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Peter & John — 2 Peter 3:1-13

31 Jan

2 Peter 3:1-13 NIV
[1] Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. [2] I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. [3] Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. [4] They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” [5] But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. [6] By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. [7] By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. [8] But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. [9] The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. [10] 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 done in it will be laid bare. [11] Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives [12] 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. [13] But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

Dear God, I was thinking recently about the accumulation of wealth and striving for retirement. In fact, a friend and I were talking yesterday about when enough will be enough. He is wanting to go into nonprofit work, but feels like he has to first get his kids all of the way through college and then have his retirement planned before he can do that. He was looking at being a minimum of 15 years away from that.

As for me, when I first took the job I currently have at a nonprofit I was in my mid-30s and in no way expected it to be my last job. I figured I would get my daughter (she was six at the time) through high school so she wouldn’t have to move and then move on. Well, my daughter stopped going to school in our town almost five years ago and here I am still at this job. I told the friend yesterday that a few years ago I actually started to get my head into a space where this could actually be my last job. I’ve been there 13 years now. I know that if you are willing I have at least 20 more years of being able to work productively. Will I really look back and say that I worked for this nonprofit for over 30 years?

The questions that start to come to me out of this thought are interesting. The first is, how am I going to start accumulating more for retirement? Nonprofits, by nature, don’t pay at a level that will allow me to stick a lot away into an IRA. Should I take a second job driving for wine tours on weekends to prepare for that day?

Then there is achievement. When I was fresh out of college I had dreams of doing great things. “Great” was undefined, but I am pretty sure working for a nonprofit in a rural community wouldn’t have registered in my top 10 at the time.

Spiritually, I had a dream to influence hundreds or thousands of people (or tens of thousands or millions) towards believing in and pursuing you. My first job out of college was working for a Christian music publisher. At that point, I thought I would end up in Nashville and eventually run the label and distribution company. I remember privately working on projects that would build Bible studies out of musical albums. Even some of the writing I have done over the years might have caught on and influenced a lot of people. But that hasn’t really happened.

Father, I leave all of that hubris and ego at the foot of your cross. I leave the fear of scarcity and the lethargy of desiring retirement and comfort at the foot of your cross. I leave the preoccupation of my future (which is completely unknown to all but you) at the foot of the cross. All I have is today as I await your return. I have the work you have put in front of me to do today. That includes how you want me to love my family, reach out to others, and then do the paid and unpaid tasks that you have put in front of me to do. Help me to do it all with your peace, your strength, and for your glory and not mine.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2019 in 2 Peter, Peter and John

 

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