Friday Focus – July 14, 2017

Click HERE to read the entire July 14, 2017 issue.

On Sunday, Robin Baker shared a message from 2 Peter 1. Here’s an excerpt from his notes:

Holiness. That is what Peter wants in the followers of Jesus. So, he calls on the followers of Jesus to cultivate “holiness” in their lives and to be at work practicing holiness. In order to grow in holiness, he calls his readers to a life of moral excellence, of knowing God more intimately, which leads to patience and self-control. All the work leads to godliness and ultimately to genuine love for all. The reality is that you cannot love others unless you subordinate the self – the only way to do that is through the Spirit that dwells within us and genuine practice. 

Remember. In verse 13, Peter calls his people, the followers of Jesus, to remember. He does not suggest this just so the group nostalgically looks at the past. He is concerned they will forget the truths they have been taught. He wants to have them remember so they can make those truths a vital part of their being. In what ways does God stir your memory or remind you of his work? I love the way Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:5 – “I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother Lois. This is why I remind you to fan to flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” Timothy’s faith was the result of his grandmother and mother consistently reminding him of the commitments and teachings of Jesus.

I come from generations of agricultural people who had a deep love of the Lord. As a result, much like Timothy, they passed on to me a commitment to the gospel, to the church of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:25), and to Jesus’ calling to be in ministry in his name. 

So, in verses 16 to 21, Peter reminds the followers of the essential point – “Jesus is the Messiah, the glory of God the Father, and he is coming back to judge the living and the dead.” It is true—you can count on it. It was probable in Peter’s day that some began to doubt the divinity of Jesus, to question the resurrection, and to consider Jesus’ calling to be just another prophet telling people to follow the teachings of God. The story of Jesus is a fable. Peter says, that is not true – you know it. Why? Because you have heard the testimony from me and the other apostles. We have seen Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. We have heard God himself say that this is his beloved son in whom he is pleased. We are eye and ear witnesses. 

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