Posts Tagged ‘Jesus


Don’t Return To Your Past

Do you remember when you first came to Christ? Do you remember that feeling of freedom? You knew that the chains had been broken and that your past was forgiven. You had received the free gift of God’s grace and it was like a glass of cool water in the midst of a desert. You may have thought to yourself, “I’ll never go back there again!” Yet, gradually and over time, the past has called to you and has beckoned you to return to your former life. Don’t go back there! It’s not worth it. Here’s what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:20 (NLT):

And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before.

Don’t listen to the voices of the past who are calling you back into sin. Don’t believe those who say that sin is no big deal. It’s a big deal and sin is a slave master who is ready to enslave you again. Remember that Jesus set you free from sin and your past and you don’t have to go back there ever again.


Pointing To Jesus

In 2 Peter 1, Peter was writing about the voice of the Father confirming that Jesus was His Son. God the Father said that Jesus was indeed was His beloved Son and He was pleased with Him. Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:19 (NLT):

Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.

The prophets of the Old Testament proclaimed the message that God would send a Messiah to save the world. They were pointing to Jesus! Jesus, who was and is God, came to earth in human flesh to take away the sins of the world. It is through Jesus that we have forgiveness and hope. We have peace with God and peace from God through Jesus. When Jesus came, everything changed. May He shine in your heart today so that others will see Jesus through you.


Hearing The Voice Of God

Peter talks about his experience of Jesus in chapter 1 of his second letter to the churches. He said that he and his fellow disciples weren’t making up stories about the Savior. Instead, he was writing the truth of the things he had witnessed. They saw Jesus perform miracles with their own eyes. They touched Him with their own hands. They heard Him teach with their ears. They even heard the voice of God confirm that Jesus was the Son. Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:18 (NLT):

We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

God the Father declared that Jesus was His Son and that we should listen to Him. Could you imagine hearing the voice of God? Peter doesn’t talk about how the voice sounded, but rather what the voice said. The message was clear: Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore, He has the Father’s stamp of approval. Jesus was sent by God the Father to teach us, to reveal God to us and to die for us. Now, we can have a loving relationship with God by His grace through faith in Christ. Do you hear His voice calling out to you today? He is calling to you to invite you into this incredible relationship of love and peace.


This Is Not Fake News

There’s a lot of talk about “fake news” everywhere these days. From politicians to social media, people use that term quite a bit. Back in the apostle Peter’s day, he and his fellow believers were being accused of fake news when it came to Jesus. Peter wrote this in 2 Peter 1:16-17 (NLT):

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

The story of Jesus and His coming was not “fake news,” Peter says. He says that they saw Him and His majesty with their own eyes. They heard the voice of the Father affirm that Jesus was His Son. They weren’t making it up. Jesus wasn’t a mythological figure or a fairy tale story. He really came to earth and He really lived a perfect life. He really died on a Roman cross and He really rose back to life. He really is coming again and we’re really going to live with Him forever. This is the real news and it really is really good.


Stunted Growth

I remember people telling me when I was little not to drink coffee because it would stunt my growth. Of course, that’s not true. I do think that there are ways that our spiritual growth can be stunted. When we fail to surrender to the Spirit of God, our spiritual growth is stunted. When we fail to cultivate a growing relationship with God, our spiritual growth is stunted. Peter wrote this in 2 Peter 1:8-9 (NLT):

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

He says that when we fail to grow spiritually, we are shortsighted or blind. We’ve forgotten what God has done for us through His Son, Jesus. Are you growing spiritually? Are you becoming more like Jesus? Or do you resist God’s Spirit and what He’s trying to do in your life? Don’t forget that you’ve been forgiven and cleansed. Live your life as a response to this gift of grace today.


Your New Best Friend

Whether you came to Christ early or later in life, you probably had some wild days in your past. You may have had a group of friends with whom you used to hang around, but do so no longer. You may have lived the party lifestyle with them that doesn’t seem all that appealing to you now. They wonder what happened to you. What happened to all of the good times you used to have. Why are you such a goody two-shoes? What are you? Are you some kind of Jesus freak? Peter says to not be surprised when people slander you for the change that has taken place in your life. He wrote in 1 Peter 4:4-5 (NLT):

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead.

We say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones…,” but names do hurt. When people make fun of us or persecute us for our faith, it hurts. Don’t forget that God has the final say. We will all stand before Him in judgment. Don’t walk away from your faith because your former friends don’t like your new best friend, Jesus.


The Baptism That Saves You

Noah and his family were saved by God from the floodwaters that overwhelmed the earth. Peter, in describing baptism, uses the flood imagery to show that God still saves us through water. Here’s what he wrote in 1 Peter 3:21 (NLT):

And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Notice that the water does not save us. The water is neither holy nor magical. We are saved by the power of God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is at the moment of baptism when we are saved, according to Peter. He said in Acts 2:38 (ESV):
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we are baptized, our sins are forgiven by God’s grace through faith and trust in Jesus Christ and we are filled with God’s Spirit. If you have never been baptized as a believer in Jesus, what are you waiting for? Let your pastor know that you want to be baptized. Let this powerful experience be a fresh start for you.

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