Now that we’ve finished 1 Peter, the only logical thing is to head straight into 2 Peter. They are two very different letters. As far back as the 2nd Century people questioned Peter’s authorship of this letter – and of course we can never prove anything beyond all doubt – but there are lots of pretty good arguments to consider it a genuine work of his.
The overall theme of this letter is an encouragement for followers of Christ to keep on growing and avoid the pitfalls of erroneous teaching that could derail their progress. The tone will be a bit more urgent than his previous letter (written, as best we can tell, about 4 years prior to this).
This Sunday we’ll be reading the first four verses.
Peter starts with the basic greeting, extending a hope that his readers will experience grace and peace from Christ. Those are the two New Testament ideals for the good life, a life as God intended it to be. Filled with favor from God and wholeness in our self-understanding.
As he goes on, he indicates in v4 that we are drawn into this good life through a knowledge of Christ. What ways do we grow in our knowledge of Christ?
Peter says we have these promises that we “partake of the divine nature”. That’s a staggering statement, to me. In union with creator God. What difference does this make, if any, on how you view your meaning and purpose in this world?
Take some time before Sunday to pray and ask God to lead you into a greater knowledge of Christ – and ask him to reveal what it is to partake of the divine nature.
See you Sunday!
If someone (who is not Kayne West) talks about having the good life, or wanting the good life…what are they talking about? Actually, what is Kayne West talking about? Wait…that’s too broad of a subject that nobody can really answer…scratch that. What are the examples we think of when we hear that so and so is living “the good life”?
“I wanna’ win American Idol because I wanna’ have the good life from now on!” – what do you think that means?
That’s going to be our topic of exploration this Sunday as we tackle Luke 18:18-30.
Jesus weighs in on the good life when a wealthy local official comes and asks him how to get it. He actually asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life, which held a greater meaning than just “going to heaven when you die”. For the 1st Century Jewish person, eternal life carried the implication of the fulfilled purposes for Israel – the wholeness of plan and purpose which extends on into eternity. We could just say “the good life”…life as it’s meant to be.
Here’s some stuff to ponder and weigh in on. The guy asks what he “should do” to get the life he’s meant for. What do you think he may have had in mind by that? Jesus answers with a list from the 1o commandments…does that seem strange to you? The guy asserts that he’s being doing good at keeping the commandments all along…but it’s interesting that the very FIRST commandment was not on the list that Jesus gave. Does that give us any clues about why Jesus starts talking about personal finance with him?
Could it be there was an idol in the wings?
What do you think the message is to us in this? What does Jesus imply about finding a fulfilled life? What could hold us back from that?
Ok….that should keep us thinking until Sunday! Hope to see you then!