Strong Convictions …
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; (2Peter 1:10-13)
DR.PERCY RAY, OF CAMP ZION, MYRTLE, MS, SAID: “I ain”t lookin’ for no new stuff. I just want to get stirred up what I’ve already got.” Pastor Ray started 20 churches and the camp and invited preachers every winter to come and bunk and eat at the camp for a week. People in his country church raised vegetables and canned all summer to feed the preachers that would be there when the weather turned cold. The only rule: “Don’t complain about the food unless you bring better food with you to feed everybody.”
WHEN SOMEBODY SENT A CHECK TO PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE on the camp, Percy began to shout, ran out the back of the tabernacle and jumped into the lake, shouting all the time. Nobody thought it was wild fire. They thought it was Percy acting normal. I went one year to check it out. It was un-standard and outstanding. I enjoyed it, learned a lot, and never regretted my visit.
SOMEHOW, I'VE CONNECTED THE APOSTLE PETER and Percy Ray. When Peter was in the boat fishing and saw Jesus standing on the shore, he jumped out of the boat and swam 100 yards to shore. No one said anything about it being unusual. Peter, with his boisterous personality was the undisputed leader of the disciples. It was his nature to be bossy and aggressive. He wrote two short epistles to Jewish Christians that were scattered in several areas.
His words were practical. In our text today, Peter is urging his scattered flock to build strong convictions. The first thing to make strong was their sense of connection to God. If they were sure about their connection, they would never fall in their faith and standing for God.
IT'S STILL THAT WAY TODAY. The strongest people in today’s churches are the people that are fully convinced of their strong relationship to God. They believe God will see them through, somehow, though they don’t know how. Still, they will trust Him. If you are sure of God, you are going to be very different from the person who is weak and wobbly in faith.
He reminds them that if they develop a strong faith in their walk with God, when it comes time to die, they would receive a royal welcome into the everlasting kingdom of God, their eternal home. That’s still a good thing to think about today. Let’s not just barely get there by the skin of our teeth, but develop a well-rounded, robust walk of faith and obedience to God. Yesterday we looked at some things he said to add to our faith. We don’t have to, but it’s what we ought to do.
WHEREFORE, THAT IS, BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS ABOVE, he would not be negligent to always put them in remembrance of these things. They needed to be reminded again and again until they fully embraced the role God had for them in this life. They needed to improve their thinking and their habits. It takes time to do that. Conversion to Christ takes place in a moment of time or perhaps a split second. But, character development takes place our whole lifetime.
We are admonished to grow up in our faith. Peter talked about babes in Christ and their diet of milk and then stronger food. All the while, …laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, (1Peter 2:1)
TO BE A ROUGH FISHERMAN, Peter had a strong grasp on the blueprint of Christian character development and what it took to be successful in living the Christian life. It is up to each one of us to embrace the golden words he left for us. We can slide over his words as though what he said is unimportant or we can firmly grasp his words and hold them tight until we have practiced them and improved our Christian character.
HE SAID, "I KNOW THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW THESE THINGS, but I’m going to remind you of them until Christ be formed in you because that is the game plan. Paul wrote this way too. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29)
Did you get that? Did you see that all the stuff that happens to you is under the watchful eye of the Lord and He is managing the good and bad flow of things in your life to make you to be just like His Son, the Lord Jesus? He is going to be the firstborn among many brethren. Who are the “many brethren?” The “many brethren” are US!. Jesus is going to be there, but we are also going to be there as those who came after Him. He is the firstborn. We are the…..NEXT BORN! LIKE HIM! That’s the game plan. It’s not enough to get saved and make it to Heaven. He is making us to be like Him. Can you wrap your fingers around that? That IS what He is saying.
PETER FEELS VERY STRONG ABOUT HIS ROLE in reminding us of what God’s plan is for our lives. God has big plans for you! That is the truth! God has big plans for you. Peter knew that, and his job was to STIR YOU UP by putting you in remembrance. You got it? I must say that I’ve got some distance to go before God is finished with me. It’s not as much about our working for God in helping Him save the world. It’s mostly about what God is making us to be; to be like His Son! Can you handle that?
THERE ARE GREAT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE ABOUT THAT! God has given great and powerful sermons about that! God has given great pieces of music about that! God has given powerful Heaven-sent life experiences about that! God is working in your life to make you into the person God wants to be with Him in Heaven for all eternity. Can you be patient when it’s hot in the kitchen? Can you endure the disappointments that may come your way? Can you stand the heartaches that are between here and the gate of Heaven?
LET US REMEMBER THAT SOME OF THE OLD COMFORTING HYMNS, and especially some of the Southern Gospel hymns came out of these trials. Like Ira Stanphil’s “He Washed My Eyes with Tears, That I Might See.” Like Charles’ Weigle’s song: “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus.” Like Joseph Scriven’s song: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Like John Newton’s song: “Amazing Grace.” Do we dare think that songs like these were just churned out to sell song books? I tell you they were not. “God Leads His Dear Children Along,” is a classic because it touches the lives of millions of people who are being made like Jesus for their eternal role in Heaven. God can make a mushroom in a few days. But, it takes years to grow a sturdy Oak.
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO READ PETER'S WORDS were probably crucified by Roman soldiers. His short letters are the stuff that helped new Christians die well. So, where are you? What’s going on in your life? You will be here a short time. Make your calling and election sure! Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-11)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 8, 2018 – TUESDAY
A.M. 1Kings 16-18 P.M. John 1:29-51
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
(A lady told me they go to Morning Minute and let the man read to them while they eat breakfast.)
Good Memory Verse:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
Song for Today:
1st Psalm - Recited (1:14) – (1st & 2nd Grades Calvary Memorial Christian School – Sou.Pines, NC)
Note: You may need to turn off the song when finished to avoid something else you do not want to hear.