November 14 – Weekend Passage

2 Peter 1:1-11

Growth in Christian Virtue

Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that 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. For by 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 by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing 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.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

When the Storms Come

“Men, I perceive that the voyage will certainly be with damage and great loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” Acts 27:10

As we read through Chapter 27, I cannot help but think that the Apostle Paul knew something about sailing on the seas and the potential for storms and shipwrecks.

In 2 Corinthians 11:25, Paul writes, “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.”

Paul had to have been one of the more traveled human beings on the planet by the end of his life.

Despite Paul’s warning, the ship sets sail and then runs dead into a severe storm and all those aboard are indeed shipwrecked.

The interesting thing is how God uses the situation to get Paul to where God wants him to go – to the island of Malta.

Paul wants to go to Rome, yet God still has a plan for Paul along the way.

I am mindful that many times on our journey we can see the big picture and yet miss out on the harbors and rest places that God stages along the way.

Other times, God uses storms to get our attention. Storms are a way of life.

I was reading Courson’s New Testament Commentary and was reminded how God uses storms for correction and direction.

Sometimes we face storms for correction, a great example is the story of Jonah.

After being called by God to minster to the people of Ninevah – Israel’s dreaded enemy, Jonah flees in the opposite direction.

God uses a storm and a whale to deliver a message to Jonah and Jonah half-heartedly complies by going to Ninevah to speak to the people.

Sometimes storms come from nowhere, even after a season of blessing.

After preaching a sermon and adding 5,000 to the kingdom, a storm of persecution begins for the followers of Jesus. Scattered across the countryside, the disciples carry the gospel with them, creating and expanding the church.

These type of storms help prune us – help us to mature and grow spiritually.

Here in our text, God uses a storm for direction.  Storms of direction help us to get to where God wants us to go. Paul is heading to Rome but God wants Paul to minister in Malta along the way.

How many times have we been in a situation we did not understand, a time of uncertainty that God used to get us to a specific place at a specific time?

It is only after looking back on it that we see God’s hand, He was there all along.

We may not always understand what God is doing in the midst of the storm, but when the storms come, we need to hold on to our life raft – our hope in His promises and the knowledge that God is in control.

Until next time… Keep reading!

Jim