 2 Peter 1:10 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Second Book of Peter, chapter 1 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Greeting the Faithful

Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have [a]obtained like[b] precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the [c]corruption that is in the world through lust.

Fruitful Growth in the Faith

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control [d]perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither [e]barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Peter’s Approaching Death

12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this [f]tent, to stir you up by reminding you14 knowing that shortly I must [g]put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my [h]decease.

The Trustworthy Prophetic Word

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

19 [i]And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private [j]interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but [k]holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Colossians 4:2 – 

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Welcome to Second Peter!
It is commonly believed Peter wrote this within a year or two of the first letter.  Peter knew he was going to die soon. Like Paul knew and wrote his final letters, God gave Peter the opportunity to do the same. Peter says in this letter, he is reminding them – so it was not written to address a problem. He is just putting down on paper, for posterity after he is gone, the things he feels Christian will need reminding of when he is not here to do it. Like I suggested with Paul’s last letters, and Jesus’s last teachings – I also suggest here: pay attention! These thing matter.
We have a clearer perspective at the end of our lives than we did at the beginning. When we are children we can waste time with our imaginations and as an adult we must cast down imaginations and thoughts contrary to God. And as we age we understand the importance of that. Well, here is Peter, looking back, and telling us what matters.

Before we jump in, I want to take a moment to discuss versions of the Bible. I grew up on and most of my memorization is from the King James Version (KJV).  People still complain that it is difficult to read and so I mostly use the New King James Version (NKJV) here in the blog – easier for people to read and close to the version in my mind – although the verses I have memorized which are not KJV, I have memorized in NKJV. I study back to the Greek and Hebrew and study mostly from the Berean Literal Bible Version, as well as the KJV and NKJV. However, I have used other versions to help with the ease of understanding in our modern version of our language.  Like I will use the Amplified Classic when I want to really catch all the words to describe something – however I do find conflicts sometimes when bringing it back to the meanings in Greek. The NIV, NLT, ESV are all missing words and even verses that are included in the KJV and the NKJV. So I shy away from them – but sometimes their wording is simple and I use it.  Today, the version above is our usual NKJV, however the version I am using in this section is the Berean Literal Bible (BLB).  If you are not familiar with it – a group of people took the original manuscripts and translated them again (like King James had his monk’s do). And just like King James had it translated to the current meaning of word in English with their current spellings (of that time period) – this version is translated to the 21st century version of words and meanings. So today, we will discuss from this version.

1Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those having obtained a faith equally precious with ours, through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

Peter opens with the standard Christian greeting. We have seen this in Paul’s letters as well. To greet each other with a blessing of grace to you, grace and peace to you, and here, Peter blessing the readers (including us) with a multiplied measure of grace and peace in the knowledge of God and our Savior! I have often wondered why the modern church stopped greeting each other with a blessing. Seriously think we should start!

Now, pay attention – the deep meat starts pouring in immediately and if you aren’t ready, you can choke on it. It is ok to slow down and chew on some of these things. Take your time.

3Accordingly, His divine power has given us all things toward life and godliness, …”

The Lord’s divine power is endless and limitless.

The words: “has given” is past tense. It has already been done. It was accomplish before we were even breathing air. What was given?

ALL THINGS that we need for life and godliness. We already possess ALL THINGS we need. God knew us before we were made and made us for such a time as this and for our calling and four our situation – we are made for this and ALREADY HAVE inside of us EVERYTHING we need to succeed in accomplishing our lives.

How do we access it?

“… through the knowledge of the One having called us by His own glory and excellence,”

It is accessed through the knowledge of Jesus. This word knowledge is not the word for academics and head knowledge. It is the intimate word for knowing, not in perversion, but in deep intimacy where we can learn to recognize God’s heart beat from laying our head on His chest.

We are called by His own glory (not ours, we must remain humble) and excellence and that call – is calling to that infinite divine power that made us with everything we need. Deep calls out to deep.

4through which He has given to us the precious and magnificent promises, …”

Again we have: “has given”! When we were given everything we needed we were also given precious and magnificent promises. We often come to God, because our soul recalls the promise of provision and help – so when we realize we are fallible and weak and need those promises we come to Christ. Hopefully, we are transformed by the realization you need Him more for salvation and begin to grow and some lukewarm sleeper preacher doesn’t quench the fire within you – because within you is a deep recall of other precious and magnificent promises! Yes. Many times we et quenched and distracted by the enemy and forget that God has placed in us a desire for ALL these precious and magnificent promises. They are promised – He does not lie! We just must learn of them and receive them!

“… so that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the decay in the world in desire.”

We can, and should, become partakers of the divine nature. It almost sounds like the enemy’s replica = witchcraft. A bunch of silly women seeking nature in order to reach the divine and partake of it. Lets not get confused by the shift of focus. You see, we can only get there by accepting promises. Promises we do not even see when we are distracted by the elementary and immature issues of our flesh.
The decay in this world is the curse of death. It is autumn and most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and as you walk you can actually smell death, nitrates and carbon and rotting life. This is a great description of our desires in the flesh that come from being influenced by the curse of death. But we can escape it and desire God’s will for our lives and we can desire LIFE and partake in it in the divine nature.

So how do we get there?

5Now also for this very reason, having brought in all earnestness, supplement into your faith virtue, …”

Peter wrote and preached with an earnestness we need today. Quickly we must bring to ourselves then to others this type of growth.
I must first interject – this is Peter, the disciple who ALWAYS put his foot in his mouth or said the wrong thing while following Jesus. Now he says some of the deepest spiritual meat we can sink our teeth into. This structure of growth and learning is profound! And the First book or Peter was written in High Greek with help from a highly educated friend. This book is written in Common Greek and without help with His grammar – and is spiritually deeper and so much tastier than the other book! All the more proof that God Himself wrote through Peter!

So let’s discus the process described here. First we see we have faith. You must have even a small measure to begin to believe this stuff. Jesus is not walking around on the earth today to tell us to follow Him – we must have faith that He is to even begin. So our earnest process must add virtue to that faith. Virtue is high moral (understanding of right and wrong) standards. Morals are foundational – and many Christian believe that growth towards being virtuous IS growth in Christianity. It is just the first step. (Besides I know some unbelievers who have a high moral standard.)

“… and into virtue knowledge,”

The next step of the process is learning – we MUST read our Bibles. I know all of you love he deep word of God or you would not come back – but a surprisingly large number of Christians do not love or even read their Bible. Crack that book open and dig in!

6and into knowledge self-control, …”

This step took a LONG time for me. Too long. It also took a lot of fasting. I was also struggling with a demon of addiction, so that did not help. I am still always on my guard and keeping myself on a tight leash – I am never surprise at how easily I can lose control when I let my guard down.

“… and into self-control endurance, …”

As we go through these, examine yourself. Have you learned to endure? But also, to understand the rise of evil in this world – look around at the state of the modern church. How many people in your local congregation alone stopped in the struggle of self-control and did not endure. And thought how made it to the endurance stage – did not endure, because one thing after another was all too much for them.
We have a fast food church system now. My local preacher has us out the door within 2 hours of coming in with a 45 minute sermon. AND this is long compared to other churches where you are in and out within the hour. It takes longer to get ready, then to actually be there! While the preachers I love the listen to, go for 3 to 4 (sometimes more) hours and when they are done, I am sad that it is over. How many have reached the endurance stage?

“… and into endurance godliness,”

Those of us who strive for godliness know it is no easy thing to be set apart – literally we do not even fit in with the other “Christians”. So many times people reach this stage and slide backwards under peer pressure to fit in. Don’t do that.

On the other hand – we see people trying to be godly before they have even learned self-control. These cannot be completed in any other order. This is profoundly deep. If you thing someone is godly and they are lacking in the other areas – then they are not godly, just putting on a show. 100% every time without fail.

Sadly in our modern church culture these are the people who are thought of as the super mature – but there are still two more steps, it is just over half way there. And people think so, because they have few examples of people who LET god finish what He started in them. God DID promise to finish, but He cannot finish if you do not let Him.

7and into godliness brotherly affection, …”

This is starting to hurt. I have a Pastor friend, who has been doing a series on getting the body of Christ to show more brotherly affection towards each other. It is not working. Pride and criticism run loose through his congregation. But many have been attending for 16, 25, 40 plus years – they should be past this point. Just look at them, they are all godly, just ask them. So why can’t they put aside pride and criticism and attain brotherly affection?
I have gone and watch in the spirit and I see two issues. This insight might help you with yourself obtaining brotherly affection or it might help you to help others reach it. First of all Pride and Criticism can be a working of flesh – but in this case it is a principality that was given authority over the actual church building. The authority, by which it is there, must be broken and the demons must be removed. 
The other issue is a man issue – the people have a form of godliness, denying the power thereof. They are fakes. Fake News. Not the real deal. It is in the form of godliness, looks like they are godly on Sunday morning, but when you refuse the power… well, this could be part of what is giving authority to Pride and Criticism. Be careful not to quench the spirit – Give place to God in godliness. Or you’ll never have anything but fake smiles and obligatory niceties.

