TODAY'S READING IS FROM https://utmost.org/ and the print version of Oswald Chambers Daily Devotional: My Utmost For His Highest -- Date: July 7
If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us up to overcome. Do we so appreciate the marvelous salvation of Jesus Christ that we are our utmost for His highest?
God saves men by His sovereign grace through the Atonement of Jesus; He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living. If once we start on the basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not practiced. The crisis will reveal whether we have been practicing or not. If we obey the Spirit of God and practice in our physical life what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes, we shall find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.
Thank God He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a glad thing, but it is also a heroic, holy thing. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is bringing many “sons unto glory,” and God will not shield us from the requirements of a son. God’s grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not milk sops. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things. It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble.
The Narrow and Wide Gates 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14
I just finished re-reading 2 Peter and it reminds me of Peter’s nobility as he describes the purpose of the letter is to remind believers of the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ as he was once an eyewitness.
“This is now, beloved, the second letter I write to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.”2 Peter 3:1-2
“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”2 Peter 1:16
Peter’s transformation is nothing short of miraculous. He went from being an impulsive, self-centered fisherman to a man willing to die for his faith. Why? Because he spent quality time with Jesus and because of it, Peter’s faith was instrumental in building Jesus’ Church:
13 Now when Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you yourselves say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”Matthew 16:10-19
SO WHAT IS OUR NOBILITY? It’s in our Daily Living and Seeking After Christ
You find the answer in 2 Peter 1:2-11 when Peter calls us to be full of faith – which is to then manifest as moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust.2 Peter 1:2-11
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For the one who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
I ADMIT MY SHORTCOMINGS
As a follower of Christ am I willing to lay down my life as Peter did? In this modern day Western era it’s hard to conceive of real religious persecution. Peter was tortured and murdered for his faith in Christ Jesus – dying a martyrs death upside-down on a cross. Are we willing to be martyred for our faith? Are we willing to go to such lengths in defending our faith against liberal-progressivism targeting our children? Are we willing to get involved in our local communities for the sake of the Gospel?
Peter Reminds Us That Our Lord Rescues:
“… the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgement.”2 Peter 2:9
Peter Also Reminds Us That The Patience of The Lord is Salvation for Others Who Do Not Yet Know Him:
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.
A New Heaven and Earth
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be discovered. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found spotless and blameless by Him, at peace, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you.2 Peter 3:9-14