Beautiful excerpts (Part 2)

Let’s go for 2 Peter 3 & Jude.

For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (2 Peter 3:5-7 ESV)

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 ESV)

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13 ESV)

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18 ESV)

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4 ESV)

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:20-23 ESV)

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 ESV)

Have a blessed week in the Lord!!!

A Gracious and Holy God

Their prince shall be one of themselves; their ruler shall come out from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me, for who would dare of himself to approach me? declares the LORD. And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” Jeremiah 30:21-22

While I was reading through Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, I was awestruck by God’s holiness. People could not come near Him as they wanted. There were rules, conditions, and requirements. Even when you wanted to make a sacrifice and to offer a gift, there were conditions. You could not just bring whatever you wanted, as you wanted. (Exodus 19: 10-25, Leviticus 1; 10, Numbers 4:18-20)

Those books remind me of a song verse, “Grateful that you hear us when we shout your praise.” This song verse and those books remind me that I should be grateful to approach God and to pray to Him. They remind me that God is not obliged to hear me even when I praise Him. When I praise Him, when I sacrifice to Him and for Him, it is a privilege. It is my privilege.

Paul told the Philippians that they have been given the privilege of suffering for Christ (Philippians 1:29). To be with God, to serve Him, to speak to and with Him, to read His word, to suffer and sacrifice for Him, to be persecuted in His name and to be single for his sake are privileges. Privileges acquired for us by Christ on the cross.

God gains nothing when we do those things. He is God and will always be. He will never change. Even if there was no believer in the entire universe, He will still be God. Even if all humans were to go to hell, He will still be God, good and gracious. He is holy and only through His grace can we approach Him and serve Him and suffer for Him. If Christ did not redeem me, I have no idea where I would be. And it is my privilege to say “Thank you Lord.”

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. James 1:16-18

Just a small act of disobedience

… And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.”  And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded. Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”  And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” Numbers 20:7-12

Nothing very serious. God asked Moses to talk to the rock and Moses, because he was having a bad day, because the Israelites were doing that again, struck the rock. Surely God could have understood. Moses had been so patient and so  obedient(Numbers 12). Was it not normal that for once he lost his temper? He surely didn’t want to disobey, he was just tired and emotionally exhausted.

But for God, what Moses did was serious. He was not a question of being tired, hurt or angry. It was a question of believing God and of honoring Him as holy in the eyes of the Israelites. Moses had  stopped believing for a moment that God would vindicate him. He had stopped believing that being meek with his enemies was worth it. For a moment he stopped looking at the reward and look at the circumstances. For a moment he forgot who he was serving. Because he stopped believing in God, he stopped honoring Him as holy.

It happened to Moses once and he missed the promised land. How many times do we forget to  honor Christ as holy in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15)? What circumstances make us stopped believing in God and disobey a bit? To know what steal our faith and our obedience is a big step towards victory and obedience.

I know for myself that when I feel betrayed, when I have trusted someone and I am hurt in return, I forget to honor Christ as holy in my heart. When I face injustice, I want to deal with it now. I don’t want to wait for the Lord. I stop believing that He will vindicate me, that he will bring forth justice. I strike and strike again with my words and my thoughts. I stop honoring Christ as Lord. I become my own Lord.

That’s what Moses did. He became his own God and deny the holy one of Israel. Every time we choose to take things in our hands we deny Him. And yes, we don’t commit sexual immorality or steal or kill. We are just angry and hurt. God will surely understand. I am sure He understands our hurts and anger. But I am also sure that He doesn’t understand our unbelief and our contempt for His holiness.

Let’s cleanse our hearts, renounce our unbelief and revere Christ as Lord in our mind, thoughts, hearts and feelings. Let’s give Him the glory He deserves.