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Tag Archives: 2 Peter

  • Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today - June 23, 2014

    Posted on June 23, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Imagine But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blamelessand at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:13-14

     

    Imagine a place you have never been before. No sin, sorrow or death, but full of righteousness, joy and everlasting life. No deranged shooters of school children, but many children sitting on the lap of Jesus. No demons, but armies of angels. The Hallelujah chorus being sung by a heavenly choir that no human ear has heard. Yes, praise and worship that brings pure joy to the worshipper and to the one being worshipped, Jesus Christ. Imagine God’s glory fully exposed.

     

    Imagine this new world created by God for God and His children. A world without end, cleansed by the Holy Spirit. A church without blemish presented to its glorious groom, Jesus. No more church splits, child abuse scandals or leadership failures. Gone are church politics, abuses of power and misuse of money. The church and Christ are one. Oneness with the One who gave His life for His bride, rose from the dead to give her life and ascended to heaven to receive her. Imagine the unimpeded and uninhibited intimacy of Christ and His bride--love perfected.

     

    “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14).

     

    Imagine a home prepared by Jesus just for His followers. The light of His glory illuminates each room, with no need for electricity. Never a power failure, natural disaster or divorce. Think about God’s blessings on a new earth: peace, forgiveness, joy and love. He is the Blessed One who will give us all we need wrapped up in the abundance of His presence and provision. Worshipfully, we will reign and work for Him. Imagine serving the King of Kings--Jesus, for all eternity.

     

    Therefore, while we wait in this life we train in righteousness,preparing to reign with Him in righteousness. We avoid vain imaginings that distract us in the temporal, instead focusing on the eternal beauty of what awaits us on the other side. Yes, we look forward to being with the Lord forever. We can only imagine with our finite understanding what our infinite God has for those who love Him. We have tasted but a morsel, maybe an appetizer, from our salvation in Christ Jesus. Glory, hallelujah we have a full course meal in heaven that is an ongoing celebration of the Lamb of God, Jesus. Heaven is for real, so by His Spirit conceive what’s to come and prepare for His coming. Imagine!

     

    “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him’” (1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV).

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I yearn for that day to be with You forever. I can only imagine You and what You have in store for those who love You.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 8:27; Job 25:2; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 19:1, 9

     

    Post/Tweet today: Imagine the unimpeded and uninhibited intimacy of Christ and His bride in heaven--love perfected. #wisdomhunters

    Free eBook when you sign up 5 friends for the free email devotional...http://www.wisdomhunters.com/invite-your-friends/

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 2 Peter

  • God’s Will: Salvation

    Posted on February 21, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9, NKJV

    Our gracious God desires all to know Christ through repentance, forgiveness, faith, and a lifetime of loving intimacy. Jesus came the first time to earth as our Savior. After His resurrection, as He ascended back to heaven, He promised to return. Christ will come again as our judge. However, our heavenly Father’s patient mercy delays His son’s return. Jesus waits, so the unredeemed have time to believe and become sons and daughters of the Almighty. God’s will is salvation in Jesus.

    Like the door to Noah’s ark eventually closed, so our opportunity to trust Christ is slowly slipping away. The flood waters of judgment will one day drown us in death. Will we be ready? Salvation and safety can only be found in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord’s patient love invites us to repent, trust and not perish. Yes, we still have time to warn others of the judgment to come. Some will mock, others will act apathetic, but a few will find refuge in Jesus.

    "Or do you show contempt for the richesof his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance" (Romans 2:4)?

    Moreover, the patience of our heavenly Father is the model for us to follow. We are surrounded by a sea of those who need salvation. They are drowning in their sin and sorrow. By offering them the life preserver of faith, hope and love for Jesus we can rescue the perishing. A life preserver is useless unless it is deployed. Therefore, we pray daily how we might bless those we encounter with a buoyant belief in Jesus Christ. Once saved, we help others be saved.