I, by my nature, do not like people. I do not have strong people skills and find interacting to be EXTREMELY draining. I guess that is what the world calls an introvert. But then God happened and I have been transformed. I am now much more social, even though I prefer not to be. I do find, I am compelled to hug people (when I’d rather not be touched). I grew in genuine affection for believers.

“… and into brotherly affection love.”

Then God did something amazing! He helped me actually love people. Pray and cry out for others, offer to help, and become even more social. It is not natural. It is all GOD – working through me. I have friends who tell me regularly, that I cannot save the world and I must stop loving so much!  What a difference the Lord makes!
Jesus said they will know we are Christian by our love – yet love is the LAST thing to develop. While so many cannot even endure sound doctrine, let alone a test on their self-control. Oh Lord, help your church!

8For these things being in you and abounding, make you neither idle nor unfruitful as to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Those who abound in these things are fruitful and know Jesus – those who do not, are unfruitful and do not know Jesus. Ouch.

9For in whomever these things are not present, he is blind, being short sighted, having received forgetfulness of the purification from his former sins.”

So, if you have not completed the process and have “these things” you are to some degree if not completely blind, short sighted, and have forgotten that you were purified from your formal life. If you have forgotten you have been made whole – what will stop you from sliding back and returning to your old self? Lord, Help your church!

10Therefore, brothers, be diligent, rather, to make your calling and election sure. For practicing these things, never at any time shall you stumble. 11For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.”

Yep, even Peter agrees – if you do not practice these things – you can slip so far away you can miss the pearly gates. The Bible does say your name can be blotted out – I am not sure how far you have to slide for that to happen.

12Therefore I will be ready always to remind you concerning these things, though knowing them and having been strengthened in the truth being present in you. 13Now I esteem it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance,”

Peter longs to express how important it is to remember these things. He wants to be able to stick around and remind everyone – But it seems he knows his time is short:

14knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle is impending, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will be diligent also for you to have at every time after my departure these things, to make a lasting remembrance.”

And so we see the reason for his letter – to give us in writing the important things – the meaty things – the good things to strengthen us in truth and help us reach the end.

16For we have not made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ having followed out cleverly devised fables, but having been eyewitnesses of His majesty.”

Peter now reminds the reader of the experience by which he speaks. We can cross reference the gospels directly for the corroboration of this. (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:1-13; Luke 9:28-36)

17For having received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice such as follows was brought to Him by the Majestic Glory: “This is My Son, My beloved, in whom I have found delight.” 18And we heard this voice having been brought from heaven, being with Him in the holy mountain.”

Peter was surely blessed to have been there – to have eaten, drank, and walked with Jesus.

19And we have the more certain prophetic word, to which you do well taking heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until this day shall have dawned and the morning star shall have arisen in your hearts, 20knowing this first, that any prophecy of Scripture is not of its own interpretation. 21For no prophecy at any time was brought by the will of man, but men spoke from God, being carried by the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus is the confirmed or certain prophetic word. Jesus is the lamp and the light. He will wake you up.

Now prophecy will also point to Jesus enough to bring light and help wake you up – like prophesying to the dry bones to come to life.

The Word of God must always confirm prophecy in interpretation. And the Holy Spirit bring the prophetic whenever He wants and not when man wants.
I have a friend who was called by God to be a prophet. She has dreams and vision. If I asked her for a word – She could not just make it happen, nor can I make it happen for her. And when she does get a word – it could be about a government on the other side of the world and not for me. Peter is saying something similar – man cannot make prophetic gifts happen. Only the Holy Spirit can.

It is very hard to break up 2 Peter into chapters. I feel this flows right into the next in order to make more sense. Like, without chapter 2, it feels like he was about to speak to prophecy in a bold and prophetic way – especially starting Jesus being prophecy, and then it deescalated quickly into: man cannot prophesy on a whim. But we will see why tomorrow.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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