"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simon Peter ...... out!

And so we’ve come to the end of another great small group study.  For the past 11 weeks we have moved through the 1st and 2nd Epistles of Peter, concluding with the final verses this past week.  Thank you all for your commitment to our discipleship time and, as always, the wonderful fellowship and discussion.  I know that I have learned a great deal and am especially more aware of what these two books tell us and what great reading / inspiration Peter’s letters provide.

As we closed out the second letter, I was reminded of what an intentional writer Peter was.  How he carried the theme of ‘doctrine with application’ throughout both letters.  If you think through these eleven weeks, you’ll recall how he reminded us first of the reason for our faith; the glorious salvation found through Jesus Christ.  He followed that with the first “therefore” and into what we should do to live out that salvation.  Instruction that is as applicable today as it was to the scattered and persecuted believers of 1st Century Asia Minor.

The conclusion of his first letter, and the introduction to the second, continues with encouragement on growing our faith through both the relational and cognitive aspects of life in Christ.  In other words, Peter thought it critical that we grow in both knowing Him AND knowing more about Him!  To do this we are to use our gifts, be productive in our testimony and continue to remind one another of our purpose.

Finally, Peter concludes with doctrine regarding the return of Christ and the evil of false teachers.  We are to remain alert, sober and in the Word.  Again, every bit as useful today as it was then.  In his final words he brings it back to the relational and the cognitive:

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

I know I will want to keep the lessons of this study close at hand, and heart. Let’s continue to consider the charge that we build one another up and create a desire to grow in our walk by way of “craving pure spiritual milk.”

See you in February as we begin a study of 1st Samuel.

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