From Handbook to Scripture, Day 348
READING: 2 PETER 3
The promised coming of Christ will happen suddenly and certainly, and Peter refers back to the creation and the flood to refute the argument of scoffers who deny that the day of the Lord will arrive (3:1–10). In view of the fact that the earth and its works will be destroyed, Peter urges his readers to live holy and blameless lives as they look forward to a new heaven and a new earth (3:11–18).
Peter contrasts the destiny of those who are disseminating error and immorality with those who affirm the Scriptures and develop in Christlike character, and he exhorts his readers to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:18). Sanctification through application and conformity to Scriptural truth is the best defense against spiritual counterfeits. Peter wrote this epistle as a lasting reminder to remain faithful to the foundations of the faith and to urge believers to live holy and godly lives in view of the certain coming of the Lord Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, may I grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.
Meditation passage: verses 8–14, 18
From Simple Prayers, Day 348
I DRAW NEAR TO YOU, GOD
Lord, You have invited me to pray for the needs of others, and since You desire what is best for them, I take this opportunity to bring these requests to You.
May I speak words of encouragement to other believers. (Acts 20:2)
Remember us, O my God, and do not blot out what we have done in Your name. Remember us, O my God, for good. (Nehemiah 13:14, 31)
Take a moment to lift up the needs of your family and friends, and to offer up any other burdens for others that the Lord brings to mind.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE
The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness. (Psalm 103:6, 8)
Both Jews and Greeks must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:21)
I LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS OF TRUTH
If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. (Job 14:14)
MY RESPONSE TO YOU, LORD
Whatever I do, whether in word or in deed, I will do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)
I will not neglect my spiritual gifts. (1 Timothy 4:14)
Lord, I thank You for Your compassion and grace and for the gift of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank You for the hope of the resurrection, and I ask that I would do all things in the name of Jesus and serve others by cultivating my spiritual gifts.
Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth
EFFECTIVELY ENGAGING IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
It is important that we maintain a biblical balance as we consider the reality of spiritual warfare. C.S. Lewis, in the preface to The Screwtape Letters, wrote: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors.” Those who ignore the biblical teaching about the reality of the enemy and the weapons of the warfare put themselves in a dangerous position of vulnerability. The other extreme of excessive preoccupation with demonic forces is just as hazardous. Looking for demons behind every compulsion, craving, and curse—claiming “The devil made me do it”—can actually be an excuse that keeps us from accepting responsibility for the attitudes and actions of our flesh.
As believers, neither ignorance nor unhealthy preoccupation is the best way to engage in the daily battle against the opposing forces of the world system, fleshly desires, and “spiritual forces of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12b). To be overcomers, we need discipline, resistance, the skillful use of spiritual weapons, and dependence on the power of God. Which of these do you need to increase in your life to become more effective in day-to-day spiritual warfare?
Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce.