Wednesday Morning: 17 Jul 2019 – 2 Peter 3:1-18 ~ Look forward to the Day of the Lord.

Wednesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – 2 Peter 3:1-18 (NLT)

The Day of the Lord Is Coming

This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.

Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him — speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.

Peter’s Final Words

You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
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Morning Reflection:

Look forward to the Day of the Lord.

On that day, he will set the heavens on fire,
and the elements will melt away in the flames.
But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised,
a world filled with God’s righteousness.
– 2 Peter 3:12-13 –

Peter concludes his second letter by responding to the question: “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?” Peter then warns believers to live with the Day of the Lord (Jesus’ return) in mind – and with it the promise of a new heavens and earth.

“A scoffer is someone who treats lightly that which ought to be taken seriously.”
(Warren Wiersbe)

+ God is patient – The delay in Christ’s return is to allow unbelievers to be saved and believers to grow in faith. Further, God is Lord over all of creation – by his Word he created the heavens and the earth, and by his Word he sustains all things. Time itself is in God’s hands; God will do what  he will do in his own time – at just the right time.

+ Judgement is certain – The Day of the Lord will usher in a time of judgement of unbelievers and destruction of the heavens and earth as we know it. But just as certain is the creation of new heavens and a new earth, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

+ Live with the end in mind – Live looking forward to the promise of the new heavens and earth where righteousness dwells. In the meantime, we are to be at peace with God, and work out our salvation by living godly lives (spotless and blameless).

While you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort
to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

-2 Peter 3:14 –

Questions for consideration:

  • If you knew that the “Day of the Lord” were to come tomorrow, would you do anything differently? How would it affect your relationship with God and others? What would you do to get ready? Please explain.
  • As we wait patiently for Christ’s return, do you know an unbeliever who needs to repent and turn to Christ to be saved from destruction? What part can you play in their reconciliation with God? Please explain.
  • What would it mean for you to “make every effort to live a peaceful life? Who comes to mind when you think of being a peacemaker? Please explain.
  • When you think of living a “pure and blameless life,” where does your life need work? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For the Unrepentant –

Merciful God, you desire not the death of sinners, but rather that they should turn to you and live; and through your only Son you have revealed yourself as the God who pardons iniquity. Have mercy on the unrepentant and those who do not believe. Awaken in them, by your Word and Holy Spirit, a deep sense of their sinfulness and peril. Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word. Grant them to know and feel that there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which they must be saved, but only the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so bring them home and number them among your children, that they may be yours for ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

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“O Zion haste” – Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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