    Lastly, regularly receive the Lord’s great love, so you can be a great lover. When you are loved well by Jesus, you can love well for Jesus. Love is patient. Love is kind. Patience and kindness are twins that draw the lost into a loving relationship with Jesus. People away from Christ, have no context for Christ, so be kind. An unsaved soul is an insecure soul, so be patient. We know a better way to salvation than do strangers. God’s will is for those without faith to find faith.

    "Who [God] wantsall people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4)."

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thanks for Your patient love that allows others to repent and not perish.

    Related Readings: Habakkuk 2:3; Romans 11:14; Hebrews 10:37; 2 Peter 3:15; Revelation 2:21

    Post/Tweet today: Receive the Lord’s great love, so you can be a great lover of the lost. #God’swill

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 2 Peter

  • Asking the Wrong Question - Sharon Jaynes

    Posted on October 9, 2012 by Family Christian

    Sharon Jaynes

    Could it be that we have made our relationship with God far too difficult? We strive so hard to draw closer to the heart of God. And all the while, God’s outstretched hand is reaching to draw us in. Another translation of Psalm 46:10 reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God” (nasb).

    Cease striving

    For over a half of a century, I had been striving, pursuing, and seeking God. And like a cat chasing its tail, I had been going in circles. Circling in the wilderness with the Israelites, if you will. Saved from slavery, for sure. Headed to my own personal Promised Land, hopefully. But somehow stuck in the wilderness, wandering, ever circling but not quite reaching Jordan’s shore.

    And I am not alone. Statistics show that one of the top desires of Christians is to grow closer to God.2 During a recent poll, 65 percent of churchgoers said they were declining or on a plateau in their spiritual growth.3 On the other hand, Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). We have everything we need to experience the evergrowing, continually maturing, abundant life. So why aren’t we? Why are most of us languishing on the desert plateaus of mediocrity and complacency? Why are most of us satisfied munching on the predigested truths of teachers rather than pulling up to the banquet table and feasting with God at a table set for two?

    “God, what do you really want from me?”

    I’ve pondered that question since the genesis of my relationship with Christ. Perhaps you have too. When you boil down all the water from the diluted soup of questions men and women have simmered in their hearts through the centuries, this is the one question left in the pot. And somehow we feel that if we could answer that one question, we would discover why that glory ache persists and how to satisfy our yearning.

    I had asked the question a thousand times, but on that one frosty January morning, I got quiet enough to listen. And then, in the stillness, He showed me that I and my busy sisters have been asking the wrong question.

    Rather than ask God what He wants from us, we need to ask Him what He wants for us.

    I meditated on Acts 17:28 throughout the following year, after the day God whetted my appetite with the possibilities wrapped up in those ten little words. I came to realize that what He wants for us is to sense His presence, experience His love, and delight in intimate relationship as we live and move and have our being in sacred union with Him. And when we do, He opens our eyes to His glory all around and the ache for something more is soothed.

    Glory Defined

    Have you ever wondered why you were created? You were created for God’s glory and to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7), because it pleased Him to do so (Ephesians 1:5). The concept of glory can be a difficult idea to wrap our human minds around. It seems so otherworldly. We can catch glimpses of its meaning throughout Scripture, but then like a shooting star that appears for just a moment, it quickly slips away into the vast expanse of God’s infinite wisdom. But let’s see what we can know about this bigger-than-life word.

    In the Old Testament, the most common Hebrew word for “glory” is kābod, meaning “weight, honor, or esteem.” The Bible associates God’s glory with how He manifests Himself or makes His presence known. Some theologians refer to these as theophanies. He made His presence known in a consuming fire (Exodus 24:16–17), a moving cloud (Exodus 13:21), and a still small voice

    (1 Kings 19:12). His glory is reflected in creation (Psalm 19:1) and in His sovereign control of history (Acts 17:26). His glory is made known through the life of simple human beings like you and me.

