Father, when I consider all Your great promises to me and how well You keep them, I can only praise You!
Read 2 PETER 3:1-18
 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.  I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.  First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives  as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.  Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.  He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.  Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow does Peter advise us to prepare for the Lord’s return?
After Jesus’ resurrection, the next event in God’s plan is Jesus’ return and the day of judgment when God’s new Kingdom will be established (10,12,13). We are still waiting for Jesus’ return. When the wait is long there is the danger that we become tempted to give up or simply get distracted.
If we want to be ready, it is worth practicing Peter’s advice for active waiting: stand against the current tide of unbelief. Don’t listen to people who have chosen not to believe what God has said (3,4,16,17). Instead, remember that God keeps his word (5-7) and that he takes his time for good reason (8,9).
Twenty-first-century “scoffing” can be very subtle. In recent media coverage about global warming, economic disaster and the future of the world, I have not heard any commentators refer to what God has said about the future. God’s Word is not even taken into consideration. To stand against this we need to live day by day in the new relationship with God that Christ won for us through his death (14), and put into practice the values and qualities of God’s Kingdom (11).
Is it hard to practice the kind of “readiness” Peter commends? If so, ask God for the help you need.
Lord God, guard my mind against unbelief today. Keep my eyes fixed on the future You have promised.
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