Monday, February 08, 2010
Today’s Topic: Constant Reminders
Today’s Text: 2 Peter 1:12-15 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
Pastor Roger relates this story in Christian Reader magazine. His 5-year-old daughter, Ashley, was tracing her hand on a piece of paper. “Jesus died on the cross,” she said, busily at work. “This is his hand.” Then pointing to a dot in the center of the drawing, she added, “And that’s where the nail was.” Tears welled up in his eyes. He was reminded again that we can’t hear enough of the greatest sacrifice ever made for mankind.
If you were to pick up your Bible for devotions today and it happened to flop open to this passage, your initial thought would be to just start reading there and keep going. We do that a lot when we “study” the Bible. I put that into quotation marks because we really aren’t studying if we do that. How can we read that Peter wants to constantly remind us of these things if we don’t go back and look at what He has just written so we know what the “things” are?
So take a few minutes and go back again over the first eleven verses. You will discover again the incredible promises of God and His purpose for your life. But go into it with a correct attitude. Here’s what I mean. We are easily tempted into believing that the proof of God’s existence, power, and presence is found in great big things He does. We tend to need miracles. We are no different than the people of Jesus’ day. We are no different than the Israelites standing at the edge of the Red Sea. We are just like those who require to be shown before they will believe.
But the proof of God’s presence in you and purpose for you is not found in some miraculous epiphany. It is found in the simple yet powerful work of the Holy Spirit in you to create the character of Christ. Here’s how Henri J. Nouwen puts it:
Our salvation comes from something small, tender, and vulnerable, something hardly noticeable. God, who is the Creator of the Universe, comes to us in smallness, weakness, and hiddenness. I find this a hopeful message. Somehow, I keep expecting loud and impressive events to convince me and others of God’s saving power; but over and over again I am reminded that spectacles, power plays, and big events are the ways of the world. Our temptation is to be distracted by them and made blind to the “shoot that shall sprout from the stump” [Isaiah 11:1].
In the words of the Psalmist – “Be still, and know that I am God.”
We must stop ourselves from demanding big things from God in order to prove He’s still there. Instead, we are privileged to sit at His feet and learn from Him. As children of the Father, we are qualified to be cuddled in His arms. As those baptized by the Holy Spirit into the family of God, we are uniquely equipped to carry the character of the One and Only Son of God.
We are the living proof that God is and always will be. We are the visible evidence that Jesus saves. People will be drawn to Jesus as we live our lives faithfully in front of them. Not because of miraculous experiences of supernatural power. Not because of our success or wealth. Not because we have all the answers to mankind’s questions. No, none of these things are the true evidence of God’s presence.
We are the living proof of God because we participate in the Divine nature (vs. 4). People will be drawn to Jesus by watching the life of Jesus be lived through us (vs. 5-8). The unsaved of the world will start asking us about the hope that lives within us (1 Peter 3:15) when we start living like we are sure of it ourselves (vs. 10-11).
Be still today. Allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate all of the conflicts imposed upon your mind by the world. Listen for the voice of God. He will be telling you who to be, not what to do.