Category Archives: 2 Peter

I Chronicles 26, 27, 2 Peter 1, Micah 4, Luke 13

Do you sometimes look for the exceptions in Scripture? That is, does a phrase or description cause you to pause and wonder? I’m studying the Word for the nth time and still surprised by what I missed all those other times. I don’t always approach Scripture with an agenda. I’m not always looking for an answer to prayer or searching for my life’s purpose. When reading the Bible, my curiosity catches a word or phrase and I am bound to circle context and content until I find relevance. For relevance are what all Scripture offers.

Take the many lists of fathers and sons in Chronicles. What pops out to me is the phrase after introducing the eight sons of Obed-Edom – “…for God blessed him,” (I Chron. 26:4-5) What to make of that; are we not blessed who have few or no sons? Or is it that Obed-Edom was blessed because his sons would be tasked with heavy responsibility in the kingdom of God?

“Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons: Shri the first (for though he was not the firstborn, his father made him the first,” (I Chron. 26:10). This is yet another example in Scripture where a firstborn lost his heritage to a younger son. Depending on where you stand politically, you might herald this as a great triumph for the last being first. Another might decry, “Unfair!” as Lucy says on A Charlie Brown Christmas, “All I want is what I have coming to me; all I want is my fair share!”

“To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came out…watchman opposite watchman,” (I Chron. 26:16). Ominous, isn’t it? There is this perpetual need for watchmen; the eyes facing out, backs forming a barrier between the unknown dangers without and the trusting protected ones within. Who are our wathcmen?

“Also Jehonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a wise man, a scribe…” (I Chron. 27: 32). Keeping family who know you best in your inner circle can mean accountability and practicality; uncomfortable at times but grounding when needed.

And this much debated truth – God chose holy men to be His spokesmen. “…knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,” (II Peter 1:20). Thus, the source of all Scripture is God Himself. How reassuring! When I veer off, Scripture draws me back to God’s truth.

“Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord…He shall teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’” (Micah 4:2)

Talk about getting grounded! I am reminded not to be fooled or led astray by the automatic negative thoughts that lead to disturbed emotions and unthinkable behaviors toward others.

Jesus debunked false ideas: “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

(Luke 13:4-5)

Lord Jesus, I do not mean to end my wonderings on a seemingly negative note. In fact, I am encouraged by picking out these exceptional verses of Scripture. They remind me of the intense focus you place on speaking to your children from creation to eternity. No matter that I am limited in understanding by my finite, mortal brain. Your Spirit calls to my spirit and I relish in listening, asking for clarification, responding to Your intimate knowing, and surprised repeatedly by Your mysteries. Love You, Lord! Looking forward to the next immersion in Your Word!

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

All Scripture and commentary quotes from: The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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Numbers 28; Psalm 72; Isaiah 19, 20; 2 Peter 1

Numbers 28

Numbers 28 is clear instructions concerning offerings for those days. These offerings had to be brought regularly and according to prescribed rituals. Following these instructions and preparing everything must of taken an age but must also have given the people the opportunity to prepare their hearts correctly. The act of giving or offering is an act of worship and if our hearts are not correctly prepared, this worship is meaningless. It is so much easier to give and make offerings if our hearts are prepared with thankfulness.

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Make sure that you present to me at the appointed time my food offerings, as an aroma pleasing to me.’ 

Psalm 72

1 Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.

2 May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.

God desires all who rule under him to be righteous and just. With our leaders and politicians in the news every day we get a front row seat to their “righteousness and justice”. If only all the world leaders would commit to these two qualities right? Pray for our leaders that they might realize their need for the Lord and that He would help them rule with righteousness and justice.

Isaiah 19

Egypt was well known for its wisdom, but here its wise men and officials were deceived and foolish. True wisdom can come only from God. We must ask him for wisdom to guide all our decisions, or we too will be uncertain and misdirected

11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; the wise counsellors of Pharaoh give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the wise men, a disciple of the ancient kings”? 12 Where are your wise men now? Let them show you and make known what the Lord Almighty has planned against Egypt. 13 The officials of Zoan have become fools, the leaders of Memphis are deceived; the cornerstones of her peoples have led Egypt astray. 14 The Lord has poured into them a spirit of dizziness; they make Egypt stagger in all that she does, as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit. 15 There is nothing Egypt can do— head or tail, palm branch or reed.

 Isaiah 20

2 at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.

God asked Isaiah to do something that seamed shameful and illogical. At times, God may ask us to take steps we don’t understand. We must obey God in complete faith, for he will never ask us to do something wrong.

