My guest blogger today is Lori Moody. Lori is a New Start 15 contributor.
Nine earthquakes hit the Dallas area this week. A recent article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram quotes a few locals:
I’ve never felt an earthquake before
I’ve never experienced it
I don’t know what to do when an earthquake hits
Next time we need to be coached…
Because earthquakes rarely happen in Texas, most Texans live like they would never happen. Many believers have a similar attitude about the return of Christ. Because Christ’s return is delayed, we often live like He will never return.
In 2 Peter 3:10-18, Peter addressed some believers who apparently doubted Jesus’ promised return. He reminded them that one day the heavens and earth will pass away, that all things on earth will be burned up, and by the spoken Word of God a new heaven and earth will come into being.
Sometimes, like these first-century believers, we too doubt Jesus’ imminent return. And if He doesn’t return, we won’t be judged. Therefore, instead of living for eternity we live for the here and now.
But just as God used Peter to urge believers two thousand years ago, He also urges us to look forward to the future in two ways:
1. Investing in the eternal (2 Peter 3:10-13)
We spend so much of our lives investing in the work of our own hands, often at the exclusion of investing in things of eternity. Because of sin, this world is under a curse of destruction; judgment is coming, and the things of this earth will melt away. A.W. Tozer states it this way:
The whole purpose of God in redemption is to make us holy and to restore us to the image of God. To accomplish this He disengages us from earthly ambitions and draws us away from the cheap and unworthy prizes that worldly men set their hearts upon.
We should hate what sin has done to this world and begin to love the things that God loves. According to Spurgeon, “Holiness and godliness will outlive even the flames of the last great day.” The “new” has already come in our hearts (2 Corinthians 5:17), and a new heaven and earth are on the way! Therefore, let’s invest in our eternal future.
2. Living a holy life (2 Peter 3:14-18)
In this passage, Peter repeatedly calls believers to live a holy life (vs. 11, 14). The English word holy means “well” or “whole.” Therefore, to be holy means that we are spiritually healthy and that we recognize the hand of God in all things. It’s not that we can be completely holy, but that God imparts His holiness to us through Christ. He sets us apart, and then we give our lives over to the ways of God.
There was a time in my life when I wanted very badly to please God. I think it was born out of my need to be loved and accepted. I was a rule-follower and always wanted to do the right thing. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but through many years of growing in the grace and knowledge of God, I now want to please God because I love Him. There is a huge difference in my motivation and it’s very freeing.
Let’s not seek holiness in order for God to love us, let’s seek it because He already does.
When Christ does return, we want to “be found by Him” spiritually healthy and whole. John Piper says it this way, “These two motivations God gives us for our sanctification: 1) that the earth and all the vain accomplishments of man are going to be burned up, and only the fruits of holiness will remain; and 2) that the promise of new heavens and a new earth shines so bright with God’s righteousness and glory, how can we not walk in the light!”
Thank you Lori Moody for sharing with us today! Lori serves on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and speaks at women’s conferences, retreats, and events.
For more about New Start 15:
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- Yesterday’s post by Christen Price
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What a powerful challenge, Lori. Because God loves us, the only response is a desire to be like Him.
Whether it’s an earthquake or another unforeseen circumstance, we can’t know the future, but we can be ready!