    The same concept of God’s glory is in the New Testament in the Greek word doxa, which means “glory, honor, and splendor.” John wrote, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” ( John 1:14). After Jesus’ first miracle, turning the water into wine, John wrote:

    “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him” ( John 2:11). In Hebrews 1:3, the writer reveals this about Jesus: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

    The verb form,“to glorify,” is doxazo, and primarily means “to magnify, extol, praise, to ascribe honor to God, acknowledging Him as to His being, attributes and acts,”4 i.e., His glory. It is the revelation and manifestation of all that He has and is. When we glorify God, we are giving a display or manifestation—or a reflection—of His character. To magnify God is to make Him easy to see. Jesus said that the disciples would glorify God when they bore fruit (John 15:8). Through their actions, they would point others to God and make Him easy to see.

    God’s glory is how He makes Himself known. It is almost incomprehensible to think that He would choose mere human beings to accomplish such a task. But as Scripture tells us, we were created in His image (Genesis 1:26) and as a display of His glory (Isaiah 43:7). You were created to make God recognizable to others—to show others what God is like. He makes Himself recognizable to us and through us. The glory of any created thing is when it is fully fulfilling the purpose for which it was created…and that includes you and me.

    Glory is a big word—a weighty word. In this book we are going to zoom in on one aspect of glory—how God makes Himself known in your life as you live and move and have your being in Him.

    Can you remember a time when you sensed God’s presence and you were absolutely sure it was Him? Perhaps it was when you first believed, or maybe it happened just yesterday. You may have felt an overwhelming sense of His love, received an answer to prayer, felt an inexplicable peace, or witnessed a miracle. But when it happened…oh, when it happened…you knew you had encountered the Divine. The moment came and went, and you were awestruck. Do you remember it? That was God making Himself known to you personally. I call that a sudden glory—an intimate moment with your Creator, the Lover of your soul, a genuine “inloveness,” a glimpse of heaven.

    To illustrate what I mean by this, consider how Sheldon Vanauken, author of A Severe Mercy, describes the moment he knew he was in love with his wife, Davy:

    One who has never been in love might mistake either infatuation or a mixture of affection and sexual attraction for being in love. But when the “real thing” happens, there is no doubt. A man in the jungle at night, as someone said, may suppose a hyena’s growl to be a lion’s; but when he hears the lion’s growl, he knows [full] well it’s a lion. So with the genuine inloveness. So with Davy and me. A sudden glory.

    I have been in the jungle and heard the lion’s roar. I knew full well it was Him. So with the genuine inloveness. So with Jesus and me. A sudden glory. Time and time again.

    All throughout our lives, I dare say, throughout our days, we will experience a sudden glory in unpredictable moments. Or, at least we could.

    A friend shared a moment of sudden glory in her life:

    Life was hard after my divorce. With no child support and only a part-time job for income, there were days when I didn’t know how I would put dinner on the table for myself and my four children. I often had to choose between buying groceries or paying the electric bill. On one such day, I walked to the mailbox praying I wouldn’t find another cut-off notice from the utility company. Thankfully there was nothing of the sort. Instead I found an envelope that had no return address, and inside it was a note that read, “Jesus loves you.” Tucked behind the note was a grocery store gift card for an amount that would buy groceries for at least a week.

    In that moment I felt as if God had wrapped His arms around me and whispered to my heart, “I see you. I love you. I care.” His presence was suddenly so real that all I could do was stand there and cry.

    These moments are the salve for the glory ache. They are the manna moments to stay the hunger until we finally reach heaven’s home. Do you yearn for those glory moments? Well, guess what. God longs to give them to you even more than you yearn for them!

    Excerpted from A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes Copyright © 2012 by Sharon Jaynes. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

    Could it be that we have made our relationship with God far too difficult? We strive so hard to draw closer to the heart of God. And all the while, God’s outstretched hand is reaching to draw us in. Another translation of Psalm 46:10 reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God” (nasb). Cease striving.

    For over a half of a century, I had been striving, pursuing, and seeking God. And like a cat chasing its tail, I had been going in circles. Circling in the wilderness with the Israelites, if you will. Saved from slavery, for sure. Headed to my own personal Promised Land, hopefully. But somehow stuck in the wilderness, wandering, ever circling but not quite reaching Jordan’s shore.

    And I am not alone. Statistics show that one of the top desires of Christians is to grow closer to God.2 During a recent poll, 65 percent of churchgoers said they were declining or on a plateau in their spiritual growth.3 On the other hand, Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). We have everything we need to experience the evergrowing, continually maturing, abundant life. So why aren’t we? Why are most of us languishing on the desert plateaus of mediocrity and complacency? Why are most of us satisfied munching on the predigested truths of teachers rather than pulling up to the banquet table and feasting with God at a table set for two?

    “God, what do you really want from me?”

    I’ve pondered that question since the genesis of my relationship with Christ. Perhaps you have too. When you boil down all the water from the diluted soup of questions men and women have simmered in their hearts through the centuries, this is the one question left in the pot. And somehow we feel that if we could answer that one question, we would discover why that glory ache persists and how to satisfy our yearning.

    I had asked the question a thousand times, but on that one frosty January morning, I got quiet enough to listen. And then, in the stillness, He showed me that I and my busy sisters have been asking the wrong question.

    Rather than ask God what He wants from us, we need to ask Him what He wants for us.

    I meditated on Acts 17:28 throughout the following year, after the day God whetted my appetite with the possibilities wrapped up in those ten little words. I came to realize that what He wants for us is to sense His presence, experience His love, and delight in intimate relationship as we live and move and have our being in sacred union with Him. And when we do, He opens our eyes to His glory all around and the ache for something more is soothed.

    Glory Defined

    Have you ever wondered why you were created? You were created for God’s glory and to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7), because it pleased Him to do so (Ephesians 1:5). The concept of glory can be a difficult idea to wrap our human minds around. It seems so otherworldly. We can catch glimpses of its meaning throughout Scripture, but then like a shooting star that appears for just a moment, it quickly slips away into the vast expanse of God’s infinite wisdom. But let’s see what we can know about this bigger-than-life word.

    In the Old Testament, the most common Hebrew word for “glory” is kābod, meaning “weight, honor, or esteem.” The Bible associates God’s glory with how He manifests Himself or makes His presence known. Some theologians refer to these as theophanies. He made His presence known in a consuming fire (Exodus 24:16–17), a moving cloud (Exodus 13:21), and a still small voice

    (1 Kings 19:12). His glory is reflected in creation (Psalm 19:1) and in His sovereign control of history (Acts 17:26). His glory is made known through the life of simple human beings like you and me.

    The same concept of God’s glory is in the New Testament in the Greek word doxa, which means “glory, honor, and splendor.” John wrote, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” ( John 1:14). After Jesus’s first miracle, turning the water into wine, John wrote:

    “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him” ( John 2:11). In Hebrews 1:3, the writer reveals this about Jesus: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

    The verb form,“to glorify,” is doxazo, and primarily means “to magnify, extol, praise, to ascribe honor to God, acknowledging Him as to His being, attributes and acts,”4 i.e., His glory. It is the revelation and manifestation of all that He has and is. When we glorify God, we are giving a display or manifestation—or a reflection—of His character. To magnify God is to make Him easy to see. Jesus said that the disciples would glorify God when they bore fruit (John 15:8). Through their actions, they would point others to God and make Him easy to see.

    God’s glory is how He makes Himself known. It is almost incomprehensible to think that He would choose mere human beings to accomplish such a task. But as Scripture tells us, we were created in His image (Genesis 1:26) and as a display of His glory (Isaiah 43:7). You were created to make God recognizable to others—to show others what God is like. He makes Himself recognizable to us and through us. The glory of any created thing is when it is fully fulfilling the purpose for which it was created…and that includes you and me.

    Glory is a big word—a weighty word. In this book we are going to zoom in on one aspect of glory—how God makes Himself known in your life as you live and move and have your being in Him.

    Can you remember a time when you sensed God’s presence and you were absolutely sure it was Him? Perhaps it was when you first believed, or maybe it happened just yesterday. You may have felt an overwhelming sense of His love, received an answer to prayer, felt an inexplicable peace, or witnessed a miracle. But when it happened…oh, when it happened…you knew you had encountered the Divine. The moment came and went, and you were awestruck. Do you remember it? That was God making Himself known to you personally. I call that a sudden glory—an intimate moment with your Creator, the Lover of your soul, a genuine “inloveness,” a glimpse of heaven.

    To illustrate what I mean by this, consider how Sheldon Vanauken, author of A Severe Mercy, describes the moment he knew he was in love with his wife, Davy:

    One who has never been in love might mistake either infatuation or a mixture of affection and sexual attraction for being in love. But when the “real thing” happens, there is no doubt. A man in the jungle at night, as someone said, may suppose a hyena’s growl to be a lion’s; but when he hears the lion’s growl, he knows [full] well it’s a lion. So with the genuine inloveness. So with Davy and me. A sudden glory.6

    I have been in the jungle and heard the lion’s roar. I knew full well it was Him. So with the genuine inloveness. So with Jesus and me. A sudden glory. Time and time again.

    All throughout our lives, I dare say, throughout our days, we will experience a sudden glory in unpredictable moments. Or, at least we could.

    A friend shared a moment of sudden glory in her life:

    Life was hard after my divorce. With no child support and only a part-time job for income, there were days when I didn’t know how I would put dinner on the table for myself and my four children. I often had to choose between buying groceries or paying the electric bill. On one such day, I walked to the mailbox praying I wouldn’t find another cut-off notice from the utility company. Thankfully there was nothing of the sort. Instead I found an envelope that had no return address, and inside it was a note that read, “Jesus loves you.” Tucked behind the note was a grocery store gift card for an amount that would buy groceries for at least a week.

    In that moment I felt as if God had wrapped His arms around me and whispered to my heart, “I see you. I love you. I care.” His presence was suddenly so real that all I could do was stand there and cry.

    These moments are the salve for the glory ache. They are the manna moments to stay the hunger until we finally reach heaven’s home. Do you yearn for those glory moments? Well, guess what. God longs to give them to you even more than you yearn for them!

    Excerpted from A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes Copyright © 2012 by Sharon Jaynes. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Psalm, 2 Peter, Sharon Jaynes, Questions

  • Fruit of Goodness

    Posted on August 30, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “The fruit of the Spirit is goodness...” Galatians 5:22b

     

    The Holy Spirit’s fruit of goodness flows from the heart of God. It is pure in its essence and it is sure in its application for good. Good is to God what bad is to evil—a reflection of its origin. Goodness is the expression of moral excellence found in any man or woman surrendered to the Spirit’s control. It is virtue that bubbles up from a deep seated belief that outside of Christ there is no good thing. His goodness reveals His glory to the world.

    To say he or she is a good man or woman does not do justice to the depth of the fruit of goodness. It puts too much emphasis on the human element in being good. Goodness comes from God to do good for God. We are only good to the extent that our goodness is initiated by Christ and sustained by the Spirit. At salvation God’s goodness floods our soul like a warm bath cleanses a dirty body—our soiled soul is washed clean. Goodness takes permanent residence when the Lord Jesus is the Landlord of our life. He’s all good!

    “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3

    So, what does it mean to have a good heart? It is a heart governed by God. A good heart is more than following a set of principles—additionally it recognizes the Lord is the moral authority over what is defined as good. For example, we can feel good about someone, but if their morals or ethics violate Christ’s code of conduct, theirs is not a good life to emulate. Goodness is not defined by what we feel, but by what God says is good.

    God has made you good in Christ to be a humble but bold standard bearer of goodness. Good and decent followers of Jesus have a moral obligation to obey God and thus be a force for good in a morally decaying culture. Goodness defines you as more than a do gooder—it marks you as being a slave to your Master Jesus. Your goodness gives you the influence to change the culture. God is calling you to be an agent of change for His glory!

    “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for Your goodness and mercy that follow me all the days of my life.

    Related Scriptures: Exodus 33:19; Psalm 23:6; Romans 15:14; Hebrews 6:5

    Post/Tweet this today: Goodness comes from God to do good for God. #goodness

    Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Galatians, 2 Peter, 2 Thessalonians

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