2 Peter 1

Peter lists several of faiths actions: learning to know God better, developing perseverance , doing God’s will, loving others. These actions do not come automatically or naturally, they require hard work. They are not optional; all of them must be a continual part of the Christian life. We have a great responsibility so ask God to empower and enable you to learn and grow.

God Bless

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Jeremiah 47-49; Psalm 80; 2 Peter 2

17Help the man you have chosen.

Make this human being strong for your service.

18Then we will not turn away from you.

Give us life again, and we will call to you for help.

19Lord God of heaven’s armies, take us back.

Show us your kindness so we can be saved. Psalm 80:17-19

God desires me to serve Him. His command to me, above all else, is to love Him with all my heart and soul and mind. But, as hard as I try, I still fail miserably at times.

I believe that God offers second (and third, and fourth…) chances. Because He knows that I am not even close to being perfect, because He can see into my heart and understand everything that is there, He knows the intentions of my heart are to serve Him always.

9And so the Lord knows how to save those who serve him. He will save them when troubles come…2 Peter 2:9

Noah and Lot are examples of men in the Bible who were not perfect (I mean Lot offered his daughters to be raped by lustful men – yikes), but because of their desire to serve God and follow Him, He rescued them from devastation.

The Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites and other tribes were not so lucky. They had no love for God in their heart and served idols who called for death and destruction. Though they were given warnings, they did not turn away from their sin and they reaped what they sowed.

16But a donkey told Balaam that he was sinning. And the donkey is an animal that cannot talk. But the donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the prophet’s crazy thinking. 2 Peter 2:16 

God won’t give up hope for those who turn away. He will constantly pursue anyone whose heart is blackened by sin by any means possible, from the natural consequences of a life lived with bad choices to words straight from a donkey’s mouth.

Just as I pursue my children in the midst of their bad choices, calling them back to obedience and cultivating a repentant heart, my Father in Heaven does the same for me. He gives me life and gives me strength. He shows me kindness that I don’t deserve and saves me from the enemy.

Yesappa, Thank You for being the God of many chances. Thank You for showing me kindness, grace, and mercy in the midst of my bad choices. Give me life where the enemy only wants death. Help me draw nearer to You in each moment to find strength to stand against sin; and give me life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie

 

International Children’s Bible, Copyright © 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Jeremiah 50-51; 2 Peter 3

“My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds have led them astray

and turned them loose in the mountains.

They have lost their way

and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold….

 

But the one who redeems them is strong.

His name is the lord of Heaven’s Armies.

He will defend them

and give them rest again in Israel…

Jeremiah 50:6; 34a

I am learning about identity. Who am I? What is my sense of self?

Often, when thinking about identity, I tend to look first at the roles I take part in – I am a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a wife, a mother, a friend, etc. Also, I think about my characteristics – I’m honest, caring, compassionate, strong, hungry for learning, loyal, etc. Sometimes I think about the ugly of my past or the sins of my current experience. All of these things make up identity as the world sees it; they are the identifiers that make me different than another person or similar to someone else.

But I am coming to learn that heaven sees me in a different light.

Before I really knew Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I was a lost sheep; I was led astray by the enemy and those that sided with him. Just like the people of Israel, I was turned loose into the wilderness and didn’t know how to find my way back. But my sin didn’t cause the Lord to abandon me, to leave me or forsake me. He was still my God, even though I wasn’t walking by His side. He still called me to come to Him.

“For the lord of Heaven’s Armies

has not abandoned Israel and Judah.

He is still their God,

even though their land was filled with sin

against the Holy One of Israel.” Jeremiah 51:5

The reality is, whether I have full revelation of it or not, that my identity is completely connected to God, as my creator, as my Father.

I am Julie. Who I am is loved by God. I am forgiven and saved. I am valuable and worthy. I am a child of God. I am a daughter of the King. I am called.

Yesappa, Thank You for being strong and full of grace and mercy. Thank You for never abandoning me, even when I was lost. Thank You for calling me out of the darkness into Your arms. Thank you for giving me true identity that neither the circumstances of my life nor the enemy can steal from me. Thank You for giving my life purpose. Help walk out ‘who I am is loved by you’ ever moment of every day; and when I stray from that, pull me back into Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Jeremiah 47,48,49; Psalm 80; 2 Peter 2

For thus says the Lord: “Behold, one shall fly swiftly like an eagle and spread his wings against Moab; the cities shall be taken and the strongholds seized. The heart of the warriors of Moab shall be in that day like the heart of a woman in her birth pains; Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people, because he magnified himself against the Lord.” Jeremiah 48:40-42 ESV

