2 Peter 3
THINK ABOUT IT: What kind of things do you do to relax at the end of the day? Chances are that most of these activities are designed to limit the amount of thinking you do. After a long day of thinking about one problem or another, sometimes you just need to veg out. The Bible was written for the opposite reason: not to shift your mind into neutral, but rather to "stimulate your mind to wholesome thinking (v1)." While vegging out has it's time and place, the real way to rest your weary mind is to be stimulated by God's Word.
PURPOSEFULLY IGNORANT: It should come as no surprise that the world is full of scoffers who scorn God and His followers. Sometimes we think that if such people only knew the truth they wouldn't act that way or say those things. But today we're reminded that these people do know the truth, but v5 reminds us that they "deliberately forget" God's sovereign control of all things. Since they've not stimulated their minds to wholesome thinking (v1), they instead "follow their own evil desires (v3)."
DIVINE TIME ZONE: Those scoffers willfully forget God's control, so Peter warns you to "not to forget this one thing:
With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day (v8).
IS GOD PATIENT OR SOVEREIGN? Yes. Sometimes - often times - it seems like one aspect of God cancels out the other. Peter reminds you today that in His patience, God does "not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (v9)." But in other places in the Bible we read about how God has already chosen those who will repent (Ephesians 1:4-5, Romans 9:15-16). So if He's already decided, He doesn't seem very patient. But God is sovereign and patient. John 3:16 is fully true: God loves the whole world - all people - so much that He sent His Son, and He patiently waits for everyone to come to repentance. Yet all people have 'deliberately forgotten (v5)' God's patience and love, so God has sovereignly chosen to save some.
WHAT'S THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE? The Bible actually tells us very little about what heaven and the new earth will be like, but v13 is one of the fullest explanations. The new heaven and new earth are:
where righteousness dwells.
That's all you need to know.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN, BUT YOU MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT: This phrase is repeated nine times in the New Testament, four of them in this short second letter of Peter. Even though God sovereignly has worked out all things for your salvation, you must "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him (v14)."
DON'T WORRY, PETER WAS CONFUSED BY THIS TOO: Though these doctrines of God's sovereignty are certainly present in Peter's and other New Testament epistles, they're covered the most in Paul's letters. If you find yourself struggling with these concepts, you're in good company. Peter did to. "[Paul's] letters contain some things which are hard to understand (v16)." Understatement of the year. But Peter encourages you to keep working your way through these things rather than twisting them to fit your own ideas.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The Lord, who is not slow in keeping His promise (v9)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to strengthen you to make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him (v14)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: