MAKE EVERY EFFORT

Christ-following, Discipleship, Worship

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is 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. 2 Peter 3: 8-14

Last night we experienced an earthquake. It was not a strong one, only 4.0. The house shook and my bed rattled against the wall. A smaller quake occurred 15 minutes later. My son, who lives 12 km away, felt it also. This would not have been worth mentioning when we lived in Northern California. There, earthquakes were a part of life. But I now live in a part of the world where, I was led to believe, earthquakes do not happen. Thus, the fact that we experienced two earthquakes last night has given me pause and has caused me to ponder big thoughts.

I have been sick with flu-like yuck for a few days, so I had thoughts such as, “Please, God, I don’t have the energy for a natural disaster tonight.” and “If the house is going to fall down, couldn’t it happen in the daylight?” I wasn’t frightened exactly, but I did have a few moments of concern and a strong awareness that I was in no condition to tackle the challenge of a serious event. Fortunately, nothing else happened. I fell asleep and woke to find all in order.

Today, feeling a bit better and in the clear light of day, I am considering my state of readiness. I have always been stirred in my heart by the words of Peter, quoted above, and have held up the call, “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” Sadly, I find that it doesn’t take much for me to start pleading with God to postpone the day and slow its coming. When I read of the heavens being destroyed by fire and the elements melting in the heat, it gives the impression of a rather quick, awful day followed by eternal joy. But it is just as possible that the process could be rather more drawn out, given the state of things currently. Is my heart at peace with God? Am I so convinced of the reality of the coming joy, the new heaven and new earth and the appearance of my King, that I will look forward to the day and speed its coming? I cannot truthfully say yes, but I want to be.

It is a bit past the day of New Year’s resolutions, but I have been contemplating what mine should be nonetheless. I now believe that this is to be the focus of 2015: “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.” I am too prone to fear in the face of the mounting sources of concern that bombard me from all sides: strife, violence, financial uncertainty, pollution and contamination of the air, water and food supply, etc., etc., etc. These are born of wrong perspective and have nothing to do with godliness or peace with Him. The charge is to make every effort, so making every effort is to be my task.

Do you have a resolution or focus for 2015? I encourage you to give yourself to the task He has given you with every effort. If you do not have direction, meditate of the words of Peter and see what the Spirit prompts in you. Do not wait for an earthquake to shake you into readiness.

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