1From Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ.
To everyone who shares with us in the privilege of believing that our God and Savior Jesus Christ will do what is just and fair.
2I pray that God will be kind to you and will let you live in perfect peace! May you keep learning more and more about God and our Lord Jesus.
Living as the Lord's
3We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. 4God made great and marvelous promises, so his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.
5Do your best to improve your faith by adding goodness, understanding, 6self-control, patience, devotion to God, 7concern for others, and love. 8If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. 9But if you don't grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.
10My friends, you must do all you can to show God has really chosen and selected you. If you keep on doing this, you won't stumble and fall. 11Then our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will give you a glorious welcome into his kingdom that will last forever.
If you have been following theStory reflections regularly, you will notice that we have jumped from the last known letter that Paul wrote (to Timothy) to the last one that Peter wrote (to Christians scattered around Asia Minor).
If you and your companions were to come upon an emergency shelter after a long, cold and arduous winter hike in the mountains you would no doubt be greatly relieved. And if a quick scan of the interior revealed a stove with matches, firewood and food supplies, you would be even more relieved. “What marvelous gifts,” you might say to each other. But all of that would be useless to you unless you used these materials and supplies – just looking at them and thanking God for them will not warm you up nor feed that gnawing hunger in your stomachs!
Peter says: “you have everything you need to live a life that pleases God” (v 3). He is referring to God’s promises, the work of his Spirit in our hearts which changes us on the inside and gives us the ability to withstand our own evil desires. This is wonderful to know and at times this reminder is a great boost to our faith.
But, Peter says, we need to do something as well. We need to grab hold of these truths and choose to live well. It is not enough that we know about God’s goodness but we need to discipline ourselves to be good, to be understanding and patient with others. We need to focus on growing in our faith so that self-control, concern for others and love become the traits that mark our lives.
There might be some difficulty getting a fire going and cooking up some of the freeze-dried packages from the cabin shelves but your choice to persevere will actually warm the bodies and souls of you and your friends. Our actions, our spiritual disciplines will similarly feed our souls.
Lord God, thank you for all that I have in terms of spiritual resources. Your word and your Spirit are so valuable. Help me to choose well, to live well and to work at being a person of integrity and compassion. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.