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.
2 Peter 3:1, NLT*
This is a key part of why we need to read (and take in) the Bible, prayerfully and on a daily basis.
We’re living in just as much a culture of ungodliness as the early church. The difference is, in North America people think they’ve “been there, heard that” and have no need of our truth. In Peter’s day, it was new information, and some were eager to receive it.
With all that the entertainment industry offers us as “normal” and “realistic,” we can forget as Christians that it’s not supposed to be normal for us. Maybe the fiction can give us empathy for the ones caught in the real-life futility, but we’re to offer them Christ’s way out – not to join them or to decide what they’re into is okay.
“Wholesome” doesn’t have to be “boring.” Look back over Peter’s letters. He’s been calling us to a vibrant life of obedience, holiness, joy, love and trust. And more. That’s a challenge, and it’ll take more than we can give on our own. We’ll need the Lord’s help.
Peter also calls us to “remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. (2 Peter 3:2, NLT*)” Don’t forget God’s word and His ways. Don’t accept the lie that because times have changed, so has God’s definition of right and wrong.
There will be a day of judgement, and God is waiting (2 Peter 3:9) out of mercy, because He wants more of us to turn to Him.
We need to be vigilant, to guard our thoughts and behaviours. Love the people around us without being absorbed by popular culture. Show there’s a more satisfying way, and that everyone is welcome to try it. Renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2). Live obedient to Him who saved us, so that others can see the difference He makes and can find Him too.
Holy, righteous and merciful God, You’ve shown us the way that’s best for us. Forgive us for allowing sin to so easily entangle us. Clean us again, and renew our commitment to You. Through Your Holy Spirit within us, enable and motivate us to live clean lives that are pleasing to You. Help us love those around us who don’t know You, without falling into their ways of living. Instead, shine through us to draw them to Yourself.
A good prayer is Chris Tomlin‘s song, “Give Us Clean Hands.”
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Such a good and inspiring way to begin my day. Living in obedience is perfect advice. Too bad we have to remind ourselves of it so often! The world is so full of lies. Thanks Janet.
More and more, I think the Christian life can be summarized by the title of the hymn “Trust and Obey.” For that, we need to know God’s character and His Word. It’s just so easy to be self-centred and lazy 🙁
A good prayer and a great song. Thank you, Janet. It fit the thoughts you shared so well.
Thanks, Mary! Blessings on your day.