One of the main themes when looking through my journal is how God has turned things around in my life. Even as simple as how He turned a bad day around and gave me things to be thankful for… to heavy places that feel so weighty in my mind. But, weaving through is a fresh start, a new beginning. I had always thought of it this way until I heard something by Beth Moore that made me think of it a differently. She was talking about rebuilding and how that can be harder. It can take more faith, commitment and perseverance. Sometimes things have to be destroyed before they can be RE-stored.  I recently read a blog by Ann Voskamp where she wrote, “Sometimes it is best to re-break so you can heal right.” Ouch! It is no fun, it hurts, it is painful, but I am thankful that God is faithful and He fulfills His promises. And He will restore what is broken in my life, if I let Him.

Behold, I will bring terror upon you, declares the Lord of hosts, from all who are around you, and you shall be driven out, every man straight before him, with none to gather the fugitives. “But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 49:5&6 ESV

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” Psalm 80:3 ESV

Thank you Father that You are a God who doesn’t leave me where I am. That You desire to rebuild me and to restore what is broken. I pray that I would keep my eyes on You. Thank you for how You work in my life. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Jeremiah 43, 33, 46; 2 Peter 1

Jeremiah 46:27-28 Do not fear or be dismayed…I will save you from afar…you shall return, have rest, and be at ease…

II Peter 1:5-8 …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. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What is the hope of a Christian?  To be like Christ, for sure. To be with Christ at the end of this life, a certainty. But what if the words that we speak show that the condition of our hear is far from the brotherly kindness and ultimate love portrayed by Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection? When we walk in distress and with an unquiet heart, there is no peace or joy even in the knowledge of Christ. We quickly find ourselves out of control in our daily dealings with the very people that God puts in our lives to learn godliness. And the superficial band aids we place over the needs of our brothers and sisters becomes a barrier not just to their healing, but to offering the greatest of godly virtues – love.

Recently, I was reminded of these things while participating in several gatherings with various groups.  I realized that the sudden hearing loss that I now have in one ear has made it difficult to listen to the words of others. While people were laughing or when several were talking at the same time, my comprehension plummeted. I tried to focus on one or two, but until there was only one speaker at a time, the words become a jumbled mess. My understanding was disjointed, but I picked up nonverbals of negativity, frivolity, ambition, weariness, and silent pain. At first I was merely frustrated, but listening with my eyes reminded me of the powerful impact of words. How can I become be a Christ bearer without being mindful of my words? For I believe the impact of our words are the evidence of our fruit.  Watch how others respond or react to what you say, not with a thought toward being understood or appreciated, but with a thought about whether or not brotherly kindness and love were received.

Breathing in the words; utterances you speak

Flippantly, solemnly, disrespectfully

Filling buckets with grit, gems, grains of truth

Welcoming, haunting, shocking

Squeezing past the defenses; gibberish I speak

Purposefully, randomly, erroneously

Shaping memories like wet clay with heavy hands

Brooding, disciplining, accepting

Breathing out the words; what we speak

Irreverently, uncontrollably, plainly

Dispelling myths with honesty, lies, good intentions

Hoping, expecting, demanding

As long as I’m still breathing.

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Ezekiel 43-44; 2 Peter 2

We became dog people this year, adding a 3-5 year old rescued foxhound named Nella to our family.

NellaShe sheds. She doesn’t know a single command. And on the occasion I witnessed her eat her own vomit, I’m sure my face reflected a bit of disgust and horror. Because that is just gross.

Nella, however, didn’t seem bothered by it.

For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” 2 Peter 2:19b-22 NLT.

I remember reaching a point in my walk with the Lord where I felt frustrated and discouraged by my own sin. There were days I felt it would be way easier if I hadn’t known of a different life. But I knew too much to ever go back and be comfortable.

Because to know the Lord and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again certainly feels worse off than before.

Impatience, jealousy, or anger sometimes flare up in me without warning. And I gobble it up much like my dog, ingesting sin before I can muster the thought, “Did I just eat that?” Other sin is much more calculated–a gazing at vomit, if you will, and choosing to dine on it. A repulsive image. These I do try to avoid.

On Pinterest, I saw a pin of a quote that read, “Instead of using ‘I’m human’ as a reason to walk in the flesh, try using ‘I’m saved’ as a reason to walk in the Spirit.”

I want to put this on the fridge somewhere. Perhaps next to the picture of my dog.

God, thank you for grace, your desire to change me daily, and the opportunities you give me to grow closer to you. Please show me the things that control me so I can be free from them.

Courtney (66books365)

From the archives. Originally published November 30, 2012.

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