October 12th

Keeping things in Perspective

9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.    
A New Heaven and Earth
   
   10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.    
   11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,    
   12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which  the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the  elements will melt with intense heat!    
   13But according to His  promise we are looking for  new heavens and a new earth,  in which righteousness dwells.  
   14 Therefore,  beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be  found by Him in peace,  spotless and blameless,    
   15and regard the  patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,    
   16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.    
   17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,    
   18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.  
2 Peter 3:9-18 NASB

The above passage gives us key details about the future, in which some amazing and monumental changes will occur.  Living with the knowledge that these events will happen will help us keep a proper perspective as we live in the world.   

The prevalence of evil in the world can at times be stifling for those who seek to live in obedience to Christ - so much so, that they can get stuck in an earthly mindset and lose sight of God’s eternal perspective.  I’ve found this to be true in my own life, as the daily news stories of the evil that people do at times cause me to have a pessimistic outlook.  Perhaps that’s what Lot went through when he was tormented by the immorality in Sodom (2 Peter 2:7-8). 

John explained that the world in its present form is passing away.  He wrote,  

 15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17 NIV 

The world and its sinful attractions will be swept away violently on the coming “Day of the Lord.”  These changes will include the burning of the heavens, the melting of the elements (earth), and the creation of a new heaven and earth.   

It may sound strange, but we should be looking forward to these events – with expectant joy, but also with reverent fear, being careful to be found ready for our master, whether he returns today or fifty years from now.  Peter mentioned that we should:

As always, we should be on guard against false teachers, who will distort and misuse the scriptures and try to carry us away from the faith. 

Overall, our focus should be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that he will return.  Are you ready for his return? 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer: 

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for the promise that you will return again and make all things new!  Thank you for the encouragement in the scriptures toward being ready for your return.  If there are any things in my life that are not pleasing to you, I confess them now as sin: ___________________ (list).  I repent from these things and ask for your forgiveness.  Please help me to live a pure and holy life, growing in grace and knowledge of you, anticipating that day when you return.  Please give me a servant’s heart and hